The stress on balance of curriculum was very unique to Middlebury, although it tends to be a trend in small liberal arts type colleges. We were strongly encouraged to take a wide variety of classes in all subjects, so that we could explore the opportunities that are out there. I took many different types of classes, but would take an even broader variety if I could do it again. All subjects can teach you how to write, but exposure can open your mind to possibilities you would have never otherwise considered.
The language departments at Middlebury are some of the best in the country. For example, during the first day in my beginners French class, we only heard French from our proffesor. I learned so much French in one year that I can now have full conversations with people from that country in their langauge without sounding "touristy". I can honestly say that all of the proffesors that I've met in that department are some of the friendliest people out there.
I actually transferred to Middlebury, so I think I have an especially good sense of what makes the college unique. I found that the profs are excellent, and that students generally take their work quite seriously. The rural setting is beautiful and many people take advantage of it. Most students are very active and enjoy outdoor activities. The school is environmentally conscious and makes a lot of "green" choices. The food is excellent, and the dining halls feel up-beat and full of energy. The social scene (/weekend life) is extremely dynamic and diverse considering the size of the school.
-Come willing to learn how to ski or snowboard (or better, come already knowing how)
Truths about college that high schoolers should know- NOT unique to Middlebury:
-The nature of your social life will evolve dramatically from high school into college. Don't expect it to be a continuation of your teenage years - college is "it's own thing."
-Research substantiates the claim that the student body does not drink as much as is perceived; nevertheless, alcohol is a huge part of social life. Really, it kind of sucks, but it's not about to change. This is universally true at colleges and universities in the U.S.
-People have sex in college.
-In college it's often hard to find a medium between super-committed relationships and pointless hook-ups. But it's always possible to find what you want - you just have to look harder sometimes.
-The "Close-Knit-Community-bla-bla-bla" schtick that liberal arts colleges sell you is almost completely false. You will make friends in college - I have made some really great friends at Middlebury - but just being part of the student body won't form a bond between you and everyone on campus. Don't expect paradise.
-People who are genuinely committed to caring for the environment are rare. (Although there is actually a pretty decent amount of such people at Middlebury.)
--> You should come. It's wonderful here.
Since Midd, I've been to grad school and law school here in England, and have worked in Europe and the Middle East. Two things strike me: first, Midd has a special kind of intoxicating madness that comes from being a residential college in the middle of nowhere, which, when combined with the student focus of the faculty, makes it a great place to learn and play. My other schools (all in London) couldn't rival Midd as an all-round educational experience.
Second, you'll get sick of hearing about "Club Midd" or "you're at school with 2400 of your closest friends"; but what is really telling is that Midds do really stick together around the world. Here in London, Midd has a more active alumni association chapter than most of the other NESCAC and Ivy League schools, and people come because like when they were at College, the people are fun and interesting.
Third, it's a great preparation for all kinds of jobs - precisely because it focuses on you as a thinker and not on you as a banker/lawyer/doctor/whatever. The demand for worldly, broadly educated and analytical thinkers has never been greater - and these (along with skiing) are the hallmarks of a Midd education.
Try it; you just may like it!
Strong sense of community among students. The students are generally athletic and appreciate being outdoors. Most students are highly motivated and intelligent and academic discussion frequently appears in non classroom situations.
Middlebury is a place where you go to find yourself while being academically challenged.
The atmosphere is friendly and inviting. Although it is in Vermont, there's lots to do on campus and students both work hard as well as play hard. It's not as competitive as some other schools of its caliber and the Midd community is one that lasts a lifetime.
Middlebury has an incredible sense of community.
It's middlebury. You get the most out of the opportunities when you pursue it. There are tons of the big Os.
All of the students are extremely passionate about what they do
Proximity to nature and being in Vermont was a huge plus.
I love Midd. Go MCRC!
Middlebury was the best choice I ever made. I couldn't be happier here!
Go wherever you're most excited. Middlebury has a lot to offer and as I've said, you have the freedom to whatever the hell you want here from environmental activism, to football, to partying, to focusing on academics, to growing personally, to joining my ping-pong club.
This being said, don't go to Middlebury because your parents want you to, don't go to Middlebury because you want to make money later in life, don't go to Middlebury because you feel like its the "best" school you got into. Theres a lot here, but with the volume of work there is here, its isolated location and the weather, you have to really want to be here.
