I'm finally starting to understand the appeal of private schools.
Today we visited Dartmouth College in New Hampshire. The day started out quite early (an unfortunate trend this week) at 6am. We all met up in the hotel lobby, grabbed a breakfast to-go from Au Bon Pain, and hopped into the car. It would be a two and a half hour drive to Dartmouth, so I was hoping I could nap for a bit and catch up on sleep. It was hard to get back to sleep, since I had been up for an hour or so already, so I just helped navigate and listened to music.
When we finally arrived to the school, everyone practically burst out of the car! We were so happy to stretch and get out of the stuffy car. We made our way up to the admissions office and waited for the presentation to begin. An admissions assistant director, named Raquel Bernard, led the presentation. She stressed the three concepts: access, flexibility, and engagement. Throughout her presentation, she would expand on these concepts through stories and programs Dartmouth offered to show examples of these. It was a medium sized school that offered lots of support for its students, like many other privates that we have visited so far. The selling point of Dartmouth for me was when we took the tour.
|The famous Baker Library.|
An outgoing, sunny sophomore named Tn led us around campus. I really enjoyed the tour! In addition to hearing about the campus and its history, I also got to hear a lot of her personal stories about experiences at Dartmouth. She told us about her freshman trip, a trip that freshmen take with 7 or so other freshmen, her dorm room experiences, and how she balanced her time. She also stressed that this institution was really a community and that everyone basically knew each other. This was clearly the case because practically everyone who was a student who we passed eagerly greeted her and had a quick conversation with her. And she said she wasn't popular.
The tour concluded and we had about an hour to burn before we had a scheduled lunch with some Dartmouth alums and admission officers. We ventured to a library and sat for a while, but then quickly moved on to find the gift shop! I bought a green Dartmouth t-shirt with the seal of the school. We also made a quick, much needed CVS (a drugstore) stop. I got some shampoo and conditioner. By the time we we got out of the store, it was already 1:30, the time when we were supposed to be at the restaurant for the lunch! Luckily, the restaurant wasn't too far away, so we didn't make our guests wait too long.
We arrived to five people waiting for us in the waiting area: Will (an assistant director of admissions), Eloise (a rising sophomore who was an engineer major), Joon (a rising senior who majored in Latin American studies), Kat (a community director), and June (an undergraduate dean). Eventually Max (a rising senior who majored in math with a minor in like everything) joined us too. I sat closest to Will , Kat, and Max, who I had very riveting conversations with. Since Kat had worked at both NYU and Dartmouth, two schools I have been considering, I asked her about how the students of both schools contrasted. She definitely agreed that the sense of community found at Dartmouth wasn't really prevalent at NYU. She also said that the two schools were very different; one school was large and spread out across a city and the other was a small school that was tucked away in its own world. I really liked the fact that Dartmouth was tucked away in its own world; I felt that it made the community stronger, and I clearly saw that when I visited!
My favorite person to talk to was Max. He, unlike the other students who I've talked to, really got into the good and the bad about school at Dartmouth. He was very real with what he said; sure he enjoyed his experience, but that did not come without some really tough days, over-exhaustion, and learning lessons the hard way. I barely heard any of the students or alums that I met talk about their struggles that much, but with Max, he was very open with his complete experience.
|Max, Kendal, and I|
We sadly parted ways after lunch and headed back to the car for the grueling ride to the hotel. I managed to get some sleep, talk with everyone, and get part of my blog done! We arrived to the hotel at about 7pm, which left all of us ample time to eat dinner and finalize our blogs. Since we were all pretty tired, we decided to just order room service and recuperate after these past couple days of intense college touring. Hopefully tomorrow will be a fun, energy filled day at Yale!