The always stunning view from Mt Cardigan - pictured are Mts. Moose, Holt's Ledge, Winslow Ledge, and Smarts
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Panorama of NH mountains with mount Moosilauke looming in the background.

To give a brief overview of Dartmouth's academic system, students need 35 credits to graduate, usually take 3 courses per term, and typically take three terms a year. The unique quarter system we have also has its own name: the "D-Plan" (which provides flexibility for when you'd like to be on and off campus, this post provides a more nuanced description of the system!). 

Now, to graduate, one must fulfill a diverse set of class requirements in addition to their major(s). Namely, a language requirement, a first-year writing requirement, a first-year seminar requirement, and various requirements we call "distribs" (distributive acronyms can be initially confusing: ART, LIT, TMW, INT, SOC, QDS, SCI, etc.). However, if this seems like a lot, but don't worry! This system is meant to help you explore the liberal arts curriculum, and the vast majority of students love it! 

BIOL 16: Ecology 

I'm taking yet another lab course this term—this time it is ecology in the biology department, which will be my third course in the natural sciences at Dartmouth (first cellular biology, earth science, and now ecology). My reasoning for taking this course was to explore the "ecology scene" on-campus and see if it's something I'd like to continue pursuing, as I did a lot of ecology-related coursework and extracurriculars in high school. While not completely outside of my comfort zone, it's nice to revisit a subject I'm familiar with and see it with a new light! I'd recommend doing this for any departments you're thinking about majoring in. So far, the professor has been fantastic (the one and only Professor Ayres) and the class feels like a collective exploration/investigation into the world around us. 

ENGS 21: Introduction to Engineering 

Engineering! Yes, I'm back to engineering. After completing the TuckLab Entrepreneurship Program last term (See Part 1 and Part 2), I've realized I really like innovating new ideas in a team—and when it comes down to whether or not I will pursue a career in research, I can still do so with an engineering degree! Thus, I'm back on the engineering path and here I am. 

Introduction to engineering is different from most Engs classes, however, as it teaches you how to bring an idea from concept to reality in a 10-week term. In order to accomplish this, the course contains extra weekly sessions that provide training on how to navigate the machine shop, use computer-aided-design, and create basic circuits (and more!).

ENGS 11, The Way Things Work: A Visual Introduction to Engineering

Another ENGS course? Well, yes—but it's a non-major course and fulfills the ART distributive requirement (which just so happens to be an added plus). In this class, I'm being taught by a childhood hero of mine: David Macaulay. If you've heard of the illustrated books "The Way Things Work" or "Castle," or "Cathedral," Macaulay is the author. He brings his drawing expertise to class and, together, we sketch common objects in the attempt to understand their inner workings. In his words, it's really a class about learning to "look harder and see more." So far, it's been surreal and I would recommend the course to anyone with a curiosity for the engineered world (whether you're artistically inclined or not).

COSC 1 Introduction to Programming and Computation

Lastly, I decided to hop into an introductory computer science class last minute. Since I have no prior CS experience, and it's a prerequisite for engineering, I thought now would be a great time to see what the world of computing is all about! Thus far, the class has consisted of very enthusiastic lectures from Professor Campbell (10/10) and short coding assignments (we're learning python). I couldn't believe how extensive the support system for this class was—there are a dozen TAs and office hours offered pretty much all week!

Why four courses? 

None of my classes are flipped, which means I learn most of the content in class (and is also time-saving); I'm genuinely enjoying all of them! The best part about college is loving to learn and being in a position to do so much as you want—the number of courses and difficulty is really only constrained by your personal enjoyment. 

That's all!

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