I really love it here!
Middlebury College has a great academic environment but can be stressful at times.
WE DONT REALLY HAVE BEN AND JERRYS! It's all a lie.
Umm... STUDY ABROAD - you can go anywhere, and Midd helps - one of most important parts of junior year.
Also you've got some good networking opportunities.
Basically Midd will kick your ass, but you will have some awesome times here, meet some great people, and then you've got a Midd degree under your belt and connections for the future.
I'm biased because I fell in with some good people, but I love this place.
I strongly encourage everyone to look at Middlebury. You think Midd-Vermont-cows-isolated. But I felt much more isolated when I stayed for extensive periods at Midd's competitors Williams, Amherst and Swarthmore. Take a look- it is a great place to live and study. If you're not used to working a LOT, then don't come to Midd. That's one drawback if you like to only party. Coming from a high school that gave 5+ hours of work a night, I find Midd more challenging. But you'll learn a lot, your ideas will be challenged, and the work will prove ultimately very rewarding.
Middlebury is my favorite penguin.
Generally, everyone who studies themselves to death are not socially accepted. There is a huge hipster scene, and everyone with any sense stays chill even in the hottest times.
Burlington, about 45 minutes away has everything you'd need in terms of movies, concerts, shopping etc. If you want a big city, get a friend with a car (many people have them) and drive two hours north to Montreal. Boston and NY are 4 and 5 hours away, respectively. Most people make at least one trip a semester to one of the three.
The best kept secret of Middlebury is the Feb program, which lets you take a longer break after the end of high school and start college in February. Best choice I ever made. It gives you time to slow down and do something besides be in school. Most people take the chance to travel or do a weird, fun, job. I taught English in the mountains of Peru. But better than the time off, is arriving here as part of the February class of 100 students. We get the campus to ourselves for a week long orientation, where you bond with the other hundred kids who have had their own adventures and become your first and best friends at the school. Febs are generally more interesting, enthusiastic and mature than the rest of the school, having been recharged by their time off. Do it. Don't worry what you're gonna do right now. Just do it.
This school (administration) has gone from being ultra personal to ignoring its students and faculty like.
strange to say, hard to explain, but the single defining feature of this place is that it has...
genuinely good-natured people
kind, thoughtful, hard-working, good souls
Middlebury is deeply appreciated by much of the student body, but some have grown to detest the school. But what makes Middlebury such a great place is that you can make whatever you want of your four years here. You can choose to socialize, find a core group of friends that you know you will have for the rest of your life. You can choose to work hard, possibly audit an extra three classes and maintain three hour a night sleeping habits. You can choose to push yourself and explore a class you've had no previous exposure to such as modern dance. But most importantly, you can choose to be part of a greater community that will embrace you as an individual if you have the confidence to show it, and will facilitate a learning experience you could never comprehend just by flipping through the Princeton Review Catalogue
I don't know. I would do it over in a second, but sometimes I get really angry at the future of the campus landscape and the policies. The new buildings are so ugly, and Liebowitz is a phoney who doesn't care what we think. We compare him to Bush sometimes. But he's more like Lieberman.
I like this place overall. But I am scared of how it is changing.
people don't wave at each other when they cross paths. or smile.
Whether it's shot-gunning Busch Lights in a Stewart bathroom or savoring a pint of Oatmeal Stout at Two Brother's, Middlebury students have a special relationship with beer. Like most American teenagers, I was not allowed to consume alcohol, so once I got to college I started drinking like an idiot. The same goes for anything - when you aren't allowed to do something you're going to want to do it ... like an idiot.
On any given Friday I was downing about eight beers, which is a lot for my size, and mindlessly participating in the degenerate shenanigans of my hall. Some of my low moments include vomiting, keeping Public Safety out of my hall with giant bales of hay, vomiting in bushes, indirectly supporting a lobster-fighting ring and projectile vomiting. It wasn't cute.
Even though I was well aware of my descent into alcoholism, there was no avoiding the anti-support group that was my all-male freshman dorm hall. But I don't blame them for my lack of self-control. It was the combination of well intentioned but overly protective parents and a bogus drinking age that forced me to learn how to drink by going completely overboard at first and then slowly cleaning up my act over the next three years. I can say now that I don't binge drink anymore, although I'm sure some people aren't so lucky.
