Fall First Year Traditions
I want to cover some events that are focused on first-year students in the undergraduate experience at Dartmouth. I will cover them in the order that they occur. Matriculation happens in the morning at the end of orientation and is essentially a way to confirm you will abide by college policies and formalize your enrollment in the new first-year class. But beyond what the ceremony symbolizes, it is an opportunity to get dressed up and see the President in a small group and then go to your residential house professor's house afterward. Check out this video about it with South House Professor Sienna Craig (1.5 minutes!)
Recognize this picture?! From my LLC post... my floor went to matriculation together.
The Twilight Ceremony generally happens the night of Matriculation, but because of rain it was moved to the following night after the first day of classes. The President and Vice President of the student body spoke along with a couple of first-year students. Then some upperclassmen presented lit the candles, and everyone spread the flame. All of us held candles with paper that guarded our hands from the melting wax (I am happy to say that I helped prepare them for my class at the Tucker Center!). The night of our ceremony was a little bit windy, so on the walk to the Bema (an outdoor space in the woods on campus not far from the Green) the flames blew out and we rejuvenated them upon arriving at Bema. It was a ceremony that made me feel more at home at Dartmouth than any other tradition yet. It was rather simplistic but had a great message and the Rockapellas (an acapella group) sang the Alma Mater.
Homecoming followed a couple of weeks later. I was able to take on two hour-long shifts selling bonfire shirts for my class (it is also an option to volunteer to build the bonfire if you are prompt with the sign-up forms). In addition, the Dickey Center hosted an alumni reception (mainly focused on the class of '57 that has been a key part of the program) over homecoming week that I was able to attend as a part of the Great Issues Scholars program.
Overall, there are many traditions in the fall that first-year students can enjoy!
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