Dartmouth has this way of taking an image you once thought was crystal clear and making it blurry. I know I’m blind, so arguably my picture has always been a little blurry, but I am for sure not the only student at Dartmouth that all too often loses sight of what is really important and the core character traits that comprise that picture. Dartmouth students always seem to have on this façade that everything is picturesque, when in reality most are just trying to piece together their life in a way that has at least some resemblance of clarity. College is a really interesting time because, while on the surface it’s about getting an education, it is arguably, more so, about personal growth and exploration. It is a time to crash through the expectations you thought were set in stone, and a time to push the limits so much that inevitably you will end up flat on your face. No one likes the uncertainty of that blurry picture, because that uncertainty comes with a crippling fear of failure that all Dartmouth students are petrified to face.
The only way to conquer fear is to tackle it head on. At some point in college every student will experience it, that moment when there doesn’t even seem to be an image anymore, let alone a perfect picture of clarity. And in that defining moment instead of having your family to help refocus, there are only those relationships built at school for you to fall back on. College relationships are so unique because falling is unavoidable and students rely solely on their friends to help clear up the picture.
I seriously could not have gotten through my first two years at Dartmouth without the amazing group of people I am lucky enough to call my friends. There are so many great opportunities at Dartmouth, but what can often be overshadowed is the opportunity to surround yourself with people who challenge you to be the best version of yourself. The people who make the picture clear yet always make you question if the resolution could be better. These are the people who will undoubtedly make a positive impact on the world; passion spills out of them and their enthusiasm makes you passionate too.
It is scary to think about where everyone will be in five or 10 years down the road. Even throughout college relationships are always changing. Undoubtedly there probably won’t be a time in your life when you are as close to your friends as you are in college. While losing touch is a scary thought, regardless of proximity you will forever be indebted to the relationships you built in college because those are the people that got you through a crucial building block in your life, a time where you had to figure out what that picture meant to you and unavoidably the people around you had a say in that. When I started at Dartmouth my picture was for sure a little blurry. At first I just thought that was because I’m blind and things are hard to see, but I’ve realized the people I surround myself with at school have shown me successful relationships are as important, if not more, than success defined by Dartmouth standards.