An Unconventional Yet Untradeable Freshman Year
Wow, my freshman year at Dartmouth has really flown by! Towards the end of summer 2020, I received a warm welcome email from my Orientation Peer Leaders inviting me to join a Zoom call with around ten other of my classmates. It's crazy to think that this was my first glimpse into the wonderful college community that awaited me across the U.S. in Hanover, New Hampshire.
When I first arrived on campus, my family and I were starstruck by the novelty of it all. After a 14-day quarantine period, I eagerly filled my days with long walks—learning to navigate my way around Occom Pond, the various brick academic buildings, beautiful Baker-Berry Library, and everything in between. I also spent plenty of time with my newly made friends sprawled across the Green, enjoying the fresh New England fall foliage for the very first time.
Not all freshmen could live back on campus this winter due to COVID-19, but I had the privilege of remaining in the same dorm room throughout the school year. During winter term, I met and grew close to so many new on-campus '24s. I plunged right into ski lessons, bought a sled on Hanover's Main Street, continued to report articles weekly for The D, participated in my first college-wide midnight snowball fight on the Green, and filled my free time with ice-skating and hockey. I may be a California native, but that doesn't mean us West Coasters can't have fun in the snow.
Spring has shaped up to be my favorite season yet! The vibes have been immaculate—blasting camp music on the Connecticut River docks, going for long hikes at Mink Brook Trail, or playing a classic Dartmouth game of Spikeball outside Baker-Berry Library for a quick study break. These past couple of weeks have felt like Camp Dartmouth, as my friends and I spontaneously dive into the river to cool down after classes, often staying out bonding on the docks until the sun begins to wane on the horizon. Of course I'd rather take my classes in person, but one perk of Zoom classes is that I can take them outside to enjoy the fresh spring air.
And that's a wrap on my unconventional yet untradeable freshman year… fall, winter, and spring! As a soon-to-be sophomore, I wouldn't trade my freshman experience for the world. I want to thank all the readers and those who have asked me their questions. I hope you join me back to see my sophomore year adventures at Dartmouth, but until then, go Big Green!