Photo Diary: First Half of Junior Spring
They say that a picture holds a thousand words, so how is five? Take a look at the first half of my junior spring through my camera's eyes.
- No. 1
Senior Year Housing!
In the first half of junior spring, all '23s went through the housing process for the 2022 - 2023 school year. Seniors are allowed some of the widest range of choices in terms of housing—you can live in regular dorms, LLCs, senior apartments, off-campus, Greek housing, etc. Seniors also get the highest priority numbers out of the entire school (1 - 1600), which means they get first dibs on room selection when the time comes.
I've wanted to live in a senior apartment for some time now. There are a number of things that drew me to this type of housing vs. getting a single in a more traditional West House dorm like Fahey. For one, I like living with friends and people I know. Coming home to a space where you can say hi to people and catch up with them is really nice to me, vs. living in a big, impersonal dorm. In fact, each term I've lived on-campus I've been able to be in a smaller residential setting. My freshman year, I lived in an LLC when they were still housed in the McLaughlin Cluster. Sophomore summer, I lived in my Greek house. Junior fall and spring, I lived in two different LLCs, both situated in actual houses on-campus!
Secondly, living in a senior apartment replicates more of the independent, "non-college" living that I'd gotten used to during COVID and have grown to prefer. The apartment I am going to be in, for example, is in a stand-alone house on a quiet street, with a full kitchen, two bathrooms, and a living room alongside the four bedrooms. The apartment space is big and private enough to really make it yours. I like these types of environments and hope to do more cooking, movie nights with friends, and general "home-y" activities next year, especially since I can stay in the same room for three terms without moving out (a luxury must students don't get after freshman year at Dartmouth due to the D-plan)!
- No. 2
Living in the Chinese Language House
Speaking of dorms and LLCs, I've also greatly enjoyed my living situation this term despite my excitement for senior apartments next year!
The Chinese Language House is one of the smaller ones on-campus, with only around 8 residents this term. There are a lot of places to relax, such as the kitchen, living room, or mudroom-turned-study space. People in the dorm are also very friendly and host events such as joint birthday parties and other garden parties.
If you're ever wondering about a way to make community in the chaotic world that is Dartmouth, I highly recommend trying out an LLC. There is something really special about surrounding yourself with people who share similar interests or values as you, especially when you are trying to branch out and grow in all the other parts of your life.
- No. 3
Doing Biochemistry Lab
I am taking biochemistry this term through the Chemistry department rather than the Biology department, which means that we still have weekly, four-hour labs.
Thankfully, the amount of time varies for each week and we also get some time during lab to eat and do other work while experiments are running. I've liked being able to apply both my biologial and chemical knowledge in a "research" setting, since I didn't get to do a lot of labs due to COVID. The work is a mix of chemistry and biological lab skills, although the first half has been mostly biology bench work (such as cloning, running gels, doing PCRs, etc.).
The lab is set up so that everyone does the same thing each week and whatever is still viable at the end of the term, we use for the final experiment. While my lab partner and I have had some mishaps, we've also had some fun successes, which has been very gratifying!
- No. 4
Seeing the New Engineering and Computer Science Building
Some part of campus always seems to be under-construction at Dartmouth, but it usually takes a long time for students to see the final result.
The new Engineering and Computer Science Center recently opened and I went to check it out since I'd heard so many great things about it. It is one of the largest academic buildings on-campus now, and has tons of places to study and take calls—an increasing necessity in a world post-COVID. The Irving Institute also has one of Dartmouth's newest cafe's, the Fern. The majority of classes now also take place in this building instead of the old Computer Science building, Sudikoff.
I think it will become a very popular place for CS and Thayer students in the future, as well as freshmen and seniors who live in the River near West Campus. I might even make the trek myself!
- No. 5
Conferences and Seeing Civilization!
This past weekend, I was able to leave the Upper Valley and attend a conference with other Dartmouth and Ivy League students. While I enjoy going to school in a rural area because I think it fosters a greater sense of community, creativity, and personal growth for undergraduates, I would be lying if I said that I didn't sometimes want to leave the "Dartmouth bubble" and experience some other types of civilization.
The conference was in Connecticut, which meant that we had a nice, scenic drive where I mostly tried to work on my sleep deficit from the week before. Upon getting there, we spent the weekend meeting new people, going to sessions, and having some delightful food.
Before driving back on Sunday, we stopped by a Shake Shack for lunch. Upon getting the beautiful to-go box, everyone whipped out their phones and took pictures. One of our mentors from the conference, a graduate from a different college who now lives in New York City, commented at how excited we were for fast food. I guess distance really does make the heart grow fonder!