Political activism and outdoors-centered clubs are popular on campus.
the dating scene revolves around a hook up culture
There are numerous extracurricular options at MIddlebury. Most students are involved in at least one (excluding athletics), and many do two or more. There's a group for nearly everything, and starting one up is easy if you can't find what you're looking for. I'm a member of the Middlebury Student Quakers, which is a fantastic community of intelligent, caring, and silly individuals. We meet in the Chaplain's house on Sundays and you should drop by for Silent Meeting and then not-silent hanging out! Sports games are not well-attended, except for Quidditch and ice hockey, the former because it's so fun to watch and the latter because our teams are really good. Theater is better attended, and the student productions that happen in the Hepburn Zoo are pretty high-caliber. The Otter Nonsense improv troupe is hilarious and their shows always sell out.
Middlebury has no Greek system, but don't let that fool you. Middlebury has five co-ed "social houses," four of which (the fifth being the sub-free house) serve the same purpose as frats. Three of these four are pretty shameless about this, so if it's beer pong and date rape you're after, never fear. The fourth is the Mill, the "alternative" social house that's home base to the campus population of hipsters. They throw parties that are just like the other houses' parties, but with better music, more fashionable clothing, and drugs. But honestly the difference is manifest more in the Mill members' collective sense of identity than their parties, which get just as boring as the other houses' just as quickly. Between them, the four social houses provide popular weekend outlets for many, and there are numerous open and private parties in suites and rooms on any given night as well.
Thursday-Saturday is alcohol time for most Middlebury students, who embrace "work hard play hard" like a creed. If you're not into that, however, there are plenty of options. Take a hike, build a fire, call for owls, dance sober, people-watch, go to a movie, hang out with friends, take a road trip, look up local ghost stories, whatever. Middlebury-sponsored alternatives to drinking tend to be lame, and Middlebury students tend to be uncreative, which leads many non-drinkers to boredom and then to drinking. In truth, there's no shortage of things to do, but not many people here seem willing to dream up more exciting Saturday night agendas than getting trashed, dancing like idiots, and hooking up with strangers. Speaking of which, dating isn't a thing that happens here. You're either celibate, or you're hooking up randomly or casually, or you're joined at the hip with a significant other. There are no in-betweens.
If I'm awake at 2 am on a Tuesday, I'm either doing homework or with my friends, watching that episode of the Tyra Banks Show where the popular girls and the loser girls switch identities. Classic.
Enough activities, events, lectures, concerts, etc. are presented to keep anyone entertained. Sometimes people complain (and sometimes I do too), but in that case we're really just being lazy and not taking full advantage of the opportunities provided.
The most popular team on campus is probably Hockey (the games are a blast), but rugby, football and lacrosse are also big. The parties are not the extreme frat spectacles that one might get at a big university, but I have a great time every weekend. For some, the weekend starts on Wednesday, but Saturday is the biggest night because the athletes can let go. Drinking is big for most social events, but there is no pressure for teetotalers. Movies, dances, theater, speakers are all possible options for someone trying to avoid the drinking scene. Micro brews, like the local Otter Creek, are very popular as well. The school has really impressed me with the talent they have brought for concerts: Regina Spekter, Girl Talk, Cake, Talib Kweli, Blue Scholars, Josh Kelley, and many great small acts.
Environmental movement begun at Middlebury College - among many other climate change intiatives
Social life was great for about a year and then it got really small. Unless you are 21 you can't go out to anything in town past 9PM and if you don't drink there isn't much to do at Midd in general after about 10PM. The dating scene is bad- people are married or JUST hooking up. No one "goes out."
I've only been here one semester and I already feel like I've made friends with some people I'll want to stay friends with for a long long time. The people are so much fun, love to go out and have a good time, and find a good balance between work and play. Frats and sororities don't exist, which doesn't bother anybody. There's plenty of things to do if you don't drink, but there is also plenty of opportunity to drink if you want to.
student activities aren't very popular at all, besides sports, I guess, a lot of people do sports. Most people leave their dorm doors unlocked always. Athletic events aren't popular. Guest speakers are. Lots of people go to acapella concerts because they're always crowded. The dating scene, well, what dating scene, but it'd defnitely getting better; there's a great committee promoting that kind of thing. I met my friends through my freshman dorm and parties and friends of friends. At two am on a tuesday I am usually going to bed, but I might be writing a paper or chilling in a friend's room, talking, or just leaving the Grille as it closes. social houses are for the socially retarded here. Except maybe the mill. The mill is more like people who already kind of hung out anyway and then decided to live together. I guess club sports are popular and similar to what you'd think of social houses, that is they are social groups that suck you in and then you only hang out with each other. These groups would be rugby or frisbee. on a saturday night, you can go to a dance or something...or to a movie? watch tv?
