August 20, 2009

The Greatest Thing in the World


It's something a lot of us have very little of, and something a few of us have a lot of. It's something most people work very hard (or swindle very hard) for, and it's something people go to jail for. It's something we'd basically all like to have more of... right? (Can I end any more sentences in this paragraph with prepositions...?)

Well, yeah. As college students I think that pretty much all of us are strangers to the concept of "extra money" (which I still refuse to believe exists, despite the fact that my next-door neighbors own at least three Mercedeses). But of course then there are degrees of need, and degrees of economic class, and degrees of just how many relatives of yours are willing to slip you some money when you need it. And then there are degrees of poverty.

There are kids (ahem, responsible young men and women) of all economic backgrounds coming to Dartmouth this year. More than few fall into the generally very affluent category to which my next-door neighbors belong. More than a few fall into the middle class. And quite a few fall below the poverty line, or at least the oh.-college?-you-think-you're-going?-we-can't-pay-for-that,-kid,-get-a-job line.

But my point- and a rather important one at that!- is that, somehow, we all ended up in the same place. And I'd like to give a shoutout to the Dartmouth Financial Aid Office for that one; full need need-blind colleges are still a source of beautiful surprise to my cynical America's-so-capitalist mind. And there are other factors, too, that have let us come together into this one, amazing, Big Green community.... Thank you, scholarship committees and trust funds and very, very good friends...

However we got here, though, the fact remains that we ARE here, or on our way. We are all students of Dartmouth in the true sense of the words, and we can feel the green creeping into our veins- the green of our school and not just the green of those dollar bills. And no matter how cynical I am, I find it truly and absolutely beautiful that we can come together and forget about how much money we have, just for a minute (before we run off to get those workstudy jobs).

Long story short, money is not the one and only magic wand that, once waved, will pave the way to a great education. It sure helps- heck, it would be great to just be able to pay off those bills- but it's not the greatest thing in the world, the highest thing to which we should all aspire.

...That title belongs to Dartmouth, remember?

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