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First-Year Trips

For Current Students

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Our Stories

emily burack '17

“The DOC First-Year Trips program is wonderful in many, many ways, and one of the most important goals is to make incoming first years feel as comfortable as possible starting off their college experience. As a trippee, I was so nervous that I couldn't sleep the first night. I had never spent a night in the outdoors. But by the last night, I had reached a point where I was so comfortable around my trippees, I felt like I could talk to them about anything (and I asked my leaders literally every question I could think of about Dartmouth). Trips welcomed me with open arms and did not let me go.”

Emily Burack ‘17

terrene hughes '17
“Trips confirmed my decision to come to Dartmouth - I immediately felt welcomed to a community I was not yet even a part of. It continues to amaze me how much time and effort current students put into making first years feel comfortable on day 1. I felt like I had belonged at Dartmouth my whole life after 5 days without showering!”

Terence Hughes ‘17

“When I got to the lawn in front of Robo to check in for my freshman trip I gave myself a little pep talk. ‘You've visited, you know the ropes, people have said that Trips is the best. You've got this, it'll be great.’ But that was just to quiet the other half of my brain that was saying ‘Crap crap crap you're so awkward, you've made a horrible mistake. You shouldn't be here at all.’ Fortunately, neither side was totally right. I had no idea what I was doing, but that was okay. I was incredibly awkward at first, and that was okay too. Through Cabot Cheddar, smelly socks, and rain soaked sleeping bags, I was able to be myself and share that with a group of strangers who miraculously accepted me for being just me. Those relationships I made on Trips sustained me through difficult points during my freshman year, and some of my trippees are still my best friends, even though some I never talked to after I left the Lodge. But most importantly, when I got back to campus, and my mom asked how it was, I said, ‘It made me feel like I belong here.’ That sense of place and purpose was the best gift Trips could have given me.”

–Emma Hartswick ‘17

Emily Lacroix '15“I ended my first day of Trips crying in my sleeping bag, refusing to come out for dinner because I was so cold and wet. Although that evening was not the cheeriest, this isn't my biggest memory of Trips. I more remember climbing under our tarp our second night and chatting until we feel asleep and our leaders attempting to make us pancakes on a camp stove. It's so nice to reflect on a time where a bunch of strangers shared this awesome experience and our upperclassmen leaders were doing all they could to make us feel welcome and happy!”

–Emily Lacroix ‘15

“In the car on the way to Hanover, I was frantically reading some free eBook on how to makedoug phipps '17 a good first impression. I was so nervous for Trips, for freshman year in general. The second I got to Robinson lawn and signed in, I realized that I didn't need any of the advice I'd spent three hours perusing. We were all in the same horrendously awkward boat, but after getting past the first phase of that, everyone was incredibly friendly and easy to talk to. Hanover Croo's wild dancing and my fellow '17s made me feel at home in Hanover for the first time.”

–Doug Phipps ‘17

chris meyer '17“Before coming to college I wasn't sure if I had made the right choice in coming to Dartmouth. As soon as I heard the music blasting from above Robinson Hall, I got excited about going to Dartmouth for the first time, and I've never looked back. Trips is one of the most special things the Dartmouth community does. Between the dancing, the friendly people, and the five days in the wilderness, Trips is an absolutely magical experience.”

–Chris Meyer ‘17

Aylin Woodward '15“On our second day of hiking, we crested Franconia Ridge around 10 am and it literally felt like something out of a Tolkien movie. We all simultaneously (and independently of one another) broke out humming the Lord of the Rings theme as we started clambering up rocks on this wide-open mountain top trail, and argued over which of us was Legolas. It was right around then when I knew I had found somewhere I belonged.”

–Aylin Woodward ‘15


Last Updated: 5/22/15