Rocky and Me: Olivia Harvey '19 Senior Reflection

In the Rocky & Me series, Seniors reflect on their experiences during their time at Dartmouth.

I came to Dartmouth knowing that I wanted to do something great with my time here, but I had no clue what that could be. I was undecided on my major, minor, and extracurricular interests and I truly was uncertain if I would ever find my passion. I should not have been so skeptical. The reason I chose Dartmouth was for the emphasis on academics, small class sizes and wide variety of subjects from which to choose classes. During freshman year, I took advantage of this by selecting as many random classes as I could, including GOV 5 with Professor Wohlforth in the Winter. By the end of that term, I knew I wanted to be a government major. I would come to decide on a public policy minor only a term later. 

Even though I knew that I wanted to study government and public policy by the end of freshman year, it took me a while to become meaningfully involved with Rocky. I was quite busy with a diverse mix of clubs which I liked, but that didn’t feel particularly challenged by. My first experience in Rocky outside of class was as a participant in the Rockefeller Pre-Professional Program. I really liked being able to meet and engage with such an interesting and varied group of peers. Later on, in my senior fall, I participated in MLDP and got to meet another great group of peers and professionals who came to share their knowledge every week. Up until I was asked to work for MLDP at the end of fall, it had never occurred to me how much work goes into planning these programs. Program Officers and Student Assistants literally make Rocky’s co-curricular programming possible for every Dartmouth student. As my weeks in the program dwindle into the single-digits, I can’t help but think about how much fun I’ve had with the MLDP team, led by Program Officer Robin Frye. In addition to working with such a great team, I have been able to hone my leadership skills through weekly group facilitation and public speaking practice. 

As I move on from Dartmouth to law school, I feel really fortunate for the high quality of instruction, combined with excellent co-curricular experiences, that Rocky has given me. I have never taken a government/public policy class that I didn’t like, but the instruction of Professor Nachlis, who teaches classes like PBPL 28: Law, Courts, and Judges, helped me to think really intentionally about the decision to go to law school. As I prepare to say goodbye to Dartmouth, I feel incredibly fortunate to have had a resource like the Rockefeller Center. I truly would encourage every student, from every corner of campus, to try out at least one public policy class or co-curricular program during their time here. 

Written by Olivia Harvey '19, Student Programming Assistant for MLDP