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A photo of students enjoying spring on the Baker Library lawn

I'm just starting to enter my second year at Dartmouth, which has prompted me to really think back about last year, and what's coming for me moving forward. I think my freshman year, an upperclassman friend told me not to be too worried about Dartmouth because by the time I started my sophomore year I'd figure it out. I can now say, confidently, that she was a dirty liar.

That doesn't mean that I haven't loved my time here. And I've definitely got a much stronger grasp of what Dartmouth is like, even though I've really only been on campus my freshman fall and winter. I just think that saying that I've "figured it out" is a stretch. Because to be honest with you, I really still have no idea what I'm doing. 

And I think that's normal for 90% of students here. Every year is a constant continuation of learning. Not just academically, but personally too. Coming into Dartmouth, I had no idea what my freshman year would look like. And coming into my sophomore year, I don't have the slightest clue what the next three years will entail. 

Interviewing Nimesh Patel
Me interviewing Nimesh Patel. It was a super cool experience!
I'd never think that during Fall, my friend and I would get a chance to interview Nimesh Patel, the first Indian-American SNL writer, and first Indian-American SNL writer to be infamously kicked off stage at Columbia. Nor did I think that I'd get a chance to do research with the Dartmouth supercomputer. Dartmouth has provided me with so many opportunities that I honestly think I wouldn't get anywhere else.

Of course, all this talk about getting lost doesn't mean that I have any direction. Since I'm starting my sophomore year, I'm now in the process of declaring my major, which means that I have to design a (rough) plan of the major-related classes I'll take the next four years. It's a massive undertaking that requires me to dig through packets of course offerings, figure out what I want to do, and sort them out over my next nine terms. The weird thing about it though is that I don't feel nervous at all.

I mean I should be. After all, it's only the degree I'll have for the rest of my life. But I'm not, and mostly for two reasons. One, I've been at Dartmouth long enough to have faith that I'll find whatever class I take meaningful and rewarding. Two, I'm not alone. Choosing and planning a major is a monster of a task, but Dartmouth sets everyone up with a faculty mentor to help you choose your classes, which has honestly been a massive lifesaver. 

So that's where I'm at right now. There's a lot of opportunity of all kinds at Dartmouth. From designing your own course load for your major to interviewing Nimesh Patel, there's so much to do it's honestly quite frightening. But I'm glad knowing that, whether it be friends, professors, or faculty mentors, I have people around me here that will help me along the way. 

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