lone pine
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Views from Killington

My term started as a huge transition. The entire past year had built up to me moving 3,600 miles away to a small town in New Hampshire that I'd never visited before, and it was scary in an exciting way! I remember getting off the second plane of the day, having already met Dartmouth people at Heathrow and at Boston Logan Airport, and the realisation hitting me that I was IN THE US. The second I overheard someone mention Dartmouth I asked them if they were also going, and we instantly clicked into conversation - I'm still friends with the first person I met now! Upon reaching campus I got my COVID test, dropped my bags off in my (at this point) empty two room double, and went to begin International Pre-Orientation.

BOSTON
I met fellow Dartmouth people straight off the plane!

My orientation began a week before domestic students', which was really nice and interesting because not only did it give us a chance to sort out all of the extra considerations we needed to take as internationals such as a US bank account and phone number, but we also got the rare experience of a campus with only around 200 people on it. I felt as if I knew EVERYONE, and I won't lie, the bonds I made on that single week are still some of the strongest I have on campus. The international community here is tight, and it's a privilege to be a part of it.

It wasn't long from here, then, that the domestic students began to arrive on move-in day. Many came with their parents and campus was bustling with life and energy as they brought all of their things and decorated their rooms before setting out to explore campus. Here I got to meet the main body of campus and found countless more communities to be a part of, the students here in general are super welcoming, and honestly being an international student (big up the UK) totally acts in our favour. Everyone wants to hear the accent and know where you're from and why you wanted to come here, and it's such an easy way to meet people! It also is an ally in the sense that our accent allows us to find other members of our home country's communities which is always exciting.

After this? FIRST YEAR TRIPS - WOOOP! I have an entire blog on this which you should totally check out, but trips was such a great chance to really throw yourself into whatever Dartmouth is about for you. For me? That meant getting into hiking and meeting new people with that common interest! I still love randomly bumping into my 'trippees' to this day, and it is one of the best experiences I've had on campus.

Awesome people
I went with these two awesome people on a trip to NYC, cutting through Boston!

Classes this fall have been an adjustment also, as the content and format at college is so different to at high school (or sixth form for my UK readers). First of all the amazing level of choice that the Liberal Arts system meant I had HUGE decisions to make when I was choosing classes, and adjusting to more of a lecture format was definitely a challenge. The first and second weeks hit me like a pile of bricks, but honestly this is a fairly common experience with college from what I can get from my conversations with others elsewhere and at Dartmouth and I promise, it gets better. By this point I've sat 3 graded exams and submitted a lot of homework, but I really feel like the value of effort here is crazy. If you work for it the classes are definitely manageable, it just takes a time commitment so that you get it all done and still have time to socialise! Of course, you also have to take some time for yourself so you don't crash (TAKE MENTAL HEALTH DAYS).

I've also then done a tonne of other stuff throughout this term. One big thing has been hikes: Liberty and Flume, Franconia Falls, Mt Killington, and of course the fifty which you can read about in my post from a couple weeks ago. I also went to NYC for a concert in Queen's (the band was called the neighbourhood if anyone wanted to know), completed the Lou's challenge with my floormates, and been getting involved in Friday Night Rock, Cabin and Trail, and Timber Team on campus! I even went to a six course formal overnight dinner and dance at Mousilauke ravine lodge last weekend!

NYC
I loved NYC so much!

Overall, this term has been everything I could have hoped for and much much more. The great thing about Dartmouth is that it is simultaneously the busiest and most chill campus on earth, it really comes down to how you want to experience your time here at any particular moment! You can spend a weekend hiking and doing other activities, or you can easily chill on the green with some friends or watch a movie at the Hop. There's no pressure to do loads of stuff, but also the stuff is there to be taken advantage of when you are ready to. I'm incredibly excited now for next term for all the new opportunities it'll grant me, and I'll be sad to leave my new home.

Berry Hall
The first picture I took of my building!

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