On to the Next One

I’m going to be completely honest here. I have no idea how to summarize my 1st year at Dartmouth College. But I guess I have to start somewhere (considering my post is already late). Depending on how you get there, Hanover, NH is 1000 miles form my front door, give or take a few. I didn’t know what to expect from this college in, very literally, the middle of nowhere. But when people ask me if I have second-thoughts about being so far from home, I can say with certainty that I’ve never had a doubt in my mind.

As a sort of orientation, I went on a camping trip, as I’ve mentioned before. On my trip, we had to write a letter to our older, wiser, end of 1st year selves, which I completely forgot about until I checked my mailbox. I’ve gleaned two bits of college wisdom from my letter, which I’ll share with you all now.

First, your messy handwriting, or lack thereof, will not improve just because you’re in college. Embrace the scribbles in the same way that you should embrace everything about who you are as a person. You are you; it’s an amazing thing. Second, “Do the new things that you want to do, and don’t feel like you need to stay the same.” If I hadn’t listened to my own advice, I wouldn’t have made the amazing decision to join the Dartmouth Women’s Rugby team in the spring. Without that, I know my first year experience would have been much different.

I took so many interesting classes this year and some that were not so fun, met so many new people, tried out as many things as I possibly could. More importantly, I made a home for myself up in New Hampshire. I know not everyone gets that from their college, but I’m so glad that I did. There’s not a minute of it that I regret: from staying out until a ridiculous hour to staying in to study until a ridiculous hour. Every minute I spent studying in my favorite spot in Sanborn library was worth just as much as every minute I spent with friends. My dorm room was very literally the size of a closet, my roommate continues to be rad, and she and our “honorary roommate” are all living together next year. I honestly couldn’t have asked for a better experience; there’s not a thing I would change.

In my move in post, I said that there were so many things, that I didn’t know what I was most excited for. Now that I’ve seen a years worth of Dartmouth, I’m still excited about everything. I can’t get back there soon enough.

We Need More Strawberries!

ANNOUNCEMENT FROM THE TABLE: It’s been so long! We’re so sorry! We won’t make excuses though, those are pointless. We’ll just apologize for slacking and get back to it…

Hey guys! Guess who I saw!?

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Anissa!! I visited her at Dartmouth over my spring break and it was a blast!  It was one of those things you always talk about in high school and then a lot of times it just doesn’t happen.  But it did! I was there for four days and I brought her birthday gifts because she turned 19 this past Friday!

The journey was pretty long: 1.5 hours in a car then 2 on a plane and then 3 on a bus.  It was my first time flying alone which was exciting! I’m a really good traveler too so I don’t mind long trips.

While I was there she showed me all of her favorite spots on campus and took me to all the food places.  It’s a lot like Valpo in regards to size and student population and the feel, but Dartmouth’s buildings are cooler because they’re so old.

Day One I met all of Anissa’s friends, who were nice, and I had Indian food for the first time which tasted good.

Day Two I went to Chemistry class with her, which everyone thought I was crazy for. But being a Creative Writing Major I don’t have to take any of those big science lecture classes so it’s not like I sit in them everyday and get bored.  It was one and done and I wanted to get Anissa’s full college experience.  That night we went to the Dartmouth v. Princeton hockey game and I LOVED it!  I had no idea watching hockey was so fun! So I asked her if we could go again the next night and we did.  Dartmouth won both times.  This is us at the game sporting school spirit!

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Before that we took the bus to the store to get baking supplies because we like to be domestic together.  So on Day Three we made Strawberry Cream Cheese Icebox Cake with this recipe:  http://www.southyourmouth.com/2014/07/strawberry-cream-cheese-icebox-cake.html

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It was really, really good, and very rich.  Also super easy to make and nice if you want something that’s no-bake. Too bad we ate too many strawberries while we were mixing and kind of ran out at the end…

But anyway, back to Day Two.  We ended the night at a frat house (my first time at a frat!) but we didn’t go for a party, we went to see her friend perform in an A Capella show.  Opening for them was an Improv Comedy group (fun fact: it was the group Mindy Kaling was in).  Both performances were phenomenal.

