Looking back at my Dartmouth experience I set my path starting freshman year. I had many fortunate experiences through school; sometimes it felt as comfortable as sleeping on a bed of nails, but lucky.
Freshman year, I stumbled into an awesome group of friends. We ate dinner together almost every night. Believe me, there is nothing more comforting than having a semblance of a family routine in the midst of the orchestrated chaos that was freshman year. That stacked the deck for me. No matter what cards I pulled from there, with good friends I had the confidence to launch new endeavors.
Sophomore year I set some important events in motion. I moved off campus and became a property manager. I managed three houses on the same property for every calamity including: setting more mousetraps than I could count, bleaching out more mold than I care to think about, thawing pipes, hosting dinners and parties, and yes, unclogging toilets. I learned an equal amount from managing the property as I did from my classes.
This was the year I learned what it meant to live in a community that was as powerful as family with only the bonds of friendship and common interest. I started playing pond hockey and mountain biking with a determination that encompassed more than just wanting to be in shape. I was replacing the sense of purpose I lost from ending competitive ski racing.
I grew up training year round for one season – winter. I knew what to do in the off seasons – train. Without competitive skiing I didn’t know what to do with myself. Working out didn’t have the same fulfillment. Ending ski racing left a confusing void, and I wanted to fill it. I played pond hockey and I biked. The amazing trails around Hanover pleasantly surprised me. I decided more students ought to have the opportunity to enjoy the trails so I got involved with the mountain bike club. From there I started designing trails. In a typical Lorin move, I unilaterally decided to build a bike training area complete with a handling park and flow trail.
I had a ton of help with the design and building, but if I didn’t put the building materials or plan the build days, they didn’t happen. Over the next three years, up to the last few days of senior year, I spent a few days every term digging dirt, trying to make part of my vision a reality.
With my Grandma, family and friends up for graduation, I was able to show off some of these cool trails and training areas.