A typically beautiful evening glow over the Green
« All Posts by this Blogger
A photo of Dartmouth Hall during sunset. The building is light yellow with the glow from the sun, and barren trees surround the sidewalk in front of it.

As we approach the midpoint of winterim, I wanted to take some time to reflect on my first term at Dartmouth. This fall, I took two courses: Latin 1 and Writing 5. Although this may seem like a light course load, students at Dartmouth typically take three classes per term due to the fast-paced nature of our ten-week terms. In fact, first-year students are only allowed to take three classes during the fall quarter. Here's more information on my fall term courses:

Latin 1At Dartmouth, each student must complete a language requirement to graduate. This requirement can be completed in many different ways, including choosing a new foreign language to study for three terms. That's the route I chose to pursue, because I've always been interested in classical languages. I was extremely hesitant to take this course, but I'm beyond happy with my decision. I loved the way this class was structured, with a focus on small-group work. This allowed for more individualized attention and enhanced learning. Additionally, as I discussed in a previous blog post, my professor and Learning Fellows made sure to engage each student and help them with their studies. 

Writing 5 (Deus et Machina: Sports, Science and Ethics)Another requirement at Dartmouth is a sequence of first-year writing courses. Most students fulfill this requirement by taking "Writing 5" followed by a First-Year Seminar. Writing 5 courses introduce students to writing, reading, and critical thinking at the collegiate level. These courses are discussion-based and limited to 16 students. I chose to elect "Deus et Machina," a Writing 5 focused on exploring the intersection of sport, technology, and ethics. My favorite aspect of this course was the discussions I had with my classmates. It was fascinating to debate topics such as "fairness" in sports with people from a variety of backgrounds.

A photo of me, Lauren, along with my fellow Writing 5 students.
My Writing 5 Classmates and I!

In addition to coursework, I kept myself busy by engaging in extracurricular activities. This fall, I joined the Dartmouth Political Union and Dartmouth Democrats, went on many Dartmouth Outing Club trips, started writing for the sports section of The Dartmouth, and updated my People, Places, Pines blog every week!

One important lesson that I learned during the fall term is that you can try new things, and find out they're not for you! I discovered that math simply isn't my passion, and that I don't have time for every club I'm interested in, and that's okay. In college, it's important to find out what you consider most important and prioritize those things. 

Something that I am glad that I prioritized was spending time making friends and developing my relationships with my peers. Having a great support system is important, especially after moving halfway across the country to live on my own for the first time. As I look back on the fall term, I'm happy that I focused on meeting new people. I found that Dartmouth is full of kind, intelligent, and funny students who all offer a unique perspective on life.

My freshman fall was better than I could have imagined, and I'm looking forward to experiencing my first winter term in just a few short weeks!

Posts You Might Like