Monday, May 24, 2010

ALRIGHT It's been far too long...

Apologies for the delay in new posts here on Life at Dartmouth. With all the visitors for Dimensions, and the beautiful weather here in Hanover this spring, it's been hard to force myself to blog.

On Saturday night, I attended the Barbary Coast Jazz Ensemble Senior Show at the Hop [Hopkins Center for the Arts]. Four words: Rocked. My. Face. Off.

The Coast is amazing. I am lucky enough to call the lead tenor sax player a friend and his senior feature "Julian" was seriously awesome. Even now in my senior year, I am still constantly amazed by the talent of Dartmouth students.

For those of you interested in joining the Coast if (and when) you come to Dartmouth, they typically hold auditions in the Fall, as well as other terms as needed. Be ready, though, because the Director of Barbary Coast sets high standards.

For more information on the Barbary Coast Jazz Ensemble, click here.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Friends at Dimensions! Friends now!

My favorite Dimensions memory was arriving to campus on the first day of orientation and seeing many friends I met during Dimensions, moving into their dorms. It's an amazing feeling to become good friends with a group of people during a 4 day period and then realize you'll be spending the next four years of your life with them. Even to this day, I can remember hanging out with my closest friends during Dimensions. The memories and good times will no doubt continue till graduation.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Cultural Expressions & Friends

I loved my Dimensions experience 4yrs ago and I have enjoyed being on campus every spring since then and watching the new class of students partake in their own Dimensions experience. One of my favorite events during Dimensions was Cultural Expressions. At this event a small selection of performance groups from across campus perform and give prospective students an idea of the types of performance groups they could be involved in if they came to Dartmouth. As someone who likes to dance, seeing some of Dartmouth’s dance groups in actions really made me more excited about attending the school. By the end of the event I realized that I wanted to try out for a bunch of groups even though I still had not picked a school for next year. I also enjoyed hanging out with my host, who is still a close friend of mine to this day, and meeting other prospective students. A lot of the people that I met did decide to come to Dartmouth and, some of these students are also now some of my closest friends on campus.

Welcome Show

My favorite Dimensions memory would have to be the Welcome Show. Just as the title suggests, the show is a way to welcome admitted students as well as introduce them to all the things that Dartmouth has to offer. The cool thing is that all the information is given in songs that the current students perform. I still can remember how enthusiastic and energized everyone was. When I watched this year's Welcome Show for the Class of 2014, so many memories were brought back. I am happy and excited that next year's class was able to experience the same eventful and energetic show that I did.

The Welcome show really made me feel like I was apart of the Dartmouth community and ultimately sealed the deal for me.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Dartmouth Enthusiasm!

Since I applied Early Decision, I did not attend Dimensions as a prospective student. However, as a current student, it is incredible to watch prospective students fall in love with Dartmouth over Dimensions. Once you experience Dartmouth for yourself, and feel the passion and excitement that exists among the students here, you'll know what I mean.

I think what stands out most during Dimensions is how much current Dartmouth students LOVE to be here. And on top of the incredible opportunities and top-notch academics, I think the presence of happy students, who really love to be here, is really something to take note of as you make your decision about Dartmouth. The fact that the same Dartmouth enthusiasm still exists among the alumni also speaks volumes about the College and what makes it so unique.

As President Kim emphasized in his talk on Saturday morning of Dimensions, once you join the Dartmouth family, you are part of it for life. And I think for many students, that begins with Dimensions, when they experience Dartmouth in this way for the first time.

Meeting New People

My favorite Dimensions moment was sitting in Food Court with four of my new friends. We were just laughing and joking around and having a good time. It was as if we had known each other for forever and we just felt like we belonged at Dartmouth. It was in that moment when I could see myself attending Dartmouth. I believed if people like this were being accepted to Dartmouth, I can see myself in Food Court for hours on in talking, laughing and learning from them. Actually, some of my friends don't like going to Food Court with me unless they have 2 hours of free time because I love just sitting and hearing others stories. Three out of the four friends I was with decided to come to Dartmouth and two of them are the closest friends I have here.

The picture is of Guy DiFrancesco who has been cooking in Thayer dinning hall for 33 years.
(Provided by Dartmouth's Flickr page)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


What is your favorite Dimensions memory?

The posts below answer last week's question of the week.

