What Are You Most Excited About In College?
Week TEN, here we go!
Did you know that terms at Dartmouth are only ten weeks long? Crazy short, right? It's time for some reflections.
My first term at Dartmouth wasn't really about academics. I remember these questionnaires in high school that were supposed to help you decide what type of a college you wanted. There was this question: "What are you most excited about in college?" And the options were: a) the academics; b) the social life, c) the independence … And I actually don't remember the other options, but I remember that I always answered this question with academics. That's what college was all about, I thought. Learning. Doing research. Reading and working… And that's what I was genuinely excited about when answering this question back then.
Yet my first term at Dartmouth wasn't about academics. This isn't to say that I'm not doing well in my classes. I am. It's just that coursework mostly felt like something I just wanted to get done with and get out of the way, so I could do other things. My first term at Dartmouth was about experiencing Dartmouth. It was about finding that community of "outdoors-y people" I had dreamed of in high school–birdwatchers, hikers, climbers. It was about making new friends, dancing Sirtaki in the middle of a parking lot, listening to Of Monster and Men in the climbing gym, and playing the piano at half past midnight at One Wheelock.
Now I'm falling back into my old scholarly mindset—I'm enjoying my coursework more, and I'm finally liking my classes–maybe you've noticed that I haven't talked about my courses up to now. That's because I felt a bit disappointed in the beginning.
When you hear the upperclassmen at Dartmouth talk about their courses, they always sound so inspired, so happy, so devoted to what they're doing and their research. And I… I didn't feel any such love or excitement for the things I was doing for my classes. Had I not picked the right classes? Should have I taken some other classes this term? These questions plagued me for a good part of this term, but my classes and I finally warmed up toward each other. I love the works I had to read for my Humanities class, and I even love writing essays about them-you'd think that as a writer, I enjoyed highschool lit classes and writing academic essays. So far from the truth. I hated it, but college writing is actually fun. I guess it's the freedom we now have... And I've come to love tinkering and playing around with my code until the simulation of the solar system we had to do for my computer science class finally works...
Hopefully next term I'll have more to tell you about my academic life, but next term is for next term. Now I'm just going to go back and look at some photos from this unforgettable first term. Time to be nostalgic :)
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