On the Connecticut River
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Baker Tower in front of a vivid sunset

Greetings from McNutt Hall in Hanover, where I'm writing this inside the Dartmouth Office of Admissions itself! My name is Simon, and I'm a '24 here at Dartmouth. Originally from Lakewood, CO, I drove 35 hours up to New Hampshire with my dad in the fall of 2020 to start my time at Dartmouth amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Since then, I've had so many experiences I never could've seen coming—I always end my tours by saying my time at Dartmouth has been transformative in ways I never could have conceived of in high school, and as saccharine as it sounds, I really do find that to be true. I've traveled to New Zealand and the Cook Islands, started playing the cymbals, written 45-page linguistics research papers, roamed campus in an Eeyore onesie, worked as a barista, teaching assistant, and tour guide at the same time, pulled Lou's challenges in Blobby, gotten involved in Greek life as someone who never thought I'd do so—the list goes on and on. Every day at Dartmouth, I find something new to do or to learn about myself, others, or the world around me, and I can't wait to share that with you through this blog!

A bit more about me: I'm a linguistics major (hope you liked my IPA title), and I'm also minoring in English and anthropology. I'm the house manager (and summer webmaster—I get to run the website and Instagram) for my gender-inclusive Greek house, Alpha Theta, and I'm a member of the Dartmouth College Marching Band despite not having played a musical instrument since the sixth grade when I came to college. In my free time, I love walking in Pine Park more than anything—it's such a good place to get some quiet time and clear my head. You might also find me journaling, hanging out with my two gorgeous (yes, I promise) pet rats, Calico Jack and Lactose-Free Vanilla Greek Yogurt, of whom I share custody with a friend, or napping in the Tower Room.

two fancy rats inside a pineapple hammock in their cage. The white rat with grey markings around his eyes is named Lactose-Free Vanilla Greek Yogurt, and the dark grey one with the white triangle on his nose is named Calico Jack.
The rats! They love hanging out in their pineapple hammock.

Of course, I wouldn't be done introducing myself without talking about my work with the Admissions Office! During my freshman spring, I got a job as a tour guide, and now, three years later, I'm writing my first blog as an Admissions Senior Fellow. I've been working full-time in the office this summer on all sorts of projects, from coordinating tour scheduling to delivering info sessions to visitors, and I've loved every second of it so far! Working in the Admissions Office means that I get to meet new people every day, many of whom are in the same position I was just a few years ago (that's probably you, reader), and hear their stories! As much as I love hearing other people's stories, I'm also working for Admissions in the first place because I want to share mine, and I hope to do just that through this blog!

Speaking of stories, I'll leave you with one about the day I visited Dartmouth (with a group of friends from the National Spelling Bee, though that's another story for another time). It was the summer after my sophomore year of high school, during the interim between Dartmouth's spring and summer terms. Because it was between terms, the Admissions office wasn't running tours on the day we visited, so we explored the campus on our own. I already knew I wanted to study linguistics, so we headed to Reed Hall, where fate brought me to run into Professor James Stanford, the linguistics department chair. I was just some high schooler, but he dropped everything he was doing to talk to me about his research for an hour. Simply put, this wasn't something that happened to me at any other school I visited whatsoever, and I think he even would've given me another hour or two if I hadn't had to go. He was so excited to talk to me, and of course, I was excited to talk to him. From that conversation alone, I could sense that the genuine enthusiasm for intellectual curiosity and learning on Dartmouth's campus was contagious, collaborative, and uniquely welcoming. I ended up applying Early Decision because, as we drove out of the woods that afternoon, I found myself thinking very clearly what I'd later write in my Why Dartmouth essay: "That's where I want to be."

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