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Family Weekend Football

From the time you commit to stepping foot on campus, you'll often hear the phrase "Welcome to the Dartmouth Family" - what does this actually mean and look like? 

Nearly a month ago, Dartmouth hosted "Family Weekend", which is typically meant for first-years and their families/supporters to formally experience Dartmouth for the first time together, and for graduating seniors to gather together with their families before graduation. This year's special weekend was filled with special events: campus and library tours, bell tower tours, a variety of workshops and panels, open houses, a football game, lunch cookouts, an cappella showcase - just to name a few (I don't want to spoil all the fun for the future Dartmouth parents reading this)! 

Since my family was not able to make this year's Family Weekend, you might be thinking "why is she writing about Family Weekend then"? As the campus slowly became more filled with parents and supporters, I initially thought that I would feel excluded, or out of place that whole weekend; however, this was exactly the opposite of what happened. 

On the first day of Family Weekend, the Dartmouth football team played their opener in the Ivy League conference against the University of Pennsylvania. As I planned to grab dinner with a few friends before going to the game, my friend Daniel gave me a call asking if I would like to say hello to his mom and uncle who were eating at FoCo (the '53 Commons dining hall). I met Daniel's family back during move-in day, so it was very kind of him to extend the offer of meeting his family again and seeing familiar faces of parents on campus. With a stadium filled with parents and alumnis in the stands, I also met the families of my friends Lili, Paulie, and Corey. When I met Paulie's mother, she told me she clicked into People Places Pines and surprisingly saw a photo of her son in it, so she decided to tap into it: If you've been following me along, you might remember my very first blog post that consisted of a few photos from orientation week, one of them being matriculation with my hall-mates (and also my cover photo for my first blog post). I didn't realize that this blog not only serves as a place for prospective students and future Dartmouth parents to read about my journey, but also current students, their parents, and alums; I was very delighted to have something to connect with my friends' mom, and also getting to meet the families of some of my favorite people on campus. 

Family Weekend Football
Friday Night Football and 2022 season opener on Family Weekend

The next day, Daniel invited me to a dinner gathering with his family and a few other families. Knowing that a few of our friends and I did not have loved ones that could make it to these family festivities, his family extended an invitation for us to join them that evening. We went to a beautiful country club in Quechee, Vermont for dinner hosted by Daniel's family, and got to meet a few other parents at dinner as they spoke about their experiences not only as Dartmouth parents, but also alums. After a delicious dinner, we introduced ourselves one by one and were given the question of "What is one thing that you were surprised about as now official Dartmouth students?" Answers ranged from how abnormally tall people were here to how fast people walk to how easy it is to talk to people, but one thing we all unanimously agreed on was how welcoming and kind people at Dartmouth are that extended beyond the student body and physical Dartmouth bubble, coming from parents, alumnus, and the surrounding Hanover/Upper Valley community. 

Quechee Family Weekend Dinner

As I conclude this reflection, I end with what does "Welcome to the Dartmouth Family" actually mean? My answer: Home. A few other common words used to describe this phrase include: Acceptance, Belonging, Growth, Loved, and Included. I guess it's up to you all to find out and experience it on our own. 

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