Hanover, NH: As I arrived at Dartmouth College, I was immediately taken by the breathtaking campus green. There was a fine morning mist that loomed overhead and the lovely scent of nature pervaded my senses.

My parents and I ventured out to find the admissions office, but without luck. We were forced to ask a student. This student obliged with courtesy and enthusiasm, and we were soon at the steps of the admissions office. After going inside, we decided that we would take our own campus tour. The admissions people were very welcoming and provided us with a complete self-guided tour to help us along.

As we began our tour, I didn’t know what to expect. I had always had the impression that Dartmouth had a student body that was homogenous and rather stuck-up. I had decided to visit out of convenience. However, as we walked there, I felt that these impressions were not true. Every student that we saw was friendly and offered at least a smile. I also went to the sports complex, where I talked to the soccer and basketball coaches. Both were very kind, and they invited me into their offices to talk without an appointment.

My parents and I checked out most of the buildings and were impressed by their beauty. The Student Center also caught my eye as I took a glimpse inside. It was an impressive building, with a dining hall, a tavern-type restaurant, a game room, and an outdoor terrace. I was glad to see how the fraternity and sorority houses were placed together toward the outer edges of the main campus. This is a plus for someone who prefers not to associate with the Greek system.

The quietness of the area surprised me because there was a lot of traffic in town, which begins one street from the campus. It seemed like a peaceful and safe place to live. Even though Dartmouth is not located right in the city, there seems to be enough to entertain the students outside their intense studies.

Overall, Dartmouth upheld its reputation for being prestigious, while seeming less intimidating in person. There was a friendly atmosphere, as well as the sense that every student there works hard but also has some fun. f

Reviewed in 1996