In high school (and most high schools across the nation), the academic calendar is organized around the semester system, that is, two big blocks of instruction time that usually run sixteen weeks. Twelve years of this almost made me forget that winter existed; my brain just went from fall to spring and finally–my favorite–SUMMER! So when I was told that Dartmouth worked under the quarter system (four teen-week chunks of instruction time), that each season, including winter, was a term, I realized that all the shorts and tank tops I had packed would not be used for a while.

The upside to this fast-paced, intense agenda? Instead of a determined summer break from June through August, you get to pick when you’ll take that break, and choose where it’ll be. In my case, I chose to come home and intern at my old high school as a college advisor. The past three months have been a flurry of emotions and at times I found myself asking, “What did I get myself into?”

In spite of the frustrations that are so often highlighted in public schools, my students made the experience one that I’ll cherish for the rest of my days. Here are two students that had I the opportunity to work with and who’ve taught me so much: Jannet Roman and Jose Rodarte. Jannet will be entering the University of Nevada, Reno in the fall and Jose will be joining me at Dartmouth as a member of the Class of 2016.

A few weeks ago, Matt came into town for a conference and I finally got to meet him. Jannet and Jose also came along to hear about all the awesome things CSO is doing to help first-gen students. Check out this video we made at the conference!