Throughout the summer, DartmouthSports.com will be focusing on members of the Class of 2019 who are currently in their "Sophomore Summers."
This installment of the summer features Milla Anderson of the Dartmouth women’s rugby team. A Number 8 with the Big Green, Anderson came to the Upper Valley from Bell, California, and has made her mark on the team in just two seasons. Recently, Anderson was one of four Dartmouth players named to the United States Women’s Junior All-America Team that will compete in the Can-Am Series in Ottawa in August.
Dartmouth Sports.com: What have you been doing during your sophomore summer?
Milla Anderson: This summer, I’m serving as a Co-President for the Afro-American Society, so I’ve spent a lot of time planning events that engage the Black community and help foster overall inclusivity on campus. I’m also working in a research lab for the education department and we’re using brain wave studies to learn about how reading develops the brain. I recently just tried out for the USA Women’s Under-20 rugby team and was selected so I’ll be going to compete against Canada later in the summer. Other than that, I’m either working at the Hinman mailroom or standing in line for Collis smoothies.
DS: What is your favorite place on campus?
MA: Easily the rugby clubhouse, although it’s technically about a mile off-campus. It sits out above our competition field and I love the whole aesthetic of it during the fall. The trees on the hills behind it just look amazing, especially when the sun is setting. We also have a lot of our team dinners there, so it’s just filled with great memories for me.
DS: What was it in the recruiting process that sold you on Dartmouth?
MA: I actually came to the rugby team as a walk-on, so I never went through an official recruitment process. Rugby is still a developing sport in the country so our team has a strong walk-on culture since not a lot of athletes played the sport in high school. I think taking walk-ons is important for us because we’re able to find hidden talent and it helps to spread the sport.
DS: If you could swap places with one teammate, who would it be and why?
MA: I would swap places with Kat Ramage because she gets to spend her whole summer focusing on and playing rugby. Currently she’s in France as an assistant coach for a high school club team her sister plays on. After that, she gets to go to New York and play on her old club team. I honestly couldn’t think of a better way to spend the summer.
DS: If you could play another sport at Dartmouth, what would it be and why?
MA: I would join the track and field team. I used to run hurdles and pole vault in high school and I really miss doing that. There was definitely a thrill to trying to outperform the person in the lane next to you and to falling onto the mats after clearing a new height.
DS: If you participate in any service activities, what are they and how did you get involved?
MA: I work with a college access program based in Los Angeles that exposes first-generation and minority students to East Coast colleges. I organized a mentorship network to help students transition to college life during their first year by matching them with an upperclassman who was also a part of the program. This way they have someone at their college who understands and can guide them through the specific challenges they might face in their first-year.
DS: What has been your best on-field memory thus far in your Dartmouth career?
MA: Nothing beats when we won the Ivy Championship my freshman year. We were down after the first half and we really had to pull together as a team to come back. We had a lot to prove coming into our first year as a varsity program, so this really set the tone for our team and our program. It was also a home game, so it was great to win on our own field in front of a Dartmouth crowd.
DS: How is Hanover different or similar to where you grew up?
MA: I’m from Los Angeles so Hanover is very different from back home. It definitely never snows there and the summers are a lot dryer. The town of Hanover is also a lot smaller and more remote than the city I live in. These changes are also part of the reason I chose Dartmouth, though. I know I’ll probably spend the rest of my life in a city, so it’s nice to get away for a while. Plus, I’m starting to enjoy actually experiencing seasons.
DS: What show do you binge watch?
MA: Friends. I’ve seen the whole series through and now I just turn it on and pick a random episode. I still laugh at every one, even if I’ve seen it a bunch of times. Some of the jokes are a little outdated, but I just love how relatable the general themes are to everyday life.
DS: What is your useless/hidden talent?
MA: I can move my ears and sometimes I can get them to move one at a time.
DS: What would be your best advice to your 15-year-old self?
MA: I was a perfectionist at that age, so I’d probably tell myself that things don’t always work out the way you plan them, but that it’ll still be okay. There are parts of my life that turned out so differently from the way I planned them, but they’ve become new opportunities rather than disappointments. I always intended to focus on running in college, but then I discovered rugby and it’s truly become a passion of mine.
DS: If you could go anywhere in the world right now, where would you go and why?
MA: I would go back to Spain. I spent last winter term in Barcelona on the study abroad program and I really loved my time there. I would love to travel within the country more and especially visit some of the southern cities. I also just want to go back and practice my Spanish so I don’t lose the ability to speak it.