With regards to academic rigor, this school is not lacking in the slightest.
i really wish that this school had more diversity
Sadly, there are many things I'd change about Middlebury, but I'll start with the broadest: Middlebury tends toward the dull side. I wouldn't call it outright boring, but it just feels a bit too...safe. It feels exactly like what you'd expect when you hear "New England liberal arts college," without much of a unique spin on the concept. There's a general lack of creativity in the way people lead their lives that's depressing to me. Many students seem kind of lulled into a rhythm of J. Crew and Keystone Light and library cubicles. I mean, if there's a theme party, most assume other people will dress up, so it's okay if they're in the minority that doesn't, and then no one has gotten into costume because they all thought the same thing, and then it's just a keg party. Or take environmentalism, supposedly this really vital, unique aspect of the school: actually, it's largely the same people in all the environmental groups. Many students are vaguely conscious about the environment, but it's not something they're concerned with, and if someone throws out a bunch of paper, few students here would move the paper to the recycling bin. The college just plays it all up to attract applicants and donations; the reality is a lot less progressive. No matter its administration's efforts, Middlebury is, in a lot of ways, just like its similarly prestigious competitors in the US News & World Report rankings race.
At about 2500 students, Middlebury's size puts it in a weird limbo where there's not really much of a community in the sense of everyone being aware of one another, but you can't escape and live your own, independent life. Still, 2500 is nice because it means there's always someone new to meet, but you recognize a lot of faces. And the Feb program brings in about 90 new kids each February, and these are typically the coolest, most interesting kids on campus.
Middlebury, VT is a very small, very quaint town with a low crime rate, lots of great restaurants, and...not much else. There's about five stores on Main Street that sell Vermont-shaped bottles of maple syrup. Exploring the area is rewarding -- hikes, swimming holes, weird antique stores and more abound -- check out the Meat Shack sometime! And, it's beautiful beautiful beautiful here! With the Green Mountains to the east and the Adirondacks to the west, the views are incredible in all four seasons. The campus itself is quite lovely as well -- the matching stone buildings feel very quaint and collegiate, although, unfortunately, for every Chateau there's a Davis Family Library. If pastoral beauty isn't doing it for you, Burlington is just 45 minutes away and is a small metropolis with shopping, food, music, movies, and so on. If you're still not satisfied, Boston and Montreal are popular weekend getaways for the lucky few with cars.
When I tell people I go to Middlebury, they usually ask, "Where's that? Is it a good school?" if they don't know it, or if they do, "Oh, that's a great school! What language do you take?" School pride here definitely exists -- many Middlebury students LOVE Middlebury. But it shows up more in their choice of sweatshirts than in the attendance of sports games. Except for Quidditch. Everyone is so proud (!!!) that we invented Muggle Quidditch and that we've never lost a game. This is discussed fairly frequently.
The most frequent complaints come from students who are used to warm weather who are enduring January in Vermont.
Middlebury is a great school with excellent academics, athletics, extracurriculars, people, and opportunities. Plain and simple. It has it's pros and cons for each individual, but overall it's a place where you can be happy and where you can succeed.
Size: Because Midd is slightly larger than it's fellow liberal arts schools (i.e., 2400 students vs. 1800 or 2000), we have more opportunities and more diversity than our competitors while maintaining the feel of a small college. If you're looking at bigger schools too, consider this: "It's not the size of the boat, it's the motion of the ocean." [Applicable in other contexts as well...]
Housing/dorms: about 60% of freshman get dorms that are average or below average for a school of Middlebury's caliber. But upperclassmen housing is almost universally.
Other buildings; architecture: Sometimes I wish Middlebury was less quaint and more flashy, more often. But the school pulls off the whole "look-at-us-we're-pastoral-and-in-Vermont" thing really well. And Bicentennial Hall, Axinn, and Le Chateau alone are enough to make anyone proud to be a MiddKid.
Food: Middlebury meal plan = as much as you want, whenever you want it. And it's really tasty, too. If you have a meal in one of the dining halls here and compare it to that of another college, I can guarantee you'll like Midd's food better.
You'll have to work hard to get in, and work hard when you go; but you'd have to work harder than either not to get a great, rounded and rounding education whilst having a blast doing it.
You can see from the pictures that it's physically gorgeous, and the facilities are excellent. If you can at all, do visit it as it is REMOTE. And you need to be okay with that - but the payoffs of the rural location are immediate and immense if you like the outdoors.
If you decide to apply, do have an interview- it matters and helps. If you can't get to Midd, the alumni association conducts interviews nationally and internationally - it's only likely to help your application.
I love Middlebury. It was my first choice and I feel so glad/grateful to be here. The size is perfect for someone wanting a close community and lots of interaction with the professors. The town of Middlebury is exactly what you imagine when you think quaint, rural New England. As for the landscape, I believe it is one of the prettiest areas in the country- right now, the trees are gorgeous. It seems to be in vogue to complain about the administration, president, etc, but I have no complaints. I appreciate constructive dissidence, but I think most of it comes from whiny brats.