It was then, at 1:00am, that I realized Anissa was about to royally screw up my sleep schedule. So I spent four days living the night life of my friend, and let me tell you, it’s exhausting.

So on Day Three we made the dessert, we went to the hockey game, and we went to see Still Alice at the movie theater.  Julianne Moore won an Oscar for her part as a mother and esteemed professor with Early-Onset Alzheimer’s. It was a really emotional movie based off a book I read.   I recommend both to anyone interested in a realistic depiction of the disease.

That night we stayed up late (really late) working on our novels!  They’re technically separate novels because she has hers and I have mine, but it’s more complicated than that because they share some characters and events so we have to work on them together.  But anyway, that’s a whole different blog post for a different time.

Day Four was when I had to go home, but we got breakfast at a cute diner called Lou’s first.  Unfortunately, there was a point in the meal where I may have tried to hit Anissa and in the process I may have knocked over my full glass of water instead. Karma I guess.

I had a great time.  It was absolutely the highlight of my 2015 year thus far and I hope to visit again in the future.  My favorite quote from the trip was from one of Anissa’s friends as she watched us bicker.  She said, “I’m a fan of this relationship.”

Me too.  I’m a fan of it too.

#3 Dude This Class I’m In…

…is sending me mixed signals.

An Open Letter to PSYC 6:

Intro to Neuro, what have I ever done to you? All I want is to fulfill a major requirement! I read and read and read and spend all my free time with you. I go to lecture, and pay attention, except for the few times I fall asleep on you. But even then, I record the stuff I missed and listen when I can give you the attention you deserve.
So why, then, do you treat me so poorly? Is it because you don’t notice me among the 70 other people in the room? Or do our lines get crossed among the 7 chapters I have to know for every test? I understand that you’re worth just as much as any other class in the grand scheme of things, but to me, you’re the real MVP. What kind of Neuroscience major would I be without you? Not a very good one, I’d assume.
We get along so well when it’s just you and I for hours on end. The time seems to fly by as I flip the hundreds of pages that are jammed into each test. You’re really great in that way. Teaching my brain more about my brain is something so confusing that only you can explain it to me. You’ve taught me biology, anatomy, and neuroscience all in the span of 5 short weeks. And for that, I couldn’t be more grateful. You’ll always be a 10/10 in my life. I just wish you could say the same about me.

Confusedly,
~Anissa

Seriously, this class is giving me heartburn. I’m really interested in the material and everything but the amount of material we need to know for every test is obscene. We do one chapter every day and even though the material isn’t exactly tricky, it can get really complex really quickly. It is the brain after all. Right when you think you have it all down, you try to explain it to someone else and become confused all over again.
There are probably people who can learn mass amounts of information with intense specificity in such a short period of time, but I’m still trying to get a hang of it. Not that I have much time to do that. There’s only a month left of class which is strange. The best part about it is that we get to do corrections on every test we take for up to 15 points back. It probably saves everyone’s GPA. Plus, there isn’t any homework. We need to read the chapters to do well on the test, but even that isn’t technically mandatory. And there aren’t any midterms. While everyone else was studying nonstop for midterm week, I was like ‘lol what’s a midterm?’ That was great.
I think I might have the hang of the studying thing, so I should be prepared for the next test. Third time’s the charm, right? Another great thing is that the prof drops the lowest test grade. And you can be a participant in research, which can raise your grade one increment.
What I’m trying to say is that, generally, I really like the class and the material. I’m just not used to the quarter system as opposed to the semester system. All that said, I’d give it a solid 8/10 and majorly recommend it if you’re interested in neuro and are down for a ton of one-on-one time with a library and your textbook.