This post is a super special addition to our Voices of Trips series, written by our fabulous Trips Director, Peety Kaur ’15.
Trips is a little over a week away and I am overwhelmed with excitement and nerves. I’ve spent the last ten months planning transportation routes, booking campsites, designing new trips, and envisioning trippees stepping onto Robo lawn for the first time. As these visions materialize into reality, I am reminded of what inspired me to apply for the job of Trips Director in the first place. I’m so excited to watch ‘19s meet their trippees and leaders for the first time–wonderful moments filled with excitement, anxiety, and a wee bit of awkwardness. I can’t wait to see connections form between first-years, as they discover how incredibly unique and special their peers are. I’m looking forward to hearing stories of trippees who surprised themselves as they mountain biked, kayaked, and hiked like pros. Above all else, I’m so excited to watch first-years start to feel just a little more comfortable in the place they are about to spend four very unique and formative years of their lives.
As Trips approaches, I can’t help but reminisce on my own five-day excursion that happened four long years ago. Many parts of my trip are just blurry memories, but some moments will forever remain vivid in my mind. My first memory is the incredible amount of paralyzing awkwardness I felt as I approached Robinson Hall, watching people dance and socialize around me as I tried shrink into the tree I was standing against (luckily an upperclassman soon ran over to me, easing my anxiety as I stared in awe at her pink hair). I always laugh when I think about my trip scrambling around our campsite, throwing our stuff under a tarp, as rain unexpectedly poured out of the sky; and smile when I think about sleeping under that tarp huddled next to my smelly trippees, telling each other stories of our high school days. I cringe when I think about waking up at 1am, realizing burrito night had put an end to my strike against pooping in the woods. And I feel pride when I remember strapping on a harness for the first time and climbing up a rock wall that initially seemed insurmountable. Overall I definitely had a lot of fun on my trip, and looking back have realized that I gained quite a lot from those five days. I met my trip leader, who over the years became my role model at Dartmouth. I realized how much I love being up in the mountains, which inspired me to get involved with the DOC. And I learned that I can be put in a group of complete strangers and be okay. It’s true that I didn’t become best friends with my trippees or master the Salty Dog Rag, but when I think about Trips 2011, I can’t help but smile.
Now, I don’t expect everyone’s experiences on Trips to be like mine. There’s no such thing as doing Trips right and no definition of a successful Trips experience. All I hope is that in four years when the ‘19s have graduated and are reminiscing about their first-year trips, they also have some memories they can share. And if I may be so bold, I hope that when those memories are shared, some of them bring smiles to their faces.
I can’t wait to meet you, trippees! Have a safe journey to Dartmouth, and I will see you soon!