Hockey's pretty big I guess. Student performances usually get a good turnout. People are social, especially in freshman dorms. The dating scene primarily consists of the drunken hook up, with serious outbreaks of coupling. People party on a very wide spectrum of frequency. Some students are more academic, and limit it to the weekend. Others find quite a bit of time during the week. But pretty much everyone goes out at least Friday and Saturday.
Middlebury's nightlife is not as accessible as it should be. That's one of my biggest beefs with Middlebury. There are campus-sponsored events but they mostly flop. Some of the social circles are pretty exclusive and that can definitely get a little annoying. This all being said, if you really want to be a party animal, you can put your effort into and do that. It's really what you make it. As I've said in every category, Middlebury offers you the freedom to do what you want.
Also, I have found that you can make really good friends at Middlebury (or maybe in College in general). I've found some really thoughtful folks here who know how to have fun... It's pretty awesome.
It is too bad that campus events do not have a higher turn out; how can the student body create fun events if people will not stop playing beer pong long enough to attend?
There are not always big parties.
If I am awake at 2 am on a Tuesday, I would be in a study hall working on a paper. The Middlebury social scene does not begin until Thursday, and even that is hit or miss. Thursday is bar night, and if you do not have a fake ID and are under 21, than you won't be able to "go out" meaning drink alcohol. There's always interesting school sponsored lectures and events that go on during the week, including live music in the Gamut Room or the Grille, but generally I do not have time unless I work really hard to fit it in. Generally, Midd students go out hardcore on Fridays and Saturdays to make up for all the social interaction they miss during the week when they are studying all the time. Weekends are very sporadic; there is never just one place where people go, as a result of public safety presence you find yourself drifting around campus calling every person you know trying to find the "best" party before it is busted. School sponsored parties are generally fun because everyone goes there after they get drunk and want to dance, so you end up seeing a lot of people that you know. It's a strange system, but you get used to it and I always have a lot of fun on the weekends.
If you have time, opportunities abound. There is always something you could be going to or doing. People always complain about the social scene, but it's no different than any other college - we just get bored easily. No dating scene. Sorry. But that may be more of a generational thing. There are plenty of random hook-ups to be had, and aside from that if you are in a relationship you are basically married. Frats/Sororities = no nos. And outside entertainment requires a 45 minute drive to Burlington or a 3 hour drive to Montreal.
Social life is whatever you want to make of it, whether you want party on the weekend or just do something relaxing. They have lots of movies, excellent guest lectureres, and are always offer parties on the weekend.
It is what you make it. It's Middlebury. But you can do almost anything you want.
Poor social life, but great people on the committee boards!
We drink on the weekends but study hard during the week.
I don't really know what's popular. I like art. I like the Mill. I like Otters. I like theatre.
Drinking is extremely prevalent on weekends, but it is not the only option. Except it kind of is. Frats and Sors do not exist, but social houses on campus are good about staying involved in the party hosting scene.
My closest friends came from my single-sex freshman hall (in a co-ed dorm), though these friendships really solidified sophomore year. Almost everyone at Middlebury is friendly, and everyone seems to find a group of friends where they fit.
I hated and felt very creeped out by all social houses except for the Mill (the "hippier" social house), and didn't attend a "regular" social house party after my freshman year. That year, I never left without getting a beer spilled on my shirt.
Lots going on on campus every weekend, students feel little need to venture off campus. Trips to Burlington, Vergennes and Lake Dunmore rounded-out my campus-heavy 4 years.
I'm very involved in athletics which basically prevents me from doing anything else both in terms of organizations/clubs and going to speakers or other events that happen on campus. I probably could do more than I do but it would be extremely difficult.
There are a lot of clubs. It's easy to get involved in whatever you're interested. You can do theater even if you're not a theater major. In terms of activism, the global-warming/environmentalist Sunday Night Group is probably the most popular. There is a surplus of a capella, to the detriment (often) of quality. Lots of intramural sports, though it can be hard to walk on to Varsity sports if you weren't recruited. There are technically no Frats or Sororities but there are four "social houses" which are quasi-frats (they are coed must accept everyone) that throw big parties. KDR and ADP are both pretty Frat-like. The Mill is more of an artists collective and a good place to smoke if you partake. They throw the best parties of the bunch. There are always parties in peoples suites and dorms as well. The Middlebury drinking policy is very lax, imposed by public safety, not by the police. If you don't drink, you can go to parties and not feel pressured, but if you want to avoid drinkers altogether there are always movies on the big screen and in people's rooms. There's great theater, music, and dance shows in the early evening most weekends. And plenty of places to just hang out, drink tea and talk. One night last weekend I walked to the organic garden in the field off campus and had a bonfire and a campout with friends. Off campus there is great hiking and skiing. Middlebury owns a downhill ski area with 3 lifts and a thousand vertical feet and a nordic ski area with 52k of skate and classic trails. Free shuttles go out there every half hour. In the Summer and Fall people lay out to tan on the big grassy quad in the middle of campus called Battell Beach, grilling and playing frisbee and whiffle ball or go to the real beach at Lake Dunmore, about 10 minutes away.