Anyway, the dark days are over and my relationship with beer has changed from obsessive/destructive to truly reverent and respectful (kind of like girls). After taking a brewing workshop this past J-term I started making - and loving - beer.
I love everything about making beer. Millions of recipes exist in books and online, calling for ingredients as wild and esoteric as cayenne pepper, Chinese rock sugar, coffee beans, honey, ginger and just about any fruit imaginable. Currently, I am cooking up a batch of Imperial Cream Stout, a heavy and complex beer with a lot of mouth feel and hints of chocolate, coffee, soy sauce and mahogany. I'm excited about drinking it when it reaches maturity in November - which if you didn't know, is seven months away. You definitely won't catch me chugging my homebrew. Where beer used to be a means to an end, it is now a cherished ritual and creative outlet. Seriously.
That's why I propose that a brew club be started at Middlebury. Kids need to learn how to drink and appreciate beer. Do our parents expect us to learn how to drink from kids our age? I hope not. How does Middlebury expect us to drink responsibly when we're forced to hide in our dorm rooms and estimate how much is enough for a full evening? It sure as hell isn't social and it definitely isn't safe. A sub-free campus is as ignorant and insulting as abstinence-only education.
So, lastly, for the skeptics that think a brew club would just be a drinking club, please take into consideration that a beer takes at least six weeks to make! You're not going to chug your labor of love - you're going to sniff it like a bloodhound, swirl it and take a slow sip, letting all the beautiful aromas hit your hard palate before swallowing. Not to mention, it's really tough going back to Busch Light after drinking an Imperial Cream Stout.
on the whole, i feel that middlebury views its students as lost children who need a wise guiding hand. i wish they would treat me as an equal and let me alone to do what i need/want.
People sometimes give Middlebury a bad rap for having a weak social scene... those people just don't know how to make their own fun
It's a good spot.
Middlebury is really nice when the weather is nice. I sometimes wonder why I didn't go to a warmer part of the world for school.
Visit the school, spend more than a few days here. It's very easy to get a deceptive first impression but make sure you know what the campus life is like both during the week and over the weekend to get a good idea of what the school is like.
The administration needs to start caring more about the student body and listening to its opinions. The faculty and staff are awesome, the students are great, but the President and higher-up Deans are pushing a certain agenda regardless of what anyone else says. The school is raising its tuition and spending its money on construction rather than financial aid. It seems that the school's leadership is concerned more with beating Williams/Amherst to the #1 spot on the Princeton review than what is truly important: the experience of the current students.
If you wanted to go to Harvard but didn't get in, please don't come here.
Most kids smoke pot. A few use harder drugs.
Middlebury takes a special kind of student. It's a very small school and very isolated from any kind of "urban setting."
There is a very weak dating scene on campus--no big loss as far as i am concerned. However, it frequently seems that unless you have a lacrosse stick in hand you will be wholly unable to find naked women in your bed. I actively encourage anyone who applies to help change this sexual paradigm.
Otherwise, all has been said. Peace out.
It is a wonderful place with faults. I feel that it gets bitched about a lot but only from a place of privilege. My one friend who goes here who grew up in a town of 50 in a trailer is the best voice of reason to listen to because he knows that this is the best place he has ever been. And its true for all of us. If we weren't so content and well taken care of we wouldn't whine about the small , petty shit.
I will never give none of the many I don't earn back to Middlebury College.
I think I have carpal tunnel
I wouldn't want to go anywhere else for my undergraduate.
Middlebury is a special place but its not for everyone. Middlebury needs more individuals who will bring flair and steeze to the champlain valley. In conclusion, I love Vermont, Ben Franklin, and A&W.
Ronald Liebowitz is a lame-o and so is his new housing plan. The Bunker, the Middlebury "club" is wackity wack wack. Don't go to McCullough social space unless: a) there's a cool concert of b) you want to make out in front of sweaty freshman and take a rando home.
I love waking up when it's raining in Midd, and I love having an East-facing window. I love that my friends can visit from other schools and eat without swiping a card. I love getting beer and a love me tender to watch a movie with friends in my room. For a long time I thought I was justifying so the 49,000 a year wouldn't hurt so much, but its getting less difficult to believe myself.
Should have transferred.
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