It’s the day before ’20s arrive for Section A. Wow!
We imagine you have a lot of mixed feelings right now. Maybe you’re horrified of leaving home, thrilled to find independence at college, scared to go on your first outdoors trip, nervous to be stuck with strangers for five days, and countless other emotions.
But those emotions are natural. Today, on the the day before first-years begin arriving, a few of our very busy directorate members and support croolings offered a few of the nerves they had the day before Trips. Yes, even the people who spend the most time supporting and running the Trips program were extremely apprehensive. Our volunteers were promised anonymity for sharing their vulnerable experiences.
Meeting New People
Every single person I asked about this said that they were nervous to meet so many new people and make friends.
I have a personal memory of vigorously reading an e-book on my ride up to Hanover titled “How to Make a Good First Impression Without Fail” by Jack Warren. I was scared I would be incapacitated with awkwardness, that everyone would be making friends except for me.
But once I arrived at “Robo” lawn, our affectionate name for the building that houses all DOC-related activities, I noticed that most others seemed similarly nervous. Since we were all in it together, it was completely okay–together in our collective nervousness, we were more comfortable.
Getting Your Period on Trips
Two of our female volunteers had never had their periods in the woods before and were alarmed at the thought of not only having one in the woods for the first time, but of having it with so many brand new classmates around to witness it. “I got my period on the first night of Trips,” says one ’17 support crooling. “But my trip leaders had everything I needed and were so cool about it.”
Sleeping in Close Quarters with Strangers
One directorate member felt uneasy about sleeping under a tarp next to someone she just met. But it ended up being a really positive part of her trip; “Everyone was very respectful of privacy, but also having friends so close by was what led to really nice late night talks.”
Not Packing Correctly
“I was so nervous that I brought too much stuff,” says one Directorate member–ironically, one of the biggest contributors to your packing list.
Other Directorate members were nervous that they brought too few things, that they brought the wrong things, that their sneakers wouldn’t suffice, and that they wouldn’t have enough layers.
This post is by no means intended to be an advisory tool, but please know this: if you come to Hanover with too much stuff or not enough stuff, we will make sure you are properly equipped to go on your trip. While we encourage you to adhere to the packing list, don’t let it worry you too much.
Everyone smells bad when Trips is all said and done. Just as with the “meeting new people” apprehension, the fact that we collectively smelled horrible made it all more okay.
These are just a few of the nerves we had before our own Trips. If you find yourself anxious this week, just remember it is totally natural to feel that way. And always remember that you can reach us at any point at DOCTrips@dartmouth.edu–if there’s anything we can do to make your Trips experience better, please don’t hesitate to let us know.
We look forward to seeing you soon!