Voices of Trips: Morgan McCalmon ’16

This post is part of our Voices of Trips series, in which volunteers share stories from their own experiences with DOC First-Year Trips.

Morgan McCalmon '16 is from Norman, Oklahoma.
Morgan McCalmon ’16 is from Norman, Oklahoma.

The night before I left my home in small town Oklahoma, I cried on the couch with my mom while eating chocolate ice cream. I was terrified, excited, sad, happy, and nervous all at the same time. I had never been away from home for an extended amount of time… much less 2200 miles for the next four years. Four AM drew nearer and nearer and I was off to the airport to embark on (what I didn’t know then) the most incredible journey that is Dartmouth. I must say it now… I am so unbelievably jealous that you guys are only beginning your journeys!

When I finally arrived on campus, I eagerly waited in line to check in for my trip. I’m a recruited athlete, and 5 out of the 6 of us in the 2016 class were on the same section, and one ended up being on my trip (G470 represent). The smell of awkwardness filtered the air, but I trudged on, answering the usual questions (you’ll see what I mean… trust me). The rest of the day consisted of dancing, meeting my trip leaders and trippees and preparing for the next days adventures. All the apprehension seemed to float away as we slowly got to know each other.

After we arrived to the Second College Grant, the location for my trip, the real fun began. I laughed and I laughed and I laughed some more, knowing in that moment, I was making friends that I would have for the rest of my time at Dartmouth. I was placed on a fishing trip, which consisted more of swimming than fishing. Although my trippees and I were lucky enough to have a cabin, on the first night we decided to sleep outside under the full moon. We stayed up until the early hours of the night talking. That is one of my favorite memories at Dartmouth. I am incredibly lucky to say that two of my best friends now were also my trippees (my literal day ones you could say). We still reminisce about our trip all of the time! I even told one that he was never ever getting rid of me…btw he still hasn’t.

Morgan with her own First-Year Trip (G470) in 2012!
Morgan with her own First-Year Trip (G470) in 2012!

I knew I had chosen the right school the second I stepped on the Leech Field at the Moosilauke Ravine Lodge. I had seen the passion and love for Dartmouth from all of the interactions I had with the upperclassmen involved with DOC Trips. It was there where it all came together for me, where my passion and love for Dartmouth began.

Now for the advice: Don’t anticipate… participate! Okay… Sorry, I know that was a little cheesy but it’s true! No trip experience is the same, so embrace the journey and get out of it what YOU get out of it. It’s okay if you’re nervous or homesick. It’s okay if you miss your friends or your fat cat. It’s okay if you feel like you have no idea what you’re doing. Chances are every person on your trip is feeling some sort of something that you’re feeling… does that make sense? Dance like nobody is watching…or don’t. Sing like nobody is listening… or don’t. But most importantly be yourself and have fun!



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