The Dartmouth Difference
When I was a senior in high school, the college application process seemed daunting. The common piece of advice I heard was to apply to schools that are a good fit. But what does that even mean? A school had to meet three criteria for me to consider it a "good fit": academics, location, and community. After researching about Dartmouth and visiting the campus, I realized that this school was not a good fit for me-- it was a perfect fit (*cue the groan for how cheesy that was*). But it's really true! Dartmouth's unique blend of top tier academics, scenery, and community made it my top choice.
There is no doubt that there are a countless number of colleges and universities that have excellent academics. However, Dartmouth stood out the most to me because of its focus on undergraduates. Many of the classes I have taken so far have had less than 20 students in them, which has allowed me to participate meaningfully in discussions and get to know my classmates and professors on a deeper level. Outside of the classroom, there are plenty of opportunities for undergrads to conduct research with professors and continue to explore their academic interests. In addition, Dartmouth's emphasis on a broad-based liberal arts education ensures that students are well-rounded and ready to take on the world once they graduate.
Having grown up in a suburb in Texas, I was excited at the prospect of changing my scenery once I got to college. Rural New Hampshire definitely checked that box. Since coming to Dartmouth, I have been able to appreciate the beauty of nature in a way that I never really did in high school. From the Dartmouth Skiway to Occom pond and Gile Mountain, there are so many avenues for Dartmouth students to see truly amazing sights. Also, the campus itself is beautiful. During my freshman fall, I loved nothing more than just to admire the brilliant orange foliage as I walked from class to class. It is hard not to be in awe of how picturesque the campus truly is.
It isn't easy to assess the vibe of a college's student body as a high schooler. However, Dartmouth really stood out to me because it made a serious effort to ensure that everyone felt like they were a part of the community. Traditions like First-Year Trips and Winter Carnival are facilitated by the College and create a sense of camaraderie between all students. I also really liked that Dartmouth goes the extra mile to ensure that alumni continue to be active in the community. For example, many alumni flock back to campus during Homecoming weekend to reunite with their classmates and enjoy the famous bonfire. My time at Dartmouth has only affirmed what I thought was true as a senior applying here. The Dartmouth community is tight-knit, and I have met so many amazing people!
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