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Lab Photo

Mt Lafayette Sign
Part of the Dartmouth appeal is that Dartmouth is a very close-knit community. You often hear this said about the student body, but it's true about the student-faculty relationships as well. One of the coolest programs Dartmouth has to offer is the "Take Your Professor Out to Lunch" Program where you get to take a professor of your choosing out to a free lunch at Pine— Hanover's swanky restaurant that serves scallops, $20 burgers, and other fancy stuff you normally wouldn't get a chance to eat otherwise. It's a program I've done before, and highly recommend if you ever get the chance.

That being said, there's opportunities to bond with faculty without some sort of program facilitated by Dartmouth. 

Lab mates at the top of the mountain
For background, I do cancer biology research with the Wang Lab at Geisel (Dartmouth's Medical School Campus). I've worked with them for just over a year and a half now, and it's a very close knit group of people passionate about science.

 And although it's a very professional setting, we do hang out outside of the lab and do things like eat out together as well. A little while back, most of us went out to an all day hike out to Mt. Lafayette!

I've never hiked before, so I had no idea what to expect. Given that it was an 8 hour hike up one of the tallest mountains in New Hampshire, I should have expected death. 

I can't describe what the hike was like so much as I can only describe the sweet relief of finally taking a break at the peak of the mountain and enjoying a very much well deserved lunch (if I do say so myself). Don't get me wrong, the view was genuinely breathtaking and I did love being about in nature, but I was really there because I enjoyed spending time with the professors and graduate students who have been so vital in teaching me what research is like. 

When I first entered research, I didn't know what to expect. Popular imagination would lead you to believe that research, especially biology research, is just a bunch of dudes sitting to themselves, muttering things as they mix oddly colored liquids together. And though I can't speak to other schools, I can say definitively that that's not what I've found at Dartmouth. Instead, I've found a group of highly collaborative people who are doing great work to advance science forward. So collaborative, in fact, that despite having so much more age, experience, and more important things to do they're still willing to take a chance on an undergrad like me.

Top of the mountain!
Top of the mountain!

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