Sunset on the beach - logically this is probably a Seattle beach
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Julia with a blue jacket on. Her glasses read "Happy New Year!" and she has a noisemaker in her mouth.

First of all, happy new year! Whether you're just beginning your college search or waiting to hear back from schools, I wish you all the best in 2024.

I've never been good at coming back to school after a break. Since elementary school, the anticipation of returning to campus after just a week away has been overwhelmingly uncomfortable. It's not that I don't like school – I love going to class and spending time with my friends – but instead it's a dread of totally switching up my routine. This return was no different.

When I landed in Boston, those fears melted away. Even at baggage claim, I saw multiple familiar faces which filled me with confidence and warmth. I did know this place, I told myself. Upon entering my dorm room I remembered that I do, in fact, love the routine of college.

As expected, coming back to campus is very different from getting to campus for the first time. You have friends to grab meals with, you know the names of buildings, and you're not tasked with remembering about a million people's faces right off the bat. Instead of awkwardly making conversation about where people are living and what their intended majors are, you can swing back into conversation about their families and maintain the inside jokes from the fall.

The main aspect of returning to Dartmouth that surprised me was how quickly you slip back into the routine of school. I think that the College does a great job of giving first-years a lot of time to adjust to campus life in the fall through nearly two weeks of orientation. The transition to winter is a lot shorter! In the first 24 hours of returning to campus, I moved back into my dorm, attended two classes, fitted skis, responded to emails about upcoming club involvement, and reconnected with friends. In the fall, I spent a lot of time trying to find ways to fill my time in meaningful ways. This winter, I find myself needing to say no to opportunities that come my way.

So, there you have it. 24W (2024 winter) is underway, and I couldn't be more excited now that I'm here. Hope you're having a great start to your year, and I look forward to catching you all up soon

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