I wish I had paid more attention to Dartmouth's information pamphlets and discovered that students are encouraged to engage in the diverse array of research opportunities as early as freshman year. I later read articles about how students, even with limited work experience, can make connections with faculty mentors in order to learn about their fields while assisting them with their projects. I also wish I had known about Dartmouth's career services. This office is an invaluable resource, assisting students with future plans and providing internship and employment opportunities.
I wish I knew that I didn't have to major in a science to be premed. I am still premed but I took the long and winding path. I should have been prepared to get Bs rather than the stright As that I was used to getting in high school. This is a tough college with a rigorous academic curriculum. I wish I also knew how to appreciate myself more so that I would have made wiser decisions but I guess that is what college is about. At the end of the day, I have no regrets.
I wish I had known that its okay to talk to faculty and your dean; they're there to help you! I was always afraid of the adults, but after working for them, I now regret that I didn't utilize the first year resources more. The administration is extremely friendly and always willing to help those in need. Also, the greek system is extremely strong on campus, but it's not scary. They are not exclusive and the majority of students are affiliated. It's friendly!
I wish I had known how to prepare for the difference in culture. Dartmouth students are very extraverted, and this overwhelmed me a bit when I first arrived on campus. It has taken me a while to balance my frequent desire for low-key social environments with the never-ending social scene at Dartmouth, for I didn't realize at first how much immediate urgency there would be to "find your place" or "fit in" on campus.
I wish I had been stronger in my convictions about what I wanted from a school. I kept hearing that I would change and adjust to whatever school I went to, but Dartmouth was absolutely the wrong choice for me. I wish I had realized that rumours and reputations exist for a reason, and that stereotypes have to emerge from somewhere.
The Greek scene really is a huge presence. I don't drink and I'm not a big fan of the frat scene, but that definitely is the main social space on campus. The only issue I've had with that is that your friends do a lot of bonding when they go out at night. So if you're not partaking you're likely to miss out.
I wish I had known more about the idiosyncracies of the social life. Even though it is a greek-life dominated school its fraternities and sororities are very different than frats and sororities at other schools I have visited.
I wish I would have known that the whole environment of the school was so academically demanding and stressing. I don't think it's necessarily bad for me, it just surprised me coming into such a rigorous environment.
While the school itself is very diverse, students tend to associate mostly with students with similar backgrounds and as a result do not really gain from the high level of "statistical" diversity.
Lots of extra money drains: like the dining plan (never use all the money that is allocated). Some party atmosphere, especially during weekends due in large part to greek societies.