A typically beautiful evening glow over the Green
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A photo of a student getting ready to take a pool shot. He is holding a cue and leaning over the table.

If you're anything like me, you love going on little adventures and getting to know the space you're living in better. At the end of last term, I did just that, and ended up stumbling across a space in the basement of Collis Center for Student Involvement that I've grown extremely fond of: 8-Ball Hall!

This room is home to a few fun activities for students, including a Skee-Ball machine, a foosball table, a giant version of Connect 4, and three pool tables. As last term drew to a close and studying for finals ramped up, it was the perfect place to let off some steam with my friends! The atmosphere in 8-Ball Hall is laid-back, with a sound system that students can connect to and a constant buzz of laughter and chatter. A few tables line the edges of the room, and there's a sort of "living room" corner with a TV and couches too. I had never played pool before, but my friend was a patient teacher and caught me up on all of the rules. My performance was awful—I think I only hit one ball in the pocket the entire time. But as I've mentioned before, I love trying new things, even if I'm bad at them. My philosophy is that stepping outside of your comfort zone is important for letting yourself grow, especially during this period of my life. 

I ended up going back to 8-Ball Hall the very next day with a different friend, and we had a fun time too! We made a sort of competition out of the games in the room, keeping track of who won each and totaling up all of our points at the end of the night. Since then, we've repeated this a few times, and it's been a great new way to hang out. 

During my time at Dartmouth so far, I've tried to take advantage of every resource available to me and make the most of my time here. One of my classmates recently pointed out that we're nearly done with our freshman year, which made me want to make every moment count. I learned a lot about myself and what I want the rest of my college experience to look like last term, a topic that I keep exploring every day. As I begin to take more courses in preparation for declaring my major, step into leadership positions in my favorite clubs, and get closer to a few of my friends, I am more confident every day that I made that choosing Dartmouth was the right decision for me. 

It's truly the little things that make this place so special—late nights spent learning how to play pool in an often-forgotten corner of campus while listening to Noah Kahan blast over the speakers. I can't wait to go on more mini adventures this term (and get back outside), and I'll be sure to blog about them as they come along!

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