This post is part of our Voices of Trips series, in which volunteers share stories from their own experiences with DOC First-Year Trips.
The Woods? Who Cares?
Everyone talks about how all the awesome people, things, and times they had during Trips. And don’t get me wrong, I definitely had all those awesome things. But I wouldn’t say that was the best part.
I was alone (well I was with my trippees, but I invoke my creative license), in the woods, on the other side of the country, in the woods. Did I mention in the woods? I had been camping twice before, and both of those times we had a shower, a car, and a road to the nearby store. Then all of a sudden I’m in the woods! In New England! (I told myself I would never do that, since I saw The Blair Witch Project and I’m not dumb.) Did I say that I was on the whitewater kayaking trip, too? Because, oh yeah, I was also kayaking for the first time in my life.
The whole trip I was trying to balance my natural introversion and awkwardness with a group of Type A, outgoing, incredibly excited, LOUD Trip leaders and Croo members. From the moment I left the Dartmouth Coach, it was a frenzy of excitement and positivity.
I LOVED IT.
What? Why? How? Yes, I absolutely loved it. I met some awesome people and did a lot of things for the first time. That was my intention when I decided to come to Dartmouth from Los Angeles. I was ahead of the game at this rate!
Does this mean I’m now one of the most active members of the DOC? Nope. Have I gone on a hike or gone kayaking since? Once. While an integral part of Trips is the immersion in nature, that wasn’t the most important part for me. I got to get out of my comfort zone, try something new, expand my knowledge of the world. That was the real benefit.
Though a lot of people are close to their trippees, I mostly wave and nod hello to mine. Some people become lifetime members of the DOC and can be seen in many a newsfeed on top of some mountain. I didn’t. I took a wonderful experience and let it set the stage for what I wanted college to be. So I don’t really care about the bug bites I got, how bad my hair looked, how awkward pooping was, or how bad I smelled.
When you remove all the flair, dancing, yelling, and wilderness, you’re left with the experience, the feelings you got from Trips.
And those are things I could never forget.