Julia's D-PlanWhat's a D-Plan?
FallHanover, NHFavorite Class: Writing 5: Food for Thought
This class is one of many foundational writing courses to help first-years acclimate to college-level writing. The central theme was the cultural and personal significance of food, which we explored through readings, guest speakers, and our own reflections. Another wonderful aspect of this course was how we were able to bond with our new classmates, through sharing our experiences with food and collaborating on peer editing.
WinterHanover, NHFavorite Class: Science Policy and Diplomacy
This class highlights the crucial connection between scientific researchers and the policymaking realm. Our professor, Melody Burkins, taught us various strategies to effectively communicate scientific knowledge, so that it can be applied in the formation of prescient policy. We also investigated how scientific collaboration can be a promising tool for diplomatic efforts.
SpringHanover, NHFavorite Class: Energy and the Environment
This class provided an excellent introduction to the role energy plays in our society and the critical challenges we face today. Prior to this class, I had never thought deeply about how energy is produced, delivered, and utilized around the world. I simply flicked on a light switch and assumed it would turn on. This class inspired me to delve more deeply into energy issues and pursue related internships.
SummerSantander, SpainFavorite Class: Spanish Language Study Abroad (LSA+)
With the flexibility offered by the D-Plan, I was able to study abroad my very first year in college! I spent the summer with a small cohort of Dartmouth students, taking classes at a local university and living with host families. Each weekend, we went on excursions to various sites in order to have an in-person experience of the topics we were learning about in class. Whether we were exploring prehistoric cave art, getting a private tour of the famous Prado Museum, gorging ourselves on traditional Basque cuisine, or even just playing volleyball on the beach after class, this immersive program elevated my language skills and enriched my cultural understanding.
FallHanover, NHFavorite Class: Indigenous Environmental Studies
This class is cross-listed between the Environmental Studies and Native American Studies departments. Through carefully selected readings, classroom conversations, and hearing from guest speakers, we explored environmental issues through the lens of indigenous studies. For our final project, my group created a mini documentary exploring indigeneity at Dartmouth. We interviewed indigenous students and faculty, who shared their reflections on the community they've found here and their vision for what the Native American Studies Department and Native American Program can look like in the future.
WinterSpringfield, MAFavorite Class: Internship at Eversource Energy
For my off-term, I interned at Eversource Energy, New England’s largest energy provider. I worked in the Distributed Generation team and helped to implement a new solar incentive program in Massachusetts. This internship not only gave me valuable experience working in an office setting, but also cemented my interest in pursuing a career in energy.
SpringHanover, NHFavorite Class: Introduction to UX/UI Design I
I came into this class with no digital design experience, but through hands-on projects and patient guidance from our instructors, I gained an understanding of the history, principles, tools, and practice of User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX) Design. We took a field trip to Boston to visit three design firms, put together our own unique toolkit of resources, and learned how to work through the design process in order to deliver a tangible product to a client. After this class and the subsequent independent study in the Digital Applied Learning and Innovation (DALI) Lab, I now have an entire portfolio of designs and am working with other Dartmouth students to develop our own app!
SummerHanover, NHFavorite Class: Tango Argentino. Music, Dance, Poetry, Community
This class was an immersive experience in the history and cultural value of tango. We learned to dance tango through in-class workshops and evening sessions with community members, hosted by the Dartmouth Argentine Tango Society (DATS). We also danced with patients at DHMC with motor neuron degenerative diseases, for whom tango can be a helpful therapy. Our professor brought in a variety of talented guests, from the Latin Grammy winning ensemble, "Pedro Giraudo Tango Quartet", to professional dancers who have competed at international tango competitions. Overall, I gained a deep appreciation of the origins and legacy of tango music, lyrics, and dance, and the sense community tango is able to create on every scale.
FallSouth Africa and NamibiaFavorite Class: Environmental Studies Foreign Study Program
Study abroad round 2! This program gave us hand-on experience doing field research in collaboration with community partners. Our overarching focus was the interaction between humans and the surrounding ecology–exploring natural resource management, ecotourism, and human-wildlife conflict in a variety of contexts. From the dunes of the Namib Desert, to game reserves in South Africa, we worked closely with inspiring local experts, saw stunning landscapes, and were immersed in an academic and personal growth experience.
