A Letter to Myself, 10 Weeks Ago
Dear me from about 10 weeks ago,
How are you doing? Congratulations on making it to Dartmouth—your dorm bed is made, your clothes are folded in the drawer, and your heavy suitcase has finally been emptied. You've got all of Dartmouth ahead of you, so…how do you feel? Nervous? Yeah, I get that. I hope this letter can give you a bit of an idea of what lies ahead of you.
First of all, it's really pretty here. You may think at first that Hanover's fall is nothing special compared to autumn back home, but it isn't just the color of the trees. It's the way the leaves the size of your hand float down from the trees, the way you can see squirrels burying acorns in the ground. Take a lot of walks! You'll enjoy them.
Your classes and professors are going to be great—don't worry about what you should take, and more about what you want to take for now. After all, the early terms are all about exploring. I know it's a little intimidating, but your professors are people too, and they're all so passionate about their area of study. It's great to know that they can and will help you if you just ask!
On that note, there are going to be so many people that you're going to meet whose stories and perspectives are amazing, not just from your class, but from upperclassmen too. You're going to learn so much from what they have experienced in their lives, relating it to your own. And they're all really cool people too, passionate about their causes and more.
But, even with the changes in college life, it's not going to be easy. There are going to be nights where you feel lonely, when you feel homesick. Nights when you're comparing your so-called "college experience" with what you see others doing, wondering if you're doing it "right". Nights when you feel like you're missing out. And that's okay. The first term may not be exactly what you would have expected. But just make sure that you're living for you, for your own desires and expectations. After all, there is so much ahead of you, and you'll get to do all those things when you're ready.
Some quick advice:
- Rauner Library is so pretty and nice to study in—you can't study on the first floor with a backpack, though!
- Don't get sick! It sucks getting sick (trust me, the past week has been a doozy).
- Get to the dryers as soon as your clothes cycle finishes. That way, you don't take up space from others who want to use the dryer!
- Eating at Foco (the main dining hall on campus) is good, but vary it up with the Courtyard Café (located in the Hop Performance Center) or somewhere off campus, too!