Best thing about Dartmouth - People. They're smart, open-minded, active, and loaded with talents. For instance, most people speak at least two languages and play at least one instrument. Thing I'd change - Cost. I've been out for nearly 10 years and I'm still paying for it. They do make it affordable for everyone but it's still so expensive. School size - Just right. 1,100 students per class. It gradually increases (used to be like 40 per graduating class in 1770s) but the rate of increase is acceptable. I like graduating and at least recognizing 75%+ of the names being announced at graduation. People's reaction when I tell them I went to Dartmouth - Impressed. They know Dartmouth is a smart school and, perhaps, didn't think I was that smart. Most of my time on campus - Student Centers. Whether it was dining hall (most students are on centralized meal plans), performance spaces (like the Hopkins Center or Collis Commonground), or meeting areas for clubs/radio station/tv (like Robinson Hall), I tended to be where other students were. College town - Yes. Dartmouth is the epitome of a "college town" Dartmouth's administration - Love to hate them. It's a unifying thing, us (students) vs. them but really they're fantastic. They truly care about everyone and want the school to survive and thrive. Biggest recent controversy on campus - Greek vs. Non-Greek. The Greek (frat) system was a very key component of campus life in Dartmouth's past but, in an effort to take more control, Administration is offering more alternatives to becoming a part and harsher penalties for Greek misbehavior. School pride - Yes. Tons of it. I still have five shirts, a calendar, a facebook application, an email account, countless address labels, an improv troupe, and several bumper stickers with "Dartmouth" on it...and I don't even have a car! Also, I don't think I'm alone. I'm in touch with several other alums with similar paraphernalia. Anything unusual about Dartmouth - There's a graveyard surrounding about 1/3 of the campus. One experience I'll always remember - Late Night Food Court. Meeting some friends just before the dining hall closed (~1am) and eating mediocre food and chatting about everything. It felt like we owned the campus. These were the seeds of inside jokes that I still share with my friends 9 years after graduation. After the dining hall would close we'd return in a blizzard to our respective dorm rooms and blitz (Dartmouth for "email") each other until the server went down at 3am (which I'm told doesn't happen any more). The most frequent student complaints - Lack of diversity. It's true. It would be nice to have a more diverse campus. I feel that the Administration is moving that direction.
The location is something that few other colleges of its caliber offer. That said, it is difficult for people who are accustomed to spending their time in Manhattan boutiques and clubs. Hanover, New Hampshire is far from metropolis. The town proper is really one main street, and it feels a lot like a gilmore-girlsy quiet New England town. There's a cute family breakfast diner, a few bookstores, a few clothing stores, the Gap, CVS, and a coffee shop or two - all within 5 minutes walking distance from the college green. But that's the end of town. The small-town aspect of Dartmouth does a lot to the social structure. Everyone talks about how there is a definite sense of community - the focus of all 4000 undergrads is directed towards the school itself and the people around them, rather than the city. So by the end of four years spent in the middle of nowhere with awesome people, the personal bonds are intense, a sense that is tougher to create when the school scatters off into the city each weekend. But, that's definitely a matter of personal preference. Some people will nonetheless feel restricted by the size of the town. Being small and undergraduate focused has a big impact upon life at Dartmouth. I was personally looking at places like UCLA and USC as well as Dartmouth, and have been surprised that the size has been one of my favorite parts of the school. It's a wonderful feeling to know that if you're feeling lonely, you can just walk to the campus center (it's nicely organized around a large green, the library, the theater/arts center, and food) and be guaranteed to run into someone you know. But at the same time, it's unlikely that in 4,000 people you wont find SOME people you click well with, and you'll never be able to get to know everyone. Size changes things a lot; if you meet someone one day at an a capella show, you're quite likely to run into them on multiple occasions again, so it's entirely possible to get to know people thoroughly, without having to live next door to them. The students are friendly and not at all competetive. Honestly, the people are probably the best resource. If you dont understand math, there are 5 people who live a few doors down in either direction who are brilliant at it and willing to help. But even with an overwhelming number of friendly people, Dartmouth is real, and you will run into the occasional person you dont like. Also, Blitzmail (email) instead of cell-phones dominate life, and we write emails like crazypeople. Nobody owns a cell phone. I told you, unique.
