lone pine
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When you submitted that final admissions essay, ensured your final reference was in order, and sat down ready to go back to school for your last year, you probably thought "phew, that's the hard part over," or at least that's what I thought. I remember distinctly the feeling of relief and elation as I realised that I would never have to answer philosophical abstract questions in a tiny number of words that had such huge implications on my future! I equally remember the stress around this time of year, when regular decisions hadn't quite been released, and after a few months of calm I was again reminded of those fateful essays and applications I had submitted. Feelings of anxiety would occasionally grip me, and I just wanted to skip the coming weeks to when I would find out how my applications went. 

Right now though, I want to give everyone here, whether you are currently in this position or not, and whether you are even considering Dartmouth or not some advice: You are going to be okay, and everything is going to be okay in general. Whatever happens over the next months, you are going to embark into a new period of life and that in itself is exciting! For now though, I want you to focus on the positives, to visualise life at the places you have chosen to apply to, and honestly to begin thinking about what you love about each place—time will fly and you will want to have an idea when the results come in! 

A relaxing image of a beautiful tree!

I've spoken extensively about my amazing experiences here at Dartmouth and everything it has to offer in my other blogs, but for this one I want to really focus on the emotions I felt and what I was considering when I looked at where I would like to spend the next four years. 

First of all, I wanted to think about my personal tastes in communities and the level of socialisation I wanted to have. Did I want to go to a place that swung farther towards academics, or did I want a focus really to be on extracurriculars and hanging out with friends?

Another relaxing photo... I swear this building looks awesome in winter!

Next, a big thing was if I could visualise myself on campus. Dartmouth specifically fit my vibe since it was scenic and remote (meaning the community is super tight), and yet had so many resources on campus I would never be bored! In general though, geography is a huge consideration. Do you want an urban environment? A suburban environment? Or would you prefer a rural, more remote setting? 

This links with another important question, what are your interests? By this I don't mean 'what do you do right now?' But more 'what do you see yourself doing in the future?' Dartmouth, for example, has a tonne of outdoor activities, but also indoor activities run by Collis Center for Student Involvement including trivias, pool/snooker, and themed dinners and parties!

Snowboarding has become a huge passion of mine... and those views!

Finally, go with your gut. It might be confused right now and overwhelmed with choice, but trust what it says—it's usually right! I found my perfect place in Hanover, NH; it has everything I could ever want, a community of amazing people, and honestly I couldn't be happier! In a year or two, I'm sure you will all feel the same, and by considering all of the things above, you make that a much more likely future! Good luck.

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