Note: This post is part of the “Voices of Trips” series, featuring the individual experiences and perspectives of current Dartmouth undergraduates regarding DOC First-Year Trips. Check out the introduction to the series here.
Going Through With It
Before trips, I didn’t have any experience with hiking or camping or anything outdoorsy. When I first heard of DOC First-Year Trips, I decided that it was not my type of thing. However, in fear of feeling left out, I applied for the cabin camping trip.
A few days before my trip began, as my brother was teaching me how to roll up a sleeping bag, I realized that I had no idea how to dealwith the outdoors. I REALLY didn’t want to go on my trip. The real problem, though, wasn’t that I was afraid of the outdoors. The problem was that I was afraid of stepping out of my comfort zone. I was afraid to live with people who I didn’t know. I was afraid of not being able to pick up the phone and call my mom if I had a bad day.
When the day arrived for me to get dropped off at Dartmouth for my trip, I was so nervous. My stomach was in knots. I remember standing on the green looking across the street at all these crazy Dartmouth kids in flair being silly on the lawn of Robinson Hall. I was freaking out because I did not want to go. My family suggested that I walk around campus with them before I left so that I could calm down. We ended our walk where the tripees were supposed to get dropped off.
“…I ended up having a great and rewarding experience on my DOC Trip..it didn’t inspire me to go hiking in my spare time, but I’m SO glad I did it!”
As I was deciding whether or not to go through with this whole first year trip experience, a smiling older Dartmouth student (who is now one of my good friends and biggest role-models on campus) approached me and asked if I was waiting to check in. I reluctantly said yes and before I knew it I had said goodbye to my family and checked in for my first year trip.
I took a risk and stepped out of my comfort zone by going on the trip. And I ended up having a great and rewarding experience. I wouldn’t say it was the best experience of my life, but that’s okay. I’m not best friends with my tripees and it didn’t inspire me to go hiking in my spare time. But I’m SO glad I did it! It gave me the sense of independence and confidence that I needed to begin college.
So even if you’re not the most outdoorsy person, or if you’re afraid of living with people you don’t know yet, or if you’re too attached to your cellphone, take advantage of this opportunity and go on a DOC First-Year Trip. You won’t regret it.
I went on my trip, survived the wilderness, hiked for the first time, thought I was going to get attacked by a bear that turned out to be a small friendly dog that belonged to a through-hiker, saw beautiful views of mountains and waterfalls, and figured out what Dartmouth was all about. For me, Dartmouth is about trying new things, having fun, and learning to be comfortable with your true self.