Before coming to Dartmouth, one of the best pieces of advice I had received from current Dartmouth students is to register for First-Year Trips! For those of you who do not know what trips are, it is a five-day excursion the Dartmouth Outing Club (DOC) sponsors that includes a laundry list of activities to choose from such as mountain biking (which I chose), hiking, sailing, and much more! It is a pre-orientation event that I believe is amazing as it is your introduction to not only the college, but to your future peers and friends. For example, if it weren’t for trips, I would not have met the great friends I have today. The tight connection you build with your group of other fellow trip-goers (i.e. trippees) will always be there

My fellow trippees and I!
between you all. For example, my fellow trippees and I are all still in close contact and we aim to at least have a “trips reunion” once a term.

Initially, I was reluctant to register for trips just because I have little experience with the outdoors, but the DOC does a great job of making trips comfortable for anyone at any level of skill. For this reason, I decided to choose mountain biking despite having no experience whatsoever! With the introductory sessions to mountain biking and its technique, I became more comfortable each time I went for a ride. By the end of trips, I actually decided to pursue my newly-sparked interest of mountain biking and I try to ride at least once a week.

The iconic DOC sign!

Overall, my trips experience was amazing. From playing jelly bean games, sharing our most embarrassing life experiences, and whipping up watery mac and cheese as the sun set, I really enjoyed my trip and I would do it all over again if I had the chance. Trips was a great introduction to Dartmouth and it set the foundation for the following orientation events. Because of the connections I built with my peers during trips, I was able to go into the school year with confidence knowing I have friends to chat and have fun with.

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