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Dartmouth's academics are known for being pretty hard due to the intense courses. Do you think you are still able to balance your workload while having fun?

A: Student smiling

This really is an age old question. Oftentimes it feels like we're told that college is just this constant battle between having the time of your life, and being successful in your classes. 

So this will seem like a cop out answer at first, but bear with me.

Why not both?

Again, it seems like a cheap answer. Something that belongs on one of those tacky "love what you do and you'll never work a day in your life" coasters. But I hope what I'm about to say is a bit more nuanced than that. 

Without fail, Dartmouth is a school that wholly believes in the phrase "work really hard, play really really hard."

Now, what I love about this school, and what I've touted about it time and time again is that people are passionate about what they do. People devote time and energy to things not because they're told to, but because they just think "hey, that seems cool" and then go do it. For example, just last term, I had the pleasure of meeting someone who built a Tuba flamethrower. I'm sorry. You seemed to have read that sentence a bit too fast. I just want to repeat what I just said.

I met a man who built a. Tuba. Flamethrower. So yeah. Dartmouth kids work hard.

But of course, no matter how much you love something, You run the risk of burnout. Devoting all your time and energy to a single project/ subject all the time is counterproductive. Unhealthy, really. And I'd like to think that Dartmouth acknowledges that, which is why we have such a vibrant student extracurricular culture here. There's a free gym if you want to stay active, club and intramural teams, etc. Plus a ton of extracurriculars. I'm talking about student newspapers, performance arts clubs for every experience level, etc. Even if clubs aren't for you, and you're not a fan of the Greek system, there's wholesome programming like rollerblading organized by a group called Collis After Dark. The point is, however you want to unwind, there's something for you.

So yeah, Dartmouth's academics are hard. Three terms in, and I can't quite say that I've adjusted to them yet. Don't get me wrong, I love all my classes! But it's the kind of relationship where I love it so much that I want to make sure it's good, you know? Still, devoting all that time and energy is tiring. For me, I recharge by spending times with friends, and just unwinding at my own extracurriculars. Though that might not be what's right for you. I am confident, however, that with as much as Dartmouth offers, you'll find the right way for you to decompress.

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