The Agency of Home

Source: Kaijing Janice Chen, The Dartmouth | 10/4/17 2:45am

"Every Dartmouth term is different. Not just in the cocktail of classes we take or in the people who zip in and out of our lives. Within the insanity of our intermingling D-Plans, every 10 weeks brings a completely unique combination of people to campus. From one term to the next, what one may argue makes Dartmouth special — the people — is never the same. Yet while life here sometimes feels fleeting at best, we nonetheless learn to find home within the never-changing architectural landscape. Home comes to be the memories echoed in the alcoves of Sanborn Library, the ghosts of small talk past on First Floor Berry or the wisps of a conversation that mark a corner of the Green your own. It’s individual, unique and self-defined within these common and unchanging spaces we share.

This weekend, scores of alumni will make the pilgrimage back to the Green, beckoned forward by an awaiting celebration of their achievements and a not-so-little tinge of nostalgia for the good old days of where they once called home.

Like the Dartmouth student who steps off the Coach after an off-term, they too will find comfort once again in the thought of what once was in the buildings and landmarks that are still here. Their own self-definitions of home at Dartmouth will be resurrected as they stand among upperclassmen around a bonfire aflame in tradition and an orientation toward a new class. Yet for some students, the ability to shape what home means at Dartmouth is shadowed by the fact that home is often contingent upon things out of their control."