The greatest thing about Dartmouth is that so many who go there people feel the same way about it; it's a wonderful, unique place and one of the best to spend your college years at. There's a great sense of school pride and love for all things Dartmouth. I never thought a love or miss a place so much, but it's true... there will be always be a warm spot in my heart for it and the memories I've had there. This probably explains the very high retention rate and the very high alumni giving rate. The size of the student body, for me, was perfect. It wasn't so small that you knew everyone and everybody was in everybody else's business, but it wasn't so large that you'd always see people you knew around. If you hooked up with someone over the weekend, you'd be sure to see them walking to class or in foodcourt (the dining hall) that week. Dartmouth lives by the "work hard, play hard" mentality, which I suppose isn't different from many colleges. Classes are fairly rigorous and students take work seriously, but they always manage to go out on weekends and Wednesdays (when Greek "meetings" are held which are really just an excuse to get sh**faced.) The student body is also overwhelmingly unique and accomplished. It seems like everyone you meet is super-smart, has either published a book or founded a clinic in Uganda after graduation, and also is pretty cool to hang out with. Even that guy in the ratty cap and tshirt who sleeps through your math class and is stoned every weekend probably knows everything about string theory and has a 3.99 GPA. When I tell other people I went to Dartmouth, they either say, "Oooh Dartmouth... Ivy League... you must be really smart", or ask, "Is that like UMASS Dartmouth?" Either way, I tell them how much I loved going there and don't often bother to try to explain how awesome it is, since there is just something "Dartmouth" about it that I can't quite put into words.
When my father helped me move in this September after DOC trips, he best articulated Dartmouth's sense of community, “I can see where Dr. Seuss got his inspiration. Walking around campus and seeing all of your class together on the Green is like being amongst the Who’s in Whoville,” which in my opinion, is so true. We’re an odd bunch, Dartmouth students, but our unique community is extremely close-knit. The second aspect of Dartmouth is hard to put into words. It is the view of Dartmouth as a “world of its own.” The only way I can describe it is that when I arrive in Hanover on the Dartmouth Coach I feel alive and in true form; and as soon as I board the bus to leave for break, I immediately feel homesick and long to return. I literally feel as though everything about me changes when I’m here. While at Dartmouth, I feel invincible in a way. Nothing is out of my reach, and everyone is open-minded. I feel separated from the harsh realities of being an adult, but at the same time feel free to reap the benefits of living on my own. In high school, I was always told my goals were too lofty and that I needed to put things in perspective; and because of this, I was not able to truly enjoy the time I spent there. But at Dartmouth, the “perspective” is always ambitious. In fact, dreaming big and thinking out of the box are expected. On top of that, I’m encouraged to live these next four years of intellectual and social exploration to the fullest. Dartmouth has become my safe haven; a separate place where I’m free to aspire and take pleasure in what education has to offer. I know this isn’t a concrete idea, more ideological than anything, but is truly what I feel is the most defining aspect of Dartmouth College.
