By Chad Hollis, The Dartmouth Staff
Published on Friday, May 25, 2012
Full disclosure: This is the last Hollisto’s World that I will ever write for The Dartmouth.
Like most seniors on campus, it’s time for me to move on. As much as I want to fail Econ 49, get Parkhursted and return next winter for a “victory lap,” I know that this is a bad call. I’m pretty sure my future employers won’t accept “nostalgia” as a valid excuse for almost failing out of college.
Writing these final 800 words is probably the hardest task I’ve ever attempted. I’d rather take all of my Econ 20 exams again than give up my column. On second thought, f*ck that. No offense to any Econ profs that read this, but taking Econ 20 is equivalent to allowing a swarm of Amazonian bullet ants burrow tunnels deep into my cerebral cortex.
I’ve spent the majority of my Dartmouth career writing for The Dartmouth. Combined with my tenure on the Dartmouth football team, it has been the most fulfilling activity of my Dartmouth career. After seven terms writing 48 columns, I’ve gotten the chance to reflect on several things.
First, I wasn’t even supposed to be a columnist. At the end of sophomore spring, I was assigned to interview a campus athlete for the weekly “One-on-One” segment. I “accidentally” forgot to find an interview subject and instead turned in the awkwardly named “Hollisto’s Mailbag” column to my editors. The rest is history.
I’m also amazed at how much I’m allowed to swear in a campus publication. Every week, I send in absurd phrases with gratuitous curse words and all of them surprisingly make it to print.
Finally, I would not have been able to write a single paragraph or sentence without the wonderful Dartmouth community that so willingly accepted me four years ago.
I don’t want my final column to be a tearjerker — that’s not my style. Instead, I want to dedicate it to the best four years of my life.
Dartmouth isn’t perfect and neither are its athletic teams. A prime example is the 2008 football team that failed to win a single game. I happened to be a member of this winless squad, and I’ll tell you that going “defeated” isn’t exactly the ideal way to start your college career.
This isn’t the first time I’ve written about my freshman football season, and it won’t be the last time I talk about it. The hardships I faced developed my character and helped me establish lifetime friendships with the guys who stood together during the roughest of times.
Dartmouth has a way of teaching through experience. We’ve all had good times, and we’ve all felt despair, but we wake up the next day, go to class and continue to explore this peculiar bubble that we call home. We’ve met people we love and people that we don’t particularly care for, but most of our daily interactions have shaped the adults we’ve grown into today.
Like my time at Dartmouth, my column is only a temporary blip on this college’s epic timeline. Great writers have filled my spot before me, and I’m sure even better ones will follow. I’m just honored that I was able to contribute a few columns while I was here.
During my seven terms writing, I’ve contributed over 40,000 words to this paper. Ironically, I’ve written less than 20,000 words for official school projects. Homework is a task — these columns are a treat. Every single word I’ve written has been inspired by my Dartmouth peers. It’s easy to write when so many people are guiding my hands.
We are often so consumed with our busy schedule full of exams, clubs and pong dates that we forget to truly admire the little things that make this place one of the most special schools in the world. We are taught by world-renowned scholars and sit in class with Olympic athletes. We can have random intellectual conversations in Collis and then see that same person hold a pong table for an entire night.
Us seniors are graduating in less 16 days. Take these last two weeks and enjoy them with the people who’ve helped create an unforgettable four years. You’re not going to remember your final Socy paper 30 years from now, but you’ll remember watching the sunrise with your friend who pulled that all-nighter right next to you. These were the most formative years of my life, and I’m sure nearly every senior will say the same thing.
I feel incredibly blessed to be surrounded by so many amazing people, and I’m happy to know that so many people that I love and respect have been able to read my words. It’s been real Dartmouth — I’ve had a great run.