This post is part of our Voices of Trips series, in which volunteers share stories from their own experiences with DOC First-Year Trips.
Dartmouth was not my first choice college. Over the summer before my first year I felt scared and nervous as I constantly second-guessed whether I had made the right decision, especially when my high school friends all seemed so confident that they had found the right fit. I didn’t really want to go on Trips- I would have described myself as mildly outdoorsy, but spending 5+ days in the woods without a shower didn’t really sound like my thing. My parents were pretty insistent though, and so I somewhat reluctantly signed up. The whole bus ride up to Hanover I was so nervous I thought I would puke if anyone tried to talk to me, and the loud people in crazy clothes and dyed hair who welcomed us at Dartmouth seemed wayyyy over the top in their enthusiasm and friendliness.
I couldn’t believe that Dartmouth was real, that all these cool crazy people actually wanted to welcome me and make me sign and dance, especially since I can’t sing and am perhaps the least coordinated person alive. Somehow, though, during those first few hours, something changed. I realized that there was no hidden agenda, that the Croo members really did just want to welcome us and make sure we had a good time. When the music came on that first night I followed my Trip Leaders and jumped up to start dancing. To my immense surprise I found that I absolutely loved it. I had never felt so welcomed or so free. I’ve had my ups and lots of downs along the way, but ever since that first day at Dartmouth I’ve never looked back.