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| Graduation '05, most of my classmates had tears in their eyes. They just had the best four years of my life. They would miss their friends. They would miss the college they loved. They were already getting nostalgic. I had tears in my eyes too, but for a different reason. I had the worst four years of my life (for various reasons that I don't need to mention in the alumni survey) and now there would be no chance to change that.|
But I thought, oh well, that's over. Time to get on with my life. I moved to the west coast (Where I should have gone to college to begin with. I am from the midwest and I had always had the idea I'd end up here, but decided on going to Dartmouth because I thought it might be a good idea to spend some time in the east before moving west. Get my bases covered, if you will.) I applied for white-collar jobs, and watched in horror as I was rejected by every single one of them.
I had been told that going to an Ivy League school will guarantee you a good job. It will guarantee you getting into a good grad school. All misconceptions (I don't want to say "lies," because I don't think that the people who told me were intentionally trying to lead me on) that a naive high schooler believed when he decided to go to Dartmouth. It's not even that I was a bad student or anything. I studied hard. I had an alright GPA (My average was between an A and B. It probably would have been better if I wasn't so damn miserable the entire time.) and did very well on my GRE. But after all this happened, it kind of broke my will.
People out west don't even know what Dartmouth is. When my friends and I get asked where we went to school, it goes something like...
Friend A: UCSD.
Person: Wow! You must be very smart!
Friend B: UCLA.
Person: Whoa! You're really smart too!
Person: Oh...ok. What's that? Is it a junior?
This wouldn't bother me *nearly* as much if the people making the employment decisions didn't have the same kind of mentality. Seriously.
So now here I am, still working at Starbucks, two years out. Granted, it's not a bad job. I have fun here. It's a source of income. It doesn't quite pay the bills and I'm still relying on my parents for help. Not sure how much longer this can go on.
So here's the deal. Not only did I have a miserable time in college, but I can't help but fear I screwed myself over for life by going to Dartmouth. I wonder if it's possible to relinquish my B.A. and just redo my undergrad at UCLA or something. Seriously.It's such trite advice but it's also so true and I wish I had taken it to heart. Do your research -before- picking a school. That's far more important than all the research you could ever do during school. Regardless of what path you take, success is not guaranteed -- but the rammifications of that path are.
|Jul 29 2007|| Alumnus Male --
Class 2000 |
| I'm absolutely obsessed with Dartmouth, and have been since day 1, though it's certainly not the place for everyone. With 10-week terms, Dartmouth is incredibly fast-paced, especially since the majority of students are engaged in a number of extracurriculars as well. Stemming from all-male roots (Dartmouth was the last Ivey to go co-ed, in 1972) with fraternities dominating the social scene, there is a distinctly male-dominated feeling on campus, despite the existence of a number of sororities as well. (Only 3 of the 7 sororities are allowed to host parties, while all 13 fraternities are able to)|
Beyond that, however, Dartmouth is an amazing and stimulating environment, where the majority of the student population is understated yet very accomplished. Winters are cold, and Hanover is not exactly a thriving metropolis, but if you are willing to take advantage of all the outdoor activities associated with being in rural New Hampshire then it's not half bad. I love Dartmouth, and am confident that it was the right choice for me, but if you need the stimulation of an urban environment or have an aversion to greek life, then it might not be the school for you.
|Jul 24 2007|| 2nd Year Female --
Class 2009 |
| The way the curriculum is set up, the school enables students to study every subject obtain a real liberal arts education. The students are in no way snooty or arrogant as I expected. The social life is excellent. Great School. |
|Jul 13 2006|| 1st Year Male --
Class 2009 |