Why I Chose Dartmouth
With National College Decision Day coming up, I have been thinking a lot about my own experience applying to college. I'll be honest—as a high school junior, I did not know a lot about Dartmouth. But once I got the chance to learn more about it through Dartmouth Bound, a summer program for prospective applicants, I was hooked. So, let me tell you why I chose the College on the Hill.
As I mentioned above, I first visited campus through the Dartmouth Bound summer program. In short, the program introduced a group of high schoolers to life on campus—we lived in the dorms, hung out with students studying during their sophomore summer, and took mock classes taught by real faculty. Getting a taste for college life was awesome; but what stuck with me most was the strong sense of community. My group leader—a Dartmouth student—said hi to almost everyone we passed walking around campus. She had a tight-knit group of friends, and always seemed so, so happy. I knew I wanted that sense of belonging to be part of my college experience, and that I would find my place at Dartmouth. And, well, I was right! I found community in my first year of college, and have made many awesome memories.
Another thing that struck me about Dartmouth was the quarter system. Before coming here, I had never been overseas. Now, I have scheduled two study abroad terms—one to Costa Rica, and one to Paris! How cool is that? Plus, I am a huge fan of the liberal arts. At Dartmouth, it is super easy, and actually expected, for you to explore your interests in different academic departments. Moreover, classes are incredibly small and allow you to really get to know your peers and (world-class) professors. I did not want to have huge lecture halls as part of my academic experience—I wanted to forge relationships with my professors and learn in a more intimate classroom setting.
Lastly, I chose Dartmouth because of its location. I mean, think about it — how many colleges do you know where the snow is fresh all winter, so you can snowboard every weekend; is surrounded by the Appalachian Trail, so you can hike in the summer; and has awesome fall foliage, so you can take cool pictures for your Instagram? Dartmouth has all of this, which is one of the main reasons I chose it over other colleges.
I chose Dartmouth because it was a great fit for me. I knew I would thrive and find community here. And so far it looks like I made the right choice—I am happy here!