A seagull at the beach on the south fork of Long Island
« All Posts by this Blogger
Group of friends in front of homecoming fire

Three and a half years ago, I decided to apply to Dartmouth. At the time of my college search, no official tours were in effect (due to the pandemic), so my college search consisted of countless "virtual tours" and self-guided campus visits. My self-guided Dartmouth tour was on a dreary March day; we didn't talk to a single student or step inside a building, yet I immediately knew THIS was where I wanted to go to school. There were students on the green, playing SpikeBall despite the lingering snow. The sense of community was tangible, and students seemed genuinely happy. Naturally, I went to the Dartmouth Co-Op and bought a tee.

That Dartmouth tee led me to an interaction with an alumnus the following summer in my hometown—a moment that became the basis for my Why Dartmouth essay. I was in awe of how this seemingly small school in rural New Hampshire could have fostered such a strong community. 

I want to use this blog post to show prospective students or recently accepted '28s (and beyond!) what my Why Dartmouth would be today—hint: it is still the people.

I stand by the fact that the people make the place, even though the place itself is pretty fantastic. 

Baker tower at sunset with cherry blossom trees

In terms of academics at Dartmouth, there is a communal love for learning. Everyone I encounter has their own niche academic interest or goal, and no matter what they study, we all will be working together into the night at the library. There is very little competition within Dartmouth; courses focus on collaborative learning. Additionally, the professors love the place—almost as much as the students. Small classes allow professors to know their students beyond a name on a roster; they love their disciplines and truly care about their students. The professors are excellent—shoutout to anthropology and classical studies professors because they all rock—and some even bring their dogs to class, which is my favorite thing ever. 

Emma and my first-year floor mates all studying in the stacks of Berry Library

There is so much to do in Hanover, but honestly, some of my favorite activities include sitting in a dorm room, "rotting" on the green, or relaxing by the river and talking with friends for hours. The people are truly incredible. Finding your people may take time, yet Dartmouth fosters countless avenues to encourage meeting new people as a first year and beyond—namely, I found a strong community during my first year through my housing community and first-year dorm. First Year Trips was also a vital moment in my Dartmouth journey, as four days of canoeing in the woods of Maine fostered some long-lasting friendships and memories. 

Trips and football game

There is so much room to explore, whether you want to try a new extracurricular activity, travel abroad, explore the outdoors, meet new people, or delve into a new academic discipline. I find myself discovering more and more resources Dartmouth has to foster exploration. 

collage of photos at dartmouth

Out of those listed areas for exploration, I have found myself doing all of them. I have engaged in countless new extracurricular activities; begun research, hiked, learned how to ski, jumped in the Connecticut river, kayaked, and more; met countless amazing people; and explored various academic fields—with my favorites being anthropology, global health, and classical studies! I'm even going abroad to New Zealand next winter!

collage of photos at dartmouth

I must put a disclaimer that Dartmouth is not perfect, but I have found that the people here have this collective love for the place—this little school in rural New Hampshire. 

collage of photos at dartmouth

Although now 3+ years ago, I think the notion with the alumnus holds true: there is an incredibly strong sense of community at Dartmouth and amazing people here who love to explore.

collage of photos at dartmouth

Posts You Might Like