WinterAuckland, New ZealandFavorite Class: Research Assistantship at the University of Auckland
For my off-term, I worked with a professor at the University of Auckland on her research on the intersection between gender, violence, and religion. Although I had minimal prior exposure to these disciplines, this experience helped me to further hone my research skills and broaden my academic perspective. In my spare time, I tried to see as much of the country as possible. I sailed around the Bay of Islands, hiked the Tongariro Alpine Crossing (inspiration for Mt. Doom in Lord of the Rings!), and swam in natural hot springs in Taupo. None of that would have been possible without the generous support of The Dickey Center for International Understanding. Like many centers on campus, they offer guidance and funding for students pursuing off-term internships.
SpringZoom!Favorite Class: Todo Borges
With this class, I finished my Spanish minor! We delved deeply into poetry, short stories, and other writings by the Argentine author, Jorge Luis Borges. Guided by these texts, we had riveting conversations about the nature of time, memory, subjective realities, and much more. Our professor worked diligently to create a collaborative classroom environment that was as comparable as possible to in-person classes. At the beginning of some classes, students would recite a poem they had memorized, lead us in meditation, and one student even taught us a Bollywood dance routine with her mom! Our last class was a “Zoom party” where we introduced each other to our families and our pets. Overall, I was amazed at both the quality of the learning experience and how bonded I felt with my fellow classmates.
SummerZoom Round 2!Favorite Class: Senior Admissions Fellow
This summer, I have begun my role as a Senior Admissions Fellow in the Admissions Office. Although I'm disappointed that we cannot work together in-person, transitioning to a remote format presented us with an exciting opportunity to get creative with our programming and expand our reach. I am working on a variety of projects and this blog is one of them!
Life in Lockdown: 5 Little Lessons
These past months of navigating uncertainty have no doubt been challenging, but I've been thinking about some lessons that I want to share with you.
- No. 1
Different doesn't have to mean worse.
There are myriad ways to find happiness, even in adverse situations. A Spanish class I took in the spring exemplifies this lesson. Although very few would prefer a Zoom class over an in-person experience, our professor found ways to make the class personable and engaging. At the beginning of most classes, a student would lead us in a meditation, or recite a poem, and in one case, a classmate even taught us a Bollywood dance routine with her mom! Our last class was a "Zoom party" where we introduced our families and our pets and celebrated a term's-worth of hard work. Given the remote format, we could have easily become disillusioned by the circumstances and disengaged from the course. Instead, we were encouraged to find joy in unexpected ways, connect with each other on a personal level, and ultimately create a memorable experience.
- No. 2
Stay connected through whatever means necessary!
After not being on campus for a full year, I found myself feeling a little disconnected from the Dartmouth community. However, over the course of the spring and summer, I have been pleasantly surprised by the effort put in by organizations across campus to continue their programming. One example is the Dartmouth Student Union, which hosts weekly “Internet Commons” to explore themes like respectability politics, the redistribution of resources, and other topics relating to the fight against racial and economic inequalities. It’s been exciting to see ’24s participating in, and even leading, these calls before they’ve stepped foot on campus! My sorority also meets weekly to discuss ways to be actively engaged in anti-racist work, reflect on the problematic history of our house–and the Greek system more broadly–and strive to foster a more diverse and inclusive space. Seeing the faces of fellow students in little boxes on a screen cannot compare to real-life interaction, but I’ve appreciated the opportunity to voice my own thoughts and see that my peers are grappling with similar challenges as well. Logging into a Zoom call may seem impersonal, but it’s a nice reminder that we all want to stay connected to the Dartmouth community, even while remote.
- No. 3
Self-care isn’t selfish.
If your physical and mental health isn’t a priority, you will not be able to dedicate yourself as fully nor as effectively to the pursuits that matter to you. I have certainly struggled to navigate the balance between “taking advantage of this time” and taking care of my own wellbeing. Blame it on my dad’s brochure or my tendency toward overcommitment, but at the beginning of the lockdown, I had these grandiose ideas about all the new skills I had to develop–learning French, or how to code in Python, or becoming an Excel whiz. The reality has been much less glamorous, but no less valuable...my days have been filled with working remote jobs, grocery shopping, hiking with friends, watching Netflix, and spending time with family. Of course, we should strive for self-improvement and not become complacent, but oftentimes we put so much pressure on ourselves to ‘achieve’, that we miss out on enjoying (and being proud of) where we find ourselves.
My Dartmouth: Global Opportunities and a Lifelong Family
Hello! I'm Julia, one of the Senior Admissions Fellows this year. Read on to learn how I ended up at Dartmouth and get a glimpse of what my time has looked like since.