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First Year Trips

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Tips for Strengthening Your Trips Volunteer Application

Thank you for applying to be a volunteer for First Year Trips 2020! Every year, hundreds of rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors make Trips a success. To make the application process as fair as possible, we are providing the following information to help you write a successful application. Please consider the following information before you begin to write your application. If you have additional questions, check out our FAQs for Trips volunteers, email us anytime at, or come to our office to ask us questions (Robinson Hall 111)! We're usually around, but email is more reliable.

 Qualities of a Trips Volunteer

  • Awareness of your personal identity as well as how it has affected your experiences; understanding of how others' identities affect their experiences.
  • Reflective and thoughtful about your Dartmouth experience.
  • Open and willing to share your Dartmouth experience with others but accepting of the fact that every Dartmouth experience differs
  • Open-minded to and appreciative of diversity of experiences in and out of Dartmouth.
  • Aware and respectful of trip leader and croolings' influential role in forming incoming students' experiences and perspectives.
  • Hardworking and prepared for the commitment required to volunteer for the First Year Trips program.
  • Committed interest in not only genuinely welcoming but genuinely befriending incoming students that extends beyond Trips.
  • Excited to welcome the Class of 2024!

Application Tips

Our biggest tip for writing a Trips application is to be genuine and be yourself. There is nothing you need to say. Show us why you have a strong desire to support incoming students and how you'd be qualified to do that— in WHATEVER unique way you will do that. There are lots of awesome ways to be a great Trips volunteer. Tell us how YOU would be one, not how others might be one.

While we don't grade applications based on writing ability, here are some tips we compiled (with help from RWIT) on how to be most clear in your application.

Before you start writing...

Consider your content and ideas. A strong application...

  • Reflects on past experiences and demonstrates how your unique skills and personality will add to the mission of the Trips program.
  • Demonstrates self-awareness and the ability to self-reflect.
  • Is specific and uses concrete examples as evidence.
  • Draws insights from past experiences and understands their impact.
  • Shows willingness to be honest and open in responses.
  • Indicates an understanding of trippees' needs and the ability to meet those needs as a Trips volunteer.

Consider these writing tips...

Though we will not be judging your application by your writing abilities, clear and proofread writing can help to convey your ideas to the reader. The following tips are suggestions for the writing of your application, compiled in collaboration with RWIT in 2015.

  1. Create depth, not breadth. You have up to 250 words, but that doesn't mean you need to use them all. Your message will be much more powerful if you have a narrower focus you can explain in depth instead of trying to list everything you're passionate about. Your application will stand out because of the details you offer.
  2. Be concise. Cut out meaningless words (actually, kind of), words that repeat the meaning of other words (true and accurate, each and every), what someone can infer (green in color, predict future events), and unnecessary adjectives and adverbs (The fundamental principles really show...).
  3. Be you. Develop a consistent tone throughout your application. You don't need to convince anyone that you're very serious, nor do you need to teach your readers the definition of enthusiasm. Write about how you honestly feel rather than what you think you need say to appear more qualified for the program.
  4. Proofread and Polish. Checking for grammatical and spelling errors is an important final step for any writing process. Having a friend look over your work can help you catch any lingering errors.

 Availability! The more sections you are available for, the more likely it is we will be able to place you on a trip. 

Office Hours Information

Trips Directorate will be holding open office hours throughout the next two terms – please check your blitz for updates. Please come by with any questions at all regarding the application or the volunteer roles in the program! If you can't make this time, just blitz and we'd be happy to set up another time or answer any questions you might have over blitz.

Last Updated: 2/13/20