Why Dartmouth? With a max word count of 100 and asked in a much more convoluted Daniel Webster related fashion, my cursor blinked mockingly at me. At the time I saw this question as a challenge, a hurdle poised to test my true knowledge and attachment to the idea of attending Dartmouth College; 'how many aspects of Dartmouth can I possibly fit into 100 words?' I already knew I desperately wanted to attend Dartmouth, and I knew why - I wanted the small tight-knit community, the beautiful campus, the amazing study-abroad options, and most importantly, the vibe that campus radiated to me. Alas, the words to fill that box evaded me.
I think if I was to answer that question now, I'd want to write about a lot of things. I'd write about how this place is basically one big family in the woods (and we love it), about how we go swim in the river in the summer, hike 53.5 miles without sleep, throw axes and chop wood, learn convoluted traditional Dartmouth dances, watch a silent film in a ski lodge, build a huge bonfire and run around it, wear fancy clothes and carry candles deep into the woods towards choral singing; I'd write about how even if the food isn't as good one day, we still go to enjoy dinner together; how classes are extremely hard, but you have full agency over your degree; about how yeah, sometimes being hours away from a major city feels isolated, but actually it makes our community the strongest there is. At Dartmouth, we advertise a profound sense of place, the unrivaled opportunities you get, the chances to study abroad, but for me the true value here lies far deeper in the soul of our college: our personality.
We truly are a college of people, and every day when I walk outside to go to Foco (The Class of '53 Commons dining hall) or to class, I see a sea of familiar faces and fend off 'hi's and 'hey wassup's' from all angles. When I was sick in the third or so week, my floormates and friends from other dorms lined up to deliver me medication and even meals from Foco. I feel here as if I found home. A home with a plethora of opportunities to intern, study abroad, go hike and chop wood, and learn from some of the world's most distinguished faculty.
To any high school students considering Dartmouth, I hope you read this and it gives you an insight to how life is here. To any students that have decided already to apply and were hoping this blog post (due to the name) would help them with their 'Why Dartmouth' essay? You are sadly mistaken because as you can see I VERY much cannot condense my thoughts into 100 words (c'mon, we weren't going to make it THAT easy for you)!
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