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Laptops on a table filled with pencil boxes, headphones, and other stationery.

Like most students coming to a college like Dartmouth, which boasts of such a rich history of academic scholarship, I was terrified going into my first week of classes. Would my Indian education brain serve me well? Would I understand concepts in each of my classes? Would I be able to keep up with my professors? Would I even be interested in what was being taught? Walking into my first day, all these thoughts swirled around in my brain like a tornado.

And as classes began, each of those questions automatically answered themselves. Dartmouth runs on a quarter-system, meaning that we condense a syllabus of a usual semester (16 weeks) into 10 week quarters; this means that things move at a rapid and cohesive pace—while some semester schools have 'Syllabus Weeks', where they go over the class syllabus, Dartmouth has 'Syllabus 5 Minutes'. Need I say more?

The classes I have taken this quarter are Introduction to Psychology (PSYC001), New Latin American Cinema (FILM 42.03), and Writing 5: Food For Thought (WRIT005). Let's talk about each of them individually.

New Latin American Cinema (FILM 42.03): My Latin American Cinema class has quickly grown to become a favorite. It's a relatively big class (by Dartmouth standards), with around 45 students enrolled. In FILM 42.03, we trace the rise of cinema across Latin America, and how politics in the area influenced the art that was being produced. My favorite part about the class is how intersectional it is—while dissecting films, we also dive into economic systems, political relations, as well as social hierarchies to gain a deeper understanding of the art we're trying to analyse. The readings are long, but definitely worth it, because they're super interesting! I also love the exposure I've gotten to a completely different side of the world, and it's all thanks to this class!

Introduction To Psychology (PSYC001): Introduction to Psychology is one of Dartmouth's largest classes, with about a 150 students. Due to the vast course material, it's taught by two professors, each of whom specialise in completely different fields, allowing us to get a holistic view of the subject. The classes have honestly been great, so far! I've been super engaged by the lectures, while not feeling overburdened by them. As someone who came in with little knowledge about psychology, I feel like the course material and pace is just enough for everyone to get up to speed quickly. We learn about everything, ranging from brain structures, to sensory perception, to research methodologies. Though it may seem intimidating at first, I strongly recommend everyone take this class—it's a hoot! Given my experience with this class, I definitely will be taking another psychology class next term!

Writing 5: Food For Thought (WRIT005): My Writing 5 class is based on food writing. Initially, I thought that the class would have to do with critiquing food but it's about so much more than that! We dissect food systems, methods of production, the unsustainable practices of the food industry, diet cultures, the unhealthy relationships society has developed with food, and so much more! There are only 16 students in my class, and from what I hear, it's a favorite among all Dartmouth undergraduates! The writings are fun and engaging; I honestly love this class, and feel like it's one of Dartmouth's hidden gems.

My classes have excited me and dissipated any notions of insecurity I had coming into Dartmouth. All these courses are vastly different, but they share one thing in common: each of them sparks curiosity, creativity, and the desire to question in me.

What more can I ask for?

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