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Connecticut River

I finished my first week of college a few days ago and it was, in short, a good time.

My first few days took me by surprise. There was my first class, a COIN concert, and more late-night food runs than I dare to admit. But of all the activities there was one that stood out: my trip to Dartmouth's Organic Farm. 

On the first weekend after orientation, the farm held a bonfire for first-years to explore the area and meet one another. Honestly, I had not planned on going, as I'm not much of an outdoors person and was perfectly happy spending my Saturday night in a place with AC. Luckily, my friends had different plans and convinced me to check it out. So after a solid meal at FOCO, we met the shuttle and were on our way. It was a beautiful night. The sky was clear, the stars bright, and the moon full. Thanks to the lack of light pollution in Hanover, I could see the constellations — something I had not done in years.

Once we got to the farm, my friends and I headed for a path by the fields. First, we checked out the garden, where we found kale, cabbage, beans, and flowers. Apparently, the produce is used during weekly pizza dinners and cookouts later in the term — events I will make sure to attend. As we walked, we came to a clearing in the trees where we got a clear view of the Connecticut River. How cool is that? 

Then, of course, it was time for the main attraction: the bonfire. We sat in a circle roasting marshmallows, meeting new people, talking. It was the perfect end to the week. That day, I learned I should go outside more, especially since there are so many great ways to enjoy nature in Hanover. If you are interested in the outdoors, you can get involved in the Dartmouth Outing Club (DOC) to partake in hiking, camping, skiing, and other trips every week. The O-Farm is managed by the Dartmouth Sustainability Office, which works constantly to make our school more environmentally friendly. Aside from farming, the office sponsors programs like the Bike Shop, promoting a healthy bike culture; Energy Collab, to educate campus about energy systems; and the Sustainability Action Program, which I will be doing this year — it is meant to train first-year students to make real change by creating an original project to make Dartmouth more sustainable.

So if you love nature or, like me, think you should probably go outside a little more often, Dartmouth is the place for you. The outdoor scene in Hanover is a beautiful sight, and I am excited to explore it.

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