The Unofficial Orientation Checklist
By Gardner Davis, The Dartmouth Staff
Published on Tuesday, September 4, 2012
Orientation will be an unfortunately short six days packed with department open houses, floor meetings, intellectual banter, quality time in the outdoors and some other stuff. With a schedule so full, it’s nearly impossible to fit in everything that you want to do. To help you out, I’ve compiled a list of the activities that no one should miss. It might be helpful to cut this article out and carry it around in your pocket with a pen, checking items off as you go along, but you will inevitably do most (if not all) of these things without realizing it. You won’t understand this until years later, but there’s really only one time and place where you can do anything. It’s called Orientation.
Explore the various ’cests that Dartmouth has to offer. All-time favorites include trip and floor.
Stand awkwardly by an open case for a half hour wondering if you’re allowed to grab a Keystone.
Eat only free food for the entire week.
Know the brother on table — get fives.
Figure out what fives means. You’ll understand soon enough.
Wait out that line of five.
Take advantage of the limited window where it’s not weird to sit down at tables full of people you don’t know in FoCo. Pray they are ’16s.
Continue referring to the Class of 1953 Commons as FoCo, even if you’re not really sure why.
Spend hours upon hours poring over the available courses and going to department open houses before eventually signing up for Econ 1, Psych 1 and Writing 5.
Think Croo hair is cool.
Be blissfully unaware that corporate recruiting exists.
Make fun of that one kid who tries to casually brag about his acceptance to Cornell.
Freak out about things that you’ll later realize didn’t matter at all.
Discover your limits.
Discover your limits while discovering who your best friends will be.
Get Good Sammed. (Try to avoid this one, actually)
Go to Diversions.
Schedule something important before noon. Learn from that mistake.
Realize that despite spending hours reading the Freshman Issue of The D, you know nothing about Dartmouth. It’s fine.
Forget the Salty Dog Rag. You know no one actually remembers it, right?
Get locked out of your dorm.
Learn how accomplished everyone around you is. Feel inadequate.
Sleep somewhere other than your bed. Popular choices include: your floor, the woods behind AD, the room directly below yours.
Share intimate personal information with people you meet. Never speak to them again.
Have your heart flutter after meeting your future husband or wife on a sweaty dance floor.
Get rejected from something. Welcome to Dartmouth.
Unlock the capabilities of your new $1,500 MacBook Pro by going on Facebook, Reddit and Facebook again.
Buy the perfect comforter for your bed. Boot on it.
Break up with your boyfriend/girlfriend from home now and save yourself 10 weeks of anxiety.
Meet Jack Stinson.
Make a pact to be best friends for the next four years. Forget their names shortly afterwards.
Have the same conversation about hometowns, dorms and Trips 300 times.
Tell people about how you were definitely cool in high school and aren’t drinking for the first time.
Ruin a pair of shoes.
Touch the fire — this is not an Orientation thing, but its never too early to start thinking about it.
Decide what you want to order before you get to the front of the Hop grill line.
Learn the hard way that twin extra large beds do not comfortably sleep two people.
Buy a bike lock.
Forget to use said bike lock. Steal someone else’s bike to make up for it.
Ruin another pair of shoes.
Buy textbooks you’ll never read.
Take a profile picture with Keggy the Keg. Seem cool to everyone that doesn’t go to Dartmouth. Seem like a freshman to everyone who does.
Realize that it’s normal to feel completely overwhelmed.