Trip Leader Profile: Jessica Ma ’16

Note: This post is part of the “Trip Leader Profile” series, which will introduce some of the student volunteers for DOC Trips 2013.  To learn more about our great group of trip leaders, check out the introduction to the series here

10 Questions for Jessica Ma ’16

Jessica is from Buffalo Grove, Illinois.
Jessica is from Buffalo Grove, Illinois.

What DOC Trip are you leading this fall?

A hiking trip from Moose Mountain to Holt’s Ledge!

What are you studying?

Biology, with a concentration in biochemistry. Possibly a minor in international relations or public policy.

What DOC Trip did you go on?

Mist and Moosilauke! It was aweeeesome.

3 words that describe your first year at Dartmouth…

Humbling. Serendipitous. Formative.

Why are you excited for DOC Trips 2013?

For me, the atmosphere of Trips – from the moment we set foot on Robo lawn, to the actual trip, to dancing around in the Lodj – was all simply intoxicating (in a good way!). I’m so excited to get to relive all of that, but from the other side. I’m also pumped for the opportunity to really connect with the incoming class – after all, each class at Dartmouth is filled with so many personalities and talents.

The best or worst advice you received during your first-year at Dartmouth…

Best: “Just do you.” It seems really simple, but these words have always resonated with me ever since my 13 friend told me this at the beginning of fall term. Sometimes, coming into college, we think that we’ll need to fit into certain “molds” in order to fit in – particularly that mold of the “Dartmouth student.” The truth is, you don’t. You’re honestly all spectacular in your own way, and people will love you for it! Freshman fall is always a little shaky – I know it was for me – but that doesn’t mean that who you are as a person is “wrong” or needs to be “fixed.”

What is your favorite thing to eat on campus?

Pressing my own panini with raisin bread, bananas, strawberries, and peanut butter.

What has been the highlight of your time at Dartmouth thus far?

Stargazing on the golf course (seriously, do it! It’s the best. Just steal some garbage bags to sit on so your pants don’t get wet). It wasn’t just one instance, but the combination of all the midnight trips throughout the year. It was great just being in a group where no one really knew each other and talking about our lives and thoughts like we we’d been friends for a long time. Not only did I make some of my closest friends through those starlit chats, but it is absolutely GORGEOUS! No light pollution, and a ton of shooting stars.

What was the most important item you forgot to pack before coming to Dartmouth to move in?

RAIN BOOTS! I had actually never owned rain boots until I came to Dartmouth. And it’s not even that I grew up in a very dry place or anything…

Your ideal Saturday afternoon at Dartmouth…

Lying on the green, playing with puppies, and spontaneously deciding to go swimming in the river. After a few hours swimming, rope-swinging, and/or canoeing, heading to FoCo for some to-go to have a picnic on the green.


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