Voices of Trips: Outreach Coordinator Doug Phipps ’17

Welcome to the Trips blog, ’20s!  We’re so excited to welcome you in August.

First off, I should introduce myself: I’m the Outreach Coordinator, Doug!  I’m responsible for the blog and social media presence of Trips, so if there’s anything you would like to see more (or less) of, don’t hesitate to shoot me an email at Doug.17@dartmouth.edu.

When I think of my Trips experience, I remember staring out the car window terrified of what I thought was to come.  I was frantically reading a free eBook on how to make a good first impression, convinced that everybody at Dartmouth would be a crazy smart genius with unbelievable social skills.

Doug on his freshman trip! (second from the right)

The second I got to Robinson lawn and signed in, I realized that I didn’t need the advice I’d spent three hours perusing.  Everyone was in the same awkward boat.  There are so many different people with so many different stories at Dartmouth, but at this moment, we were all connected by this common feeling of uneasiness.  Once I recognized that, conversation flowed easily; everyone was so excited to get to know their new classmates, and they instantly became less intimidating after I understood that nervous energy emanated from practically everyone.

Doug leading a trip before his junior year! (third from the left)



As clichéd as it may sound, Trips constantly helps me discover new things about myself. When I led a trip my sophomore year, I expected outgoing, loud trippees to meet me on Robo Lawn; I couldn’t wait to have fun with them.  Of course, even the most rambunctious people often appear reserved at first.  My trip was pretty introverted, and it took a full day for me to recognize that the occasional silence was not my fault–there are different people with different kinds of personalities, and some just aren’t talkers.  My trip wasn’t what I was expecting, but once I realized that my false assumptions were coloring my interactions with trippees, I stopped forcing conversation where it didn’t need to be and the trip became more natural.


’20s:  I know you must have some feelings about Trips and Dartmouth, so don’t hesitate to reach out to me if you have any questions whatsoever (Doug.17@dartmouth.edu).  If there’s any piece of advice I would offer, it’s to avoid taking too much advice; do your best to avoid making assumptions about what Trips or Dartmouth will be like for you based on what others have said.  You won’t have the exact same Trips or Dartmouth experience that anyone else has had, and realizing that liberates you to a world of possibility.

We’ve said it a million times, and we’ll say it a million more: we cannot WAIT for you to arrive in Hanover this fall. We have been working tirelessly to put this program together for you, and we hope you’ll have a unique, awesome experience.


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