My school is a little small but people are pretty nice. I think there is too much focus on health (working out) on campus. But I love the way everybody likes to get outside and go hiking or running ect. The amount of homework done is pretty excessive so I think there should be a little more time for life on campus. Then maybe the drinking culture would not be so binge oriented because people would have more time to just hang out. I also wish there was a better dating scene on campus. I love the professors and my friends, however, and I really like going to school at Midd.
I was scared to come to Middlebury because it's so small and so far away from everything. Nobody from my hometown knew where it was or had ever heard of it. But after coming here, the school doesn't feel small in a bad way, and I'm really glad I don't go to a bigger school. There's also so much going on that I don't even have time for, so I'm definitely neer bored.
The school is just a little too small for me, but I still meet people I've never heard of in my class. People do, however, tend to run in the same circles, as everywhere, so I see the same people a lot.
People can often be defined by dining hall. that might change next year when Proctor Dining Hall closes for renovation, but here it is anyway. The three dining halls are Proctor(to be moved to Freeman), Ross, and Atwater. Proctor is where all the radio kids hang out in a secluded lounge off the side of the dining hall. vegetarians love proctor for the great salad bar. Proctor also is the only dining hall with panini machines. People who live near proctor eat there, tennis people (close to tennis courts) and everyone great (i am a proctor person). Proctor has a great terrace for warm weather. proctor people tend to be really loyal; last year a girl down the hall sold Save Proctor shirts when they wanted to tear it down.
Ross is pretty standard, orange colored food. there's a "mongolian grill" and there's always pizza. people who live in the building eat here and preppy people and people without much personality.
atwater is the people who live nearby and the outdoorsy ones and some athletes.
by telling someone where you want to eat, you're saying much more. there is also a definite dining culture at middlebury. people take forever to eat. they get a meal, get something else, get dessert, then coffee or tea...
When I tell people I go to Middlebury, they say what/ where is that? you'd think being ranked 5th in US ..Report would get some recognition.
They only put out the Adirondack chairs when the prospective students come.
Students lack much activist spirit. the other day at lunch, i was trying to think of something that would get students to riot and couldn't think of a thing. even if someone got tazered, people would write articles and maybe maybe maybe protest, but no rioting, sadly.
I spend most of my time on campus, I'd say between the dining hall, my room, the grille, and the art studio.
the tuition is rising tremendously.
I like the size of Middlebury. It's a little small sometimes, but it's nice to walk around and recognize almost everyone you pass. The town is quaint; not bad, but certainly nothing exciting going on. The administration is what really is hurting the campus. As ratings go up, we've adopted more profit-oriented approaches to education that kind of obscures what I came here for. There is a good deal of school pride, mostly because so many kids are varsity athletes. The best thing about Middlebury is the very relaxed, comfortable feel of it. For some reason, I don't know, it just feels right.
Overall, Middlebury is what you make it. You can do pretty much whatever you want here. Some people party four nights a week, some don't at all. Some take advantage of the mountain club, the facilities, office hours and all the other resources we are offered, others don't. I will concede, however, that regardless of what experience you want to have at Middlebury, the academics are pretty demanding. You can chose to slide by with mediocre grades and the like, but if you are the kind of student who can get into Middlebury this will be very unsatisfied both in terms of your GPA but also in terms of waisting money on the potential for a great education.
So you can do what you want here within the confines of the demanding (and often rewarding) academics.
I enjoy seeing people I have meet before and being able to smile and wave or strike up converstaion. The campus and student body is very, very amiable and willing to help.
There is no college town of Middlebury.
I thought a lot about the size of the school when deciding to come here - it's twice the size of my high school and I've found it to be exactly what I wanted in terms of size. It's not so many people that you never see anyone you know on campus, but I find I am still constantly meeting new people either through my classes, extra-curriculars, or at parties. It's the perfect balance of comfort and branching out. This is not to say, however, that there are some awkward coincidences that make you think twice about the size of the school, but I think that that's the price you pay for being able to walk into the dining hall and see 3 or 4 different groups of people you could potentially sit with.
best thing about middlebury? unlimited resources - you dont even know how many there are and you could never take advantage of all of them in 4 years, but you should try. one thing i'd change - make it less about the grade and more about real knowledge so we can have a real community here, not such an extremely competitive atmosphere. Size- we're definitely living in a bubble/fishbowl, but in terms of actual space on campus we cant handle any more students. Not a tight relationship with the town, everyone talks about it but no one does anything about it. The administration blows ass - I'm sorry but they act like they are listening and then ignore everything we say, with the notable exception of the dismissal of the new canadian maple leaf logo, but we had to put up a big fight. Fortunately, they dont control everything on this campus. School pride? For hockey yes, and against Williams in all areas...I suppose we are proud of midd, but we dont go shouting it out to the world. LONG LIVE PROCTOR.
