Featured image: On the first snow of winter term, students have a snowball fight in the Green. I nailed an athlete in the butt, so I’m pretty happy with my performance. After the snowball fight I made some snow angels.
Last week I came back for the winter term. I was sort of dreading it, but found myself quite happy to be back. I know that might seem surprising given my last update, but it’s true.
On the first day of summer term, I found myself standing in the smoothie line at Collis feeling utterly and unequivocally alone. I watched as girls would run up to other girls squealing and hugging. They would ask each other about the break and how they are doing and what classes they are taking. No one said anything to me. I knew it was only my first day of my first term here, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that everyone already knew each other and that I was quite a loner.
I thought that if I was at Vassar, my friends would be coming up and squealing to me, but I didn’t have friends here. That was evident. At the start of fall term, I stood in the smoothie line again on the first day, hoping maybe this term someone would recognize me and say hi. However, I didn’t have much hope because I really only knew the other dual degree students and they don’t frequent Collis the way I do. This term though, things were different. In the three minute wait for a smoothie on the first day of winter term I ran into six different girls who came up, hugged me and asked me all about my break. I’ve finally started to feel like I have a place here and people who care about me. Too bad I leave after this term and am gone for a year and a half. I wonder if when I come back in the fall of 2021 I’ll have friends who will come up to me in the smoothie line.
On the second day of winter term I found myself sitting in Rauner, which is the special collections library. It has three person tall arched windows that allow sunlight to stream through and warm my soul. The middle window is my favorite and it overlooks a busy intersection. This means that when I get frustrated or bored with my engineering work, I can look out over the sea of people and watch them without being watched. I love it in Rauner. I was in Rauner on the last day of fall term when it hit me that I was really going to miss Dartmouth when I was gone on break. It was honestly the first time I had ever felt that. When I left at the end of summer term, I was ready to go home and get away from this place that felt so isolating and sad. Now, at the start of winter term, back in Rauner, I realized that there are some aspects that do make me pretty happy here.
Later that night, I went to my first dance rehearsal of the term. It wasn’t anything serious, we were just going on dances we had learned last term. In my opinion, it was really just an excuse to see each other again. We warmed up to the Lion King soundtrack. While listening to “I just can’t wait to be king,” we were lying on the floor stretching our legs. I looked up at the ceiling and felt so lucky and happy to be a part of such a fun group. It was in that moment that I remembered why I had started dancing and why I danced so much.
Dancing is so fun, challenging and makes me happy. I love to listen to music and learn how to move my body. I like to remember all the moves and feel the rhythm of the music. I like dancing with these girls that love me and care for me. They are girls who come up to me in the smoothie line, just excited about seeing me. It’s nice to feel wanted and to just have your presence be a source of excitement. I know some girls wish they were in another group or that we did different dances, but I feel so content. This is my place.
I’m taking two engineering classes this term. One is just a boring basic applied math class, but the other is a project class. In this class you work with a group to invent a state of the art engineering solution to whatever problem you want. We have just been assigned our group and will be figuring out what device we want to build next week. However, my most enrapturing class is creative writing. I know that this is a class I could take at Vassar, but I’m having quite a fun time taking it here. Sometimes I feel as though I should be more excited about my engineering classes compared to my elective class, but I’m just trying to be happy and creative writing is making me happy so that’s what I am focusing on. I get a lot of shit from the other dual degrees, many of whom wish to only take math and engineering classes and wouldn’t (or couldn’t… I truly don’t know) write an essay even if their life depended on it. Didn’t we all go to liberal art schools to have a liberal arts education?
I’ve been trying to live my life to the fullest. At least that’s the goal for this term. No more being sad and sulking in my room while watching the Mentalist. I made a bucket list for this term and plan to fully complete it. Here’s a sample of my list:
- 3D print a cat
- Kiss five people
- Go to a hockey game
- Run three miles
- Make cookies
If you can think of anything to add to my list, please email me. I am looking to live my best list out here this term. I won’t be back for a year and a half so I’m planning to do a lot of things I will regret, but in a good way. It’s time to make my story happen and not just sit here trying to write it.