Why Dartmouth?

I applied to over fourteen schools and got accepted to quite a few, but Dartmouth stood out to me because of the location, the student-faculty connection, my financial aid package and the people. It may sound strange, but I was attracted to the quiet town of Hanover because it is absolutely gorgeous here! In the fall, the leaves are golden brown, in the winter, the snow is crystal white, and in the spring the green is like paradise on earth. Besides, I'm originally from a big city so the calm and comfort of a small college town was something I was really looking forward to.

According to US News & World Report, Dartmouth is the #1 institution for undergraduate instruction in the country. Indeed, Dartmouth professors are leaders in their respective fields and they come to Dartmouth because they really want to teach, advise and mentor students. So many other schools flaunt renowned faculty members but students barely have access to them. At Dartmouth, students can really connect with their professors...I've taken hip hop dance classes, cooked dinner, and gone star gazing with some of mine!

Another reason why I choose Dartmouth is because they really made an effort to accommodate my ability to pay for college. Quite frankly they gave me the best financial aid package by A LOT so when it came down to it, the choice was fairly obvious. Finally, the people at Dartmouth are simply amazing. When I visited junior year, I met so many incredible people, including Admissions and Financial Aid officers who showed a genuine interest in me. Just walking around campus made me feel like I belonged here.

Photo courtesy of

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

After receiving my college acceptances I chose Dartmouth over other schools for the following reasons:
1.DIMENSIONS: This is Dartmouth’s accepted student weekend. Over the course of 3 days, accepted students have the opportunity to really get a sense of what it’s like to be a student at Dartmouth by attending classes, going to workshops on different aspects of Dartmouth life, staying overnight, talking with current students, etc. I really enjoyed my Dimensions visit 4yrs ago and I am still very close to my host and other members of the 2010 class that I met during my stay.
2.D-Plan/Study Abroad: After learning more about the D-Plan, I became really excited about the idea of creating my own Dartmouth plan. I loved how flexible it was and I was really impressed by all of the amazing things that Dartmouth students did during their time at the school. As a senior in high school, I knew that I wanted to attend a school where I would be able to study abroad regardless of my major. Dartmouth’s D-plan allowed students to travel the world while still graduating on time.
3.People: One of the things that drew me to Dartmouth was the people. People at Dartmouth are really friendly and down to earth. At Dartmouth I found individuals who I felt comfortable around because you can really be yourself here. There isn’t pressure to conform to any set ideal as to what a Dartmouth student should be. I constantly learn just as much outside the classroom from talking to my peers as I do in the classroom. Dartmouth students are really interesting and just cool all around
4.School Away from Home: Although Dartmouth is not located in a city, I found that to be a welcome change from the hustle and bustle of New York City, my hometown. I knew that I could always do internships at home and move back to New York after college so I wanted to go to a school that would offer me a completely different experience from what I was used to. Dartmouth has allowed me to experience so many things that I never thought I would do and the opportunities that I’ve gotten as a result of the unique location (for example Dartmouth Outing Club trips and learning how to ski in the winter) have truly added to my college experience.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Dimensions and the D-plan

I chose Dartmouth over other schools for several reasons. First, I knew that I wanted to major in engineering and study abroad. At a lot of the other schools this wasn't possible or very difficult to do. When I visited Dartmouth and heard about its D-plan, I knew that I would be able to do everything that I wanted. Although Dartmouth would allow me to participate in some amazing opportunities, coming to Dimensions really sealed the deal for me. The people were really nice and genuine. I remember a couple of underclassmen girls showing me around because my host was studying for an exam. Coming to Dimensions was one of the best decisions I made because it gave me the chance to see for myself what college life was like instead of people telling me.

(Picture is from my travels in Italy during a Language Study Abroad Program. I spent 10 weeks there and stayed with a host family.)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Last Week's Question of the Week!

If you could go back in time to the day you received your acceptance to Dartmouth and give yourself one piece of advice, what would it be and why?

The posts below answer last week's question of the week.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Plan ahead!

