Rising and Reflecting
As you may notice, this is my first post—which is a bit unusual for a rising senior. Although I have worked for admissions as a tour guide and panelist since my freshman spring, I have never blogged before. This year, however, I am working as a Senior Admissions Fellow, which involves a variety of different responsibilities including blogging. Ironically enough, I had applied my freshman year to be a blogger for the admissions office and was rejected. So in some ways, it feels like my Dartmouth experience has come full circle.
Approaching my senior year at Dartmouth feels both exciting and disorienting. I am so proud of all I have been through and accomplished these past three years, but at the same time a part of me can't fathom that my time at Dartmouth will be coming to an end so soon. This chapter of my life has evolved so much differently than I imagined it would—from having spent the better half of a year completing my studies through a computer screen far away from Hanover, struggling to figure out what I wanted to study and do with my life, and most importantly, experiencing a mental health crisis that placed into perspective the importance of self-care and self-love—yet, as I settle into my senior year I am content with my Dartmouth experience and all of the ups and downs that have accompanied it. The road to obtaining this sense of peace hasn't been easy, but it has taught me important lessons that I will carry with me throughout the rest of my life.
For starters, being patient and kind to yourself isn't allowing yourself to be lazy, but allowing yourself the space to be human. What's more, extending that same grace and compassion to others is crucial to being a good leader, friend, and person. While this lesson may seem straightforward, students who have the ambition and drive to get into schools like Dartmouth often forget that they are allowed to make mistakes, fail, get sick, and even, grieve without apologizing for it. While sure, there are plenty of people who may disagree with this philosophy, your physical and mental well-being is always more important than an assignment or grade.
Additionally, find what you enjoy, and success and fulfillment will follow. I spent much of high school joining extracurricular activities and taking extra classes not always because I enjoyed them, but because I felt like I had to in order to get into Dartmouth. While one could argue that it worked given that I am now at Dartmouth writing this blog post, it came at the cost of my social life, health, and identity. I am so much happier now, studying things I enjoy, participating in organizations I genuinely enjoy, and doing work I find important and fulfilling than I ever was doing things simply to add them to my resume.
In short, Dartmouth has taught me a lot of things, but the most important lessons are those that required a lot of self-reflection, tears, and even failure, to learn. As I reflect on my time at Dartmouth, I can't help but think about the fact that I wouldn't be who I am or where I am today without the people and experiences I encountered at Dartmouth. All of this is to say that when picking a college know that you are not only picking a place to learn about the world, but also about yourself—and Dartmouth is a great place to do just that!