People need organization when they cannot find their people themselves and need a rally point. Otherwise they jut supplement.
The most popular organizations on campus have to do with environmental activism. The most popular teams are the hockey and rugby teams. I'm involved in a group of students that meet every Saturday afternoon to talk about some current national or international issue and figure out what we think about it. Students leave their dorm room doors open. Athletic events are very popular. Guest speakers are moderately popular. Theater is very popular. The dating scene exists, to some extent, but there's also a lot of hooking up. I met my closest friends by living next door to them or playing music with them. If I'm awake at 2am on a Tuesday, I'll probably be having an intense philosophical or political conversation with friends. Traditions/events that happen every year are: The Quidditch World Cup, Winter Carnival, the Spring Festival. People party every night of the weekend. There are no fraternities/sororities, and the social houses (their equivalent), are not very important to the social scene. Last weekend I went to a concert, had late-night conversations, and spent all night Saturday night out at the organic garden looking at the stars. On a Saturday night you can go to a dance party without drinking, you can go to a concert without drinking, you can watch a movie with friends without drinking, you can go to parties without drinking...I leave campus to go folk dancing or hiking/skiing.
I don't like dorm life and so i scooted away from it after freshman year. even during freshman year i spent little time in a dorm. i found houses to hang-out it or such. they're nicer. i'm a member of a social house and we have our own parties and a house to hang-out in. the pop-parties... with the whole world and their wives attending end at about 2 o'clock and people retreat to quieter-out-of-public-safety's-reach places.
people work hard and party hardy. it's their gift to themselves for finishing lots and lots of homework.
you gotta get outside and explore
Middlebury is in the between Lake Champlain and the Green Mountians, live it up
I am a member of a Middlebury social house and it has been pivotal in my experience here at Middlebury. I am part of a community, live in a house, and am surrounded by creative individuals that all have something to offer the larger group. The social house scene at Middlebury is, by no means, in the foreground and initiation and social house functions have been reduced to such an absurd level that hazing seems alien to the members. Though certain organizations value tradition and subscribe more to the ideals of conventional fraternities, they are only an outlet for the students who have always wished to participate in such activities.
There is always a way to get to a big city as Burlington is only 45 minutes away and the train and bus services are adequate.
There are many different activities. Guest lectures are very succesful, so is the theater. Nightlife is less exciting since students are restricted to on-campus parties and they get repetitive. It is easy to fall into a pettern of getting drunk, partying, and not really doing anything worth remembering, or being creative about having fun.
My improv comedy group is the best thing about Midd for me. We have a big following that comes to our shows all the time, and we have a lot of fun. I've never been to an athletic event, except to tailgate, eat subway and not watch the game. I think people go to theater, but that's my scene. 2 am on Tuesday? I would be watching a movie stoned and snuggling with my best friend. Off campus, I drive around the beautiful Vermont country in my Volvo, and eat things at my favorite places. People party a good amount, but not as much as they should. I know a good crew of kids who holds it down though. People are very generous with their weed, too.
a lot of speakers and performances
sports plays a big role in a lot of students' lives
social life is ok
middlebury is pretty isolated and there's not that much to do off campus unless you have a car
Events, performances, and lectures are always happening on campus. There are so many, I can't attend all of the ones I would like to.
Sunday night group (environmental activists) and a cappella are way popular on campus. A saturday night has many options, but few involve not drinking.
Social life has deteriorated since I came here in 2004. Whether thats the fault of a changing American public or our own administration is a different story, but in my mind I think this deterioration has a little to do with both.
people work hard and play hard, and we're a pretty drunk campus come weekend. you can find fratty parties and hippie kickbacks. there's a big spectrum
I'm really into arts and music so I tend to roll with the art clique here. You might think you don't want cliques - but you do. My sister goes to Williams where there don't seem to be any distinct social communities and she hates it.
It's cool to have a community of people who are into the same stuff you're into.
I'm also in a social house called the Mill. It rules. It's for guys and girls.
Need more campus-wide parties. Very split up into different groups.
