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First jack-o-lantern meeting of the term
First jack-o-lantern meeting of the term

One of my favorite memories of my freshman year was the student activities fair. One of the reasons why I was looking forward to college was the ability to explore new hobbies and interests, and get involved with things I never had the chance to get involved with in high school. Namely, I was interested in comedy, some form of sport that I had yet to try, and maybe some form of publication. I remember approaching the green and seeing a sea of tables and students, and just being blown away by the amount of opportunities that was in front of me. The first tables I sought out were the improv comedy tables – at the time I was not aware there was any other way to do comedy on campus.

Eventually I passed by a table that was for the Dartmouth Jack-O-Lantern – Dartmouth's comedy paper - saw it only had a single person, and figured that even though it probably wasn't for me, I would give it a look. The person behind the table explained to me that they wrote comedy, mostly on their website but a few times in print, and that being funny was not required (which at the time was a massive relief). I figured I might check out their first meeting and continued on. As I continued through, I heard one student yell at me at a distance "HEY! WANT TO HEAR ABOUT FENCING?" I'd only ever seen fencing on an episode of iCarly, so naturally I went to check it out. On and on I went, and by the end of the two hours I was there I had put my name on nearly every email list there was.

The following week went by and I went to most, if not all, of the open meetings that I could manage just to see which clubs I would actually join. My decision to join the fencing team happened quite naturally – after the first meeting I decided I liked the people and just kept showing up. Improv comedy did not happen quite as easily as fencing did, however, since I didn't get very far in the auditions. Realizing I still wanted to do comedy I decided to go to the first meeting of the Jack-O-Lantern, and I've stuck with it ever since.

Now, as my senior year is kicking off, I'm pretty set in what I do on campus. I'm president of the Jack-O-Lantern, co-president of Chabad on campus, still a member of the fencing team, and a moderately involved hiker. That said, this is the beginning of a new year and with it comes a new class, filled with student who have yet to decide how they will spend their next four years. With a new year comes a new activities fair, and this time, I got to be the one behind the tables. It was amazing talking to so many people looking for ways to make the most out of their Dartmouth career. It was especially fun to be behind the Jack-O table, this time with around five other people, knowing that over the past few years we have developed into both a very strong community and publication.

Obviously it's too early to know who is going to join which organizations at this point, but just being able to help shape someone's experience here and offer them a chance to be part of our community has been incredibly exciting, and a wonderful thing to see full circle. 

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