|Dartmouth's Rollins Chapel|
This morning, we had to wake up extremely early to accommodate for our two hour drive to Dartmouth College in New Hampshire. We all met for breakfast to go at Au Bon Pain a few minutes after six o'clock and hopped into Mrs. Thrift's van and started our journey. We were all tired from the lack of sleep the previous night, but while most people fell asleep, I couldn't seem to do it. We made a bunch of small talk and jokes with each other on our ride to Hanover.
|My half-eaten shrimp cocktail and gnocchi|
We finally arrived around eight o'clock and went to an information session. Two of the most fascinating topics that were covered were their calendar and their customized majors. Dartmouth runs on a quarter system (fall, winter, spring, summer) with each quarter lasting ten weeks. This system is referred to as the D-plan. During freshman year, students are only required to stay on campus for three quarters which leaves a fourth quarter for internships and study abroad opportunities! Dartmouth also offers their students personalized majors which is great for people who are interested in a bunch of subjects like me.
After our tour ended, we went to join a group for lunch at The Pine. We went into the dining room and were greeted by a smiling waiter and I was seated in between Max, a math and biology major who minored in women's studies, and Will, the admissions representative for Dartmouth's bay area applicants. I ended up ordering a shrimp cocktail appetizer and gnocchi with bacon as my main course and I finished my meal with a vanilla crème brùlée desert which tasted perfect because they didn't burn the sugar on top. I really enjoyed talking to Max because although he got into Dartmouth, he acknowledged that it was hard work and he was extremely challenged and overwhelmed when he got there. Max identifies as a feminist and helps organize quite a few women's rights events such as V Day and The Vagina Monologues in February. Since Max is an international student, he was able to tell the table about the different school system and society people in Germany have. He explained that at a very young age, many Europeans decide what occupation they want and throughout high school, they're trained for that particular occupation. Unlike most of his peers, Max recognized that he wasn't sure what he wanted to do and he pursued a liberal arts education in America where he was able to find interests that he never would've known he had. Will and I also had very interesting conversations. He talked about his job as an admissions officer and what it's like to travel to over 100 schools in a very short amount of time. We also talked about his labradoodle and how his original teaching career evolved into something a bit different. One piece of advice that I keep on hearing is not to worry about the small mistakes because all the highly selective schools look at an overall applicant rather than specific segments of one's college application. Will left a bit too soon for us to take a proper group photo, but Emily and I were able to take one with Max. After our lunch ended, we got back into the van for another lengthy ride home.
Today seemed like a really eye-opening day because at first, I had the predisposition that I wouldn't like a rural school, but after visiting Dartmouth, I could definitely see myself going there. I really feel like Dartmouth is calling my name.