The Last Few Days of Summer: Trips, Orientation, Canoeing
Can you believe that the summer passed so quickly? During the term, I am always so busy and caught up in the moment that I don't realize how fast time was passing. Before I knew it, I had finished all my exams and had a couple days' break before leading Trips for the 25s!
This was my first time leading a trip since going on my own trip during freshman year. I had applied to be a trip leader (TL) for the '24s as well, but things got disrupted due to COVID. I knew that I wanted to be a TL for new students because Trips is often one's first introduction to Dartmouth and Dartmouth culture. The whole experience can be fun, exhilarating, and extremely gratifying. On the other hand, it can also be overwhelming, tiring, and worrisome. I definitely remember feeling a combination of both types of emotions my freshman year; I wanted to be a TL to help make this first experience as good of an experience as possible for the '25s and minimize any potential feelings of chaos or concern.
While the Trips experience was slightly different and delayed due to certain COVID measures, I will say that the entire event was very fun. My co-leader was a '24 and brought a sense of novelty to our time together as well since they were also experiencing it for the first time. I happened to be leading the exact same trip that I went on as a freshman, and I loved getting to go down memory lane and see the cabin again and visit Moosilauke. My triplings got along very well and were all wonderful people; even during our short three days together, I could see them grow and become more confident, comfortable, and empathetic to their fellow trippees' needs.
After Trips ended, I had work as an orientation leader! These two jobs are not connected, but I had applied to both earlier in the year not knowing what would happen and gotten accepted. Unable to choose between the two, I ended up doing both! During the week, I helped coordinate events for the '25s, whether it be passing out pamphlets and directing people during their First Meeting of the Class, running karaoke night, or helping to light people's candles during their Twilight Ceremony. I had a lot of fun doing these tasks around campus and was so happy to see the '25s get a normal college experience after everything that COVID did last year.
After orientation ended on Sunday, school started the very next day on Monday. Truth be told, while I loved running events for the '25s and working with my co during Trips, I really missed seeing my own friends and other upperclassmen so I was excited when everyone came back. That Saturday of week 1 before Ledyard closed for the season, one of my friends and I went canoeing on the Connecticut River. We talked for hours and did a brief meditation session in one of the canals, which was unexpected but so fun. I was never an outdoorsy person prior to college since my parents weren't either, but I had always wanted to spend more time being active and Dartmouth is certainly one of the best places to do that during college.
So that concludes my very quick wrap-up of my last few days of summer! I spent it meeting new people, catching up with old friends, and helping "initiate" the '25s into campus life, which I greatly enjoyed. Now I am on to my fifth term in a row taking classes (wow!), which will bring new stories and things to share. I also hope your summer went well and that you will come back soon to hear about what else I experience this term!