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The Dartmouth Experience

Ask any member of the Dartmouth family to define this phrase, and most will struggle for the precise words. That’s because every Dartmouth Experience, like every log in the Homecoming bonfire and every snowflake in the Winter Carnival snow sculpture, is somewhat similar yet distinctly different.

The Dartmouth Experience is formed by the College’s many traditions, like Dartmouth Outing Club Trips in the New Hampshire wilderness, where the newest members of the Dartmouth community are baptized and bonded through hiking boots, backpacks, trail mix and friendships. Or when the entire freshman class dons jerseys emblazoned with their class year and stands for an entire football game. It’s also the multitude of encounters that flavor everyday life at Dartmouth.

The Dartmouth Experience comes in the classroom and late-night study sessions in the ’02 Room in Baker Library, when 200 pages of reading suddenly makes perfect sense. It’s the camaraderie on the field, in the locker room and on the bus rides back to Hanover after a game.

It’s thoughtful discussions with some of the nation’s brightest minds, who turn out to be peers as well as professors.

It’s criss-crossing the trails at the Dartmouth Skiway, hiking to the top of Mount Moosilauke or walking along scenic Occom Pond. It’s watching as the bulk of your wardrobe of sweatshirts and sweaters gradually is transformed into one predominant color Dartmouth green.

It’s pepperoni pizza with dorm mates on Thursday night and all-you-can-eat brunch in Thayer Dining Center on Sunday morning. It’s the chill that goes up your spine and the feeling of pride that overwhelms you during the singing of the Alma Mater.

It’s walking to class and knowing nine of the ten people you meet along the way. It’s manipulating satellite images for a geography class, studying Beethoven or flipping a frisbee around the Green on a warm spring afternoon.

It’s the beauty of Baker Tower during a snow storm or the sharp smell of leaves during football season. It’s canoeing on the Connecticut River during sophomore summer. It’s understanding the devotion of alumni who make the pilgrimage to the Hanover Plain and revel in Dartmouth Night festivities.

It’s all this and more. The Dartmouth Experience is what you choose to make it. The opportunities and possibilities are endless.