Given that Dartmouth's alumni giving rate is always one of the top, it's pretty obvious that the vast majority of students love their time here. Because Dartmouth is located in the middle of the woods in Hanover, NH, students here really live in the Dartmouth bubble and get to become very close with each other. I think having just around 4000 undergrads is a great size--big enough that there are plenty of people you don't know, but not so large you need a bus to shuttle around campus. Hanover itself is beautiful in the fall, although winters here tend to be rough. That's the one thing I would change about the school. One of the most unique things is the freshmen "Trips" that around 90% of incoming freshmen attend. Groups of around 8-10 kids are lead by upperclassmen on a variety of outdoors trips and instantly fall in love with the school. Freshmen floors themselves tend to be very close. Quality of housing is quite good, and as much as we may complain abou the food, the quality is actually decent. Also, every term (we're on the quarter system), we have a giant party weekend that's always lots of fun. Pong here is better than beirut played at every other campus
This is a small school with a big world-view and world-class elite facilities. Most people from the Northeast know what Dartmouth is, but elsewhere we have to tell people it's part of the Ivy League, then they sort of get it. I wish this place wasn't so privileged. I wish we didn't have gender and race issues. It seems like other, more urban or larger Ivies have moved beyond these issues more. Sometimes this place is a place of great despair for people, for the same people it is a place of great joy and pride. We struggle here. I'm not sure if we work any harder, but things come at a cost here it seems, and the worst part is feeling alone. But we are stronger for it, and the legacy of Dartmouth is a retinue of proud, principled alums who do good in the world (next to others we aren't that proud of). The granite of New Hampshire, as the song goes, is imbued in our muscles and our brains, but on a windy peak admissions is loath to tell you about. As far as the town, Hanover's history is the history of the college, and the town doesn't offer much that the college hasn't created in its vast legacy here and around the world.
Dartmouth is such a dense school that it's really hard to just sum it up. Safety: I can't think of another school where I'd feel comfortable leaving my computer unattended in the library for several hours. Things rarely get stolen (unless you bring a Northface jacket to a frat and someone mistakes it for their own) and there is no serious crime that goes on (our newspaper publishes descriptions of the "crimes" that go on in Hanover, which are humorous due to their tame nature. Students: A good mix and a good social group for everyone. Lots of school pride both on campus and off. Also, the townfolk have a lot of pride for us too! Atmosphere: The campus is beautiful, especially when it's warm out (and by warm I mean 45+ degrees and sunny...trust me, you'll get used to 50 degrees being hot). The town is quaint. Very clean and super nice people. Pretty pricy and not diverse at all. Food: The food is much better than your average college food (which isn't saying much). There are places to eat in town, but no fast food restaurants for quite a distance. Dorms
The one complaint I have about Dartmouth is Hanover, the town itself. There is no place to shop and it's pretty secluded. There is, however, a lot of school pride which is a huge plus. Everyone here loves the college. It is the perfect size: not too big or too small so that you run into a lot of people you know while still having the opportunity to meet a lot of new people as well. Dartmouth's D-Plan is pretty unusual, but really cool because it allows for students to take any term off in the year rather than just summer. And staying on for sophomore summer allows for class bonding. We are also on a quarter system, which is pretty unusual. It's great in that we get more opportunities to take a variety of different classes and makes things seem to be moving along faster. The major drawback is that everything is moving long faster so that it seems like finals are just around the corner from midterms.
Dartmouth is AMAZING, period. The campus is gorgeous and the tiny town of Hanover is adorable. Dartmouth is known for its academics and its focus on undergraduates, and I feel completely at home and welcomed here. I'm proud to go to Dartmouth, and when I tell people where I go to school, they are either impressed, or they don't even know where Dartmouth is. The way most students are introduced to Dartmouth is through Dimensions, when accepted students come to Dartmouth, and the college tries to convince them to come. It's ALWAYS gorgeous weather that weekend, and there are so many fun activities. Now, I could not go to Dimensions, so my first experience at Dartmouth was DOC trips, camping trips at the very beginning of the year. It's an INCREDIBLE experience. It's where you meet your first friends, realize how much fun Dartmouth can be, and see how techno music and flair are kind of a big deal.
I'm the last heir from a very distinguished family from India. I like posting thoughts on the World Wide Web. My interests include Culinary Arts, Economics, Movies, and Christianity. Dartmouth College was a good fit for me. The school is neo-classical and gives people like me an opportunity to question aspirations. My college major was Cognitive Science which is interdisciplinary (Math, Psychology, Computer Science, Neurobiology). If I won the lottery, I would donate a sum to Dartmouth College, because I am grateful for the education gained, the friendship memories, and the interest in American politics and life I acquired. Dartmouth College is a small school with a personal community that thrives on intellectual curiosity and service. Its student party scene is thrilling if managed properly. The campus itself is very scenic (and the food is great).