There are no frats, but "social houses." The drinking rules here are getting absurd--partying is getting harder now that parties must be registered, have permits, etc. Lots of beer-drinking. Lots of pot. Its easy to get disenchanted with the drinking scene very quickly. If you don't actively pursue cool ideas for your weekend nights, the social life can stagnate. Student bands. Some smaller hangouts for poetry readings, jam seshs, etc. Athletic events and theater events are well-attended--people are quite supportive of other students' endeavors. Most kids party on the weekends. Some party during the week too. Some not at all.
Many students leave their doors open.
logically following the student body response, the social scene is pretty homogenized as well. you can go hang out in some upperclassman's suite where there is a keg of natural ice and there are so many girls in short skirts and heels or football players cramming into the hallways that you can't leave and in someone's room there's madonna playing loudly so a bunch of kids have removed their shirt (a middlebury staple, so i'm told) and when you finally leave you're not sure how much of the sweat clinging to your clothes is yours but you're sure it will freeze during the long walk home. if that sounds like your cup of tea, then this school is for you.
there are good parties, sometimes. freshman year there would be one or two every weekend. now, we're lucky if there's one or two every month. this is partly because of the centralization i mentioned before, resulting in more crappy middlebury sponsored events and crackdowns on the institutions that used to throw good parties.
however, there's something to be said for having a slow dinner with friends, sharing some good locally-brewed beer, and going to bed at midnight.
I wouldn't say there is any group or organization that is especially popular. Sometimes it seems like some of the sports teams think they are special, but nobody really thinks they are. Lots of my friends do theater and their shows are always well attended. The dating scene is pretty non-existent. People are afraid to get in relationships because if they go bad there is no way to avoid seeing you ex around campus. My friends party pretty hard every weekend, but I suppose there are also people who stay in and watch movies every weekend. If I go off campus it will be an evening in Burlington which is always a fun break from life on campus. There are great restaurants and many forms of entertainment in Burlington.
IT IS WHAT YOU MAKE IT!!! There's pretty much everything. But, lest we forget, we're in the middle of nowhere Vermont.
Theatre is suprisingly good at Midd, many clubs and organizations on campus, but I can't really tell that they do that much. Hook-ups are common, but it is a tiny campus so gossip is inevitable, which is annoying. People generally party Thursday-Saturday nights. No Frats, but we do have social houses. Middlebury is a small town, not much to offer to the students. Nearest 'city' is 40 minutes by car, Boston is about 3 hours away.
Don't get Middlebury girls started on the dating scene. It's non-existent. I know a handful of girls at Midd who ever went on a "real" first date with a guy. It just doesn't happen. Most relationships bloom out of friendships and/or hookups. Social houses at Midd are a bit of an anomoly to me. There is a very different feel for the parties at each of them, and many people's social lives revolve around them. It's stupid. There are lots of artistic and dance oriented activities each weekend, but on a very wet campus, where overage drinking is no big deal, and everyone stays on campus, the parties and drinking is central to a social life at Middlebury. I started out as sub-free. I know a lot of people who did. And, actually, a lot of them are still substance free, even after 4 years at Middlebury. Which is impressive.
Lots of sports and lots of groups on campus. Middlebury is big on a capella groups, we have six total. Theatre is also fairly prominent and very professional at a college level here. Sporting events draw a large crowd, especially our hockey team.
Most of the social activities at Middlebury center around weekend drinking, because there is not much else to do. People are unfortunately stressed during the rest of the week, but I don't feel like there is too much work here, rather that the type of people that go to these kind of schools like to stress themselves to achieve. Social houses are not very important/essential to social life. The parties are not very crazy but I haven't been to many other schools so I'm not sure how better/worse they are.
You don't have to lock your door. You can feel safe walking across campus. Social Houses are a fun part of the community and provide a place to party and meet new people but they aren't the be-all-end-all of social life by any means. The improv group on campus is hilarious and extremely popular. The theatre scene here is strong, the music one is not. If you are an artist, a musician, a hilarious actor, come here and prosper. If you know how to play the harmonica, teach me! Thursday - Saturday nights are usual party nights but it all depends on your schedule. If you have class at 8:00am on Friday and not at all on Wednesday, then Tuesday is going to be a bigger night than Thursday. All in all, though, there is always something to do when you've got the time. As far as dating goes, the school is big enough to accomodate a healthy social life but small enough where people are going to know your business--or, at least, your friends and their friends will.
i leave my door unlocked always and the only things of mine that have been stolen have been by my roommate. there are often athletic games that are open to students, as well as guest lecturers and theatrical performances with admission costing as little as one dollar per student. my closest friends i met freshman year on my hall. people party every weekend, and there is a pretty heavy amount of drinking. social houses, rather than fraternities/sororities, give students the opportunity of being in a social community in a less-intimidating, less-hazing-oriented, less-stupid way than fraternities or sororities.
Work Hard Party Harder. Thursday to Sunday social life is vibrant. Parties are generally open.
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