If I could go back in time to the day I received my acceptance to Dartmouth, I would tell myself to appreciate every day here, because we are incredibly lucky. As a senior, nostalgia is beginning to hit, and the thought of leaving Dartmouth in a few months is bittersweet to say the least. Now that my time at Dartmouth is running short, I have started hiking nearby mountains, trying to learn tennis, and spending more time with friends I have lost touch with during hectic academic terms. In the coming weeks I plan to check out the jewelry studio and maybe even the woodshop on campus, I want to visit the Rauner Special Collections Library to see all the cool items they have, and I hope to rent a DOC cabin for the night with a group of friends. There is so much here to take advantage of, and the sooner you start on it the more you can do!

I would emphasize to all underclassmen just how many incredible opportunities and resources are at our disposal as Dartmouth undergrads. From seemingly endless funding available to engage in research with faculty, grants to pursue domestic and international community service projects, to accessible professors, there is so much available for us to take advantage of. Realizing this early, and being proactive to benefit from it as much as possible, is one of the best things you can do here.

I would also tell myself to start planning out my D-Plan early. Although it will inevitably change (it does for nearly everyone, as new opportunites arise and as you change your major) it is a good idea to get a head start. Especially if you want to take advantage of one or more study abroad programs (which you should do!), maybe be pre-med or include a minor, it helps to start figuring things out ahead of time.

Ultimately, as cliche as it may sound, I think it is important to savor every day here, because four years flies by. It is easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of classes with ten week terms, but it's also important not to lose sight of how lucky we are to be here, and to take advantage of all the non-academic opportunities Dartmouth has to offer.

PLAN AHEAD! (but only a little)

I came into Dartmouth thinking I wanted to be a Government Major and an Environmental Studies Minor. I will be graduating this June with a Government Major and an Environmental Studies Minor. That said, the road to where I am now was far from predetermined. There was a lot of second-guessing of my passions along the way (something I think any good college education should make you do). If I could go back to my acceptance day, I would tell my younger self to go with their gut, pursue their passions, and plan ahead, but only a little. Have an idea about where you are going and why. Make sure you plan ahead to be able to study abroad as many times as you want. (One of my major regrets is only studying abroad once.) Know where you are, where you want to go, and take the steps, however small, to get there. That being said, never close yourself off from new experiences. Continually assess yourself and your motivations because they will evolve. Keeping your plans in line with that personal evolution is the key to happiness I think.

As always, feel free to post and questions or comments below.

Picture source here.

DON'T FORGET to check out the Admissions Flickr photo stream.

Ask Questions!

If I could go back in time and give myself advice as to how to navigate the Dartmouth experience I would tell myself to not be afraid to question everyone and everything? Being a fairly shy student when I first started college, it took me some time to realize that it’s okay to speak up; that’s the only way you ever find out everything you want to know! In order to make the most out of the Dartmouth experience, sometimes you have to be proactive. There are so many opportunities available to students on this campus but you will not find out about even half of them if you don’t take some initiative to seek things out on your own.

With that in mind, I encourage all incoming students to get to know upperclassmen as well as freshman. Upperclassmen love talking to younger students about what they’ve done with their D-plans and can be a great source of advice when trying to find out about campus opportunities. Take the first term to just get acquainted with school, don’t really commit to anything, and go to as many open houses as possible. If you gather as much information as possible your freshmen fall, you can begin making smart decisions about what to do with the rest of your time at Dartmouth beginning your freshmen winter. Lastly don’t be afraid to ask students and administrators about what classes to take and where the best jobs are at? You want to start your college career off with a nice balanced list of classes so that you don’t burn out too fast. Find out how to get jobs that are not too stressful and may even allow you to do homework as you work.

Again, the key to success at Dartmouth or any school is to ask questions! The worst thing anyone can ever say to you is no.

Exhaust all the Opportunities

If I could go back in time to the day I received my acceptance to Dartmouth, I would tell myself to take advantage of more things. Even when I came up for Dimensions, I was a little reluctant to go to some activities because everything was so new to me. Being a high school student surrounded by all these college students really intimidated me at first, so I spent most of my time hanging out with the other prospies (perspective students) instead of really asking Dartmouth students what college life was like. Being here for Dimensions is the perfect time to really experience college life and I would encourage all the prospies that come to explore the campus and ask lots of questions.

Looking back at my last four years, I really wish that I jumped right into college life and participated in more extracurricular activities that sounded interesting. Unfortunately for me there are some things I wish I could have taken advantage of, so my advice to the Class of 2014 is utilize the resources that are available to you and do what interests you!