Getting Settled into Life at Dartmouth - Advice for First Years!
- No. 1
Getting involved in extracurricular organizations is a great way to make connections with people across campus. There’s clubs for nearly every possible interest out there and if one that you’re looking for doesn’t exist, you can easily create your own! Continue with older interests, explore new ones, BUT don’t think you need to join a bunch of random clubs to fluff up your resume. In reality, engaged, sustained involvement with a group you’re passionate about–whether it’s singing, farming, or real estate–will be much more rewarding in the long term.
- No. 2
Get a breather!
Even if it doesn't seem productive, sometimes you just need to take a breather. During finals week one term, a professor told my class: “The less you think you can afford a break, the more you need one.” Take a walk around Occom Pond, get a socially distant lunch on the Green, or call up a friend from home. Also, take time to reflect and journal...I’d highly recommend 'One Line a Day' which is a five year journal where there’s only enough room to write a few lines. You could summarize your day, write something you’re grateful for, or jot down a new fact you learned–it’s totally up to you! I started mine in January of my first year at Dartmouth and have been writing in it every single day since then. It’s great to be able to look back and see the ways in which life has shifted over the course of college.
- No. 3
Use a physical or online calendar to keep track of class times, upcoming assignments, club meetings, and other items on your agenda. I’ve found it helpful to have everything in one place and visualize what my schedule looks like in the coming week. If you’re especially organized, you could even include things like exercise or time with friends, to ensure that you’re building time for those things into your day.
- No. 4
Get some guidance!
Reach out to your OPLs, UGAs, and even upperclassmen you might cross paths with in class. Shoot them a quick text or blitz and I guarantee they will be eager to share their experiences with you! Whether it’s advice about must-have professors, funding for internships, or life in general, I’ve found that guidance from older students has been essential in shaping my Dartmouth experience.