BIG PICTURE: midd is very competitive, but can really get you to stretch yourself to your maximum potential. it can be incredibly stressful at time and extremely rewarding at others, just dont take it too seriously and it can be a good experience, otherwise you will just drive yourself nuts.
It's a beautiful campus in Middlebury, VT, a great town, and there's a pretty open relationship between the school and the town. The academics are rigorous but interesting, and the professors go above and beyond.
The best thing about Middlebury is the food. One thing I'd change is the way in which the administration makes decisions. I think the size is just right (for me). People don't normally recognize the name 'Middlebury College,' but that's okay with me. I spend most of my time on campus at the Center For the Arts. College town! I think the Middlebury administraton means well, but is severely misguided. The biggest recent controversy was a student's unexplained disappearance. School pride is lagging. The most unusual thing about Middlebury is the climate. One experience I'll always remember is dressing up in a Beaux-Arts gown and painting the town red on the fifteenth anniversary of the CFA.
Middlebury has too much work and no social life, but you learn a lot!
Middlebury is incredible. Set in the beautiful green mountains (you can see them from everywhere!), it is a beauty to look at. The students are some of the brightest and most interesting I have ever encountered, and that's coming from a person who attended a prestigious prep school where people were, among other things, smart and interesting. Students at Middlebury are really active, which is what I love. Whether it is clubs, theater, athletics, or just taking advantage of lectures and performances, students are always on the run, physically and metaphorically. Its size of 2400 students makes it small enough that you know your professors, enjoy small class sizes, and always see familiar faces, but certainly large enough that something is always going on, and you will meet new people everyday. Upon attending Middlebury, I was pleasantly surprised by the town- initially I thought it was probably a small new england, isolated dumpy town. Not at all- it is quite large actually, with many many excellent restaurants- I come from a metropolitan city and these restaurants certainly compare to and exceed the quality of my city's restaurants. It is a town whose residents include many writers and intellectuals, whose families attend lectures, sporting events, etc. on campus. Set on the scenic Otter Creek, the town offers beautiful views.
What else...I love this school so much that it is hard to limit my word count. Certainly it is true that to an extent, the school is preppy- JCrew is very prevalent on campus- but it by no means defines the student body. You won't find everyone fat and in sweats to hide it- Midd kids are fit, probably due to their intense energy and involvement. And best of all, everyone is friendly.
Essentially, Middlebury is an incredibly friendly community of students and faculty who share a common interest in learning and challenging each other. I thought the environmental studies major was exceptional and probably is the best in the country. Since I transferred to Middlebury from Colgate, I can directly compare at least the two colleges. Middlebury students have a much higher sense of ethics due to the honor code, the academics are better and more engaging and there is much more to do socially as Middlebury brings in good culture options and the night life was more fun. Maybe not as hard core or fraternity centered, but more fun.
I would agree with other comments that the administration is trying to control the social life through the commons system and I do not like the commons system. However, that shouldn't be enough to keep someone from attending this great college.
Middlebury College and the town of Middlebury gel like a well-formed insole. Everyone is politically active in various ways. Everyone cares for their fellow man. We are comrades in the great struggle for freedom, and our search will not be in vein.
Overall, a great place to spend 4 years, and the only school that after tours of many other schools, I felt I wanted to go. Made me a good writer and a good thinker! Academically very rigorous, at times felt like professors assigned lots of work just for the sake of assigning lots of work. Adorable town, friendly relations between townspeople and students. Stunning setting. A privilege to attend.
I'd say Middlebury is fairly homogenous despite the broad diversity that it advertises. It's a small community and it's pretty isolated. Kids are generally very active and into doing outdoors things. There's also a lot of work which keeps people a little busy.
Middlebury is a small enough school that start to recognize everybody. You can't walk anywhere on campus without running into one of your friends. You can really start to identify with the place like home. But at 2400 and a new class coming in every year (and a mini class in February) you are NEVER going to run out of people to meet. If your excuse for not going to a small liberal arts school is "It's too small; I like to have a lot of friends" then stop for a second and think. That excuse doesn't make any sense. You can have more friends here than at a big school, because that cute girl you met at the library doesn't disappear to her dorm 15 miles away.
The dining halls are where we spend most of our time during the week. People here like to have long meal and hang around afterwards to keep talking. You don't need to call someone and make dinner plans to make sure you find your friends there. People cycle in and out.
Our school is great to attend on a day to day basis because of teachers and students, but it really is a corporation, and the administration would never stick its neck out for any one individual.
The best thing about Middlebury is its student body. Almost everyone is really intelligent, friendly, open-minded, and loves being outside. If I could change one thing, it'd be the transportation on and off campus. The school population is just right. I'd say about 3/4 of the people I tell that I go to Middlebury have great reactions, and the other 1/4 haven't heard of it. I spend most of my time on campus in the science building or my room. Good college town. Middlebury's administration is a little too rigid and image-centric. The biggest recent controversy was over very prominent homophobic graffiti. