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Dartmouth is a place of constant change. Everything is always different, even from one term to the next. This can include the people around you as well. 

Freshman orientation week is exceptionally hectic with more than one thousand students trying to make friends and establish a friend group. While it is important to socialize and make friends during orientation, it can be an exhausting process. Remember to take a step back and recharge if you need to. There is also no need to have an established friend "group". You could definitely have a group of friends that you interact with individually! 

There may be people at orientation who already know each other, either through social media or childhood connections. It is hard to be a part of a group that already seems established, but I promise you that everyone is getting to know each other just as you are too. There is no reason to feel intimidated by people in your own class! Talk to them; if you like them and want to hang out with them, just ask. If there is not a friendship connection, there is no pressure or obligation for you to continue hanging out with them either!

Your roommates may turn out to be your best friends, too. I know many people who bonded with their roommates and made lifelong friendships. However, I also know countless more people who did not form a close bond with their roommates and functioned perfectly fine sharing a space together. You do not need to force a friendship with your roommates just because you live with them!

The individuals you meet during orientation week could be your best friends at Dartmouth. They could also turn out not to be. Try not to feel pressured into retaining friendships that are not working out for you. My group of friends evolved and expanded significantly from month to month, and I welcomed the changes. I loved forming new friendships, and I was not afraid to let go of ones that were not the best for me. 

At a place like Dartmouth, it is important to surround yourself with the best people who will encourage, support and love you just the way you are. To all the incoming prospective students, be open to changes; I promise you that it is worth it. 

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