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Did you experience culture shock when you first arrived at Dartmouth? If so, what type of culture shock did you experience and how did you deal with it?

A: Student smiling for a portrait

When I first came to Dartmouth, I was surprised by the diversity on campus—it was a complete change of pace from my high school experience.

Because of my research during the college application process, I was aware of Dartmouth's diverse student body; I'd seen all the statistics, but knowing the numbers did not prepare me for the real thing. It all started with First-Year Trips.

In my first day as a Dartmouth student, I was assigned to a group of total strangers with whom I would spend a week in the woods deprived of cell phones, showers, and most of modern-life's comforts. From the start, it was clear that my trippees (aka groupmates) came from completely different backgrounds. In our group, we had an Olympic powerlifter, a seasoned rugby player, a horse-rider, an international student, and two first-generation college students. At first glance, we had nothing in common! I was excited to get to know my trippees—some of whom later became my best friends at Dartmouth.

This pattern continued when we returned to campus. I never knew what to expect when I met someone new. In fact, that is true to this day—though I've become used to the diversity, Dartmouth students never fail to surprise me.

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