Greetings, Dartmouth! It’s that time of year again – the beginning of Fall term. Welcome back!
Say hello to those friends you fell out of touch with during the year that you were off Fall/Winter and they were in Prague/Barcelona/somewhere else in the Spring. Discover that you have gotten a lot worse at pong after a term of not playing it. Realize that with the arrival of freshmen on campus, you now recognize 25 percent less of the students on campus than you did last year. Feel older, and closer to the inevitable day when you will be dumped unceremoniously into the real world, maybe with health insurance but maybe not (#Obama2012).
Fall is a time for firsts. For freshmen, everything is new – how to order stir-fry at Collis, where to swipe their IDs at the gym, how to move around in the stacks without sounding like an elephant in heat. Now that they are actual students and not just the prospies that nobody wants to let into their fraternity basements, they have acquired the kind of “I-know-everything-and-this-is-my-house-now” swagger that only Fall term freshmen have. Don’t lie, you had it too.
For sophomores, this is the time to decide whether they want to be affiliated or not, and for some it will be the first time they go out as part of the Greek system. For juniors, it will be the first time since sophomore summer that they are confronted with this many people at Collis and so much of the feeling that the real world is fast approaching. There might be taps.
I don’t know what it’s like for seniors, but I can only imagine that it’s some combination of “YOLO SENIOR YEAR!” and “Oh God I just need to get a job that pays and that I am not embarrassed to put on my LinkedIn.” Isn’t recruiting going on right now? Yikes.
Dartmouth loves beginnings. Maybe it’s because our quarter system has left me with such a short attention span (or maybe it’s just because we grew up in Generation Can’t-Sit-Still-For-Longer-Than-A-Goldfish-Can-Remember), but I fall squarely into the “next term I’m going to do this” school of thought. By the time I figure out what I screwed up this term, it’s already like Week 5 and I would rather keep calm and carry on. Every new term is like a little New Year – I make my resolutions and then promptly break them. I’ll wake up and eat breakfast every day, I’ll finally start taking PE classes (oops, still need all three!) and this term I WILL NOT SKIP CLASSES.
Does this work out? Not usually. But that’s the beauty of Dartmouth. Winter term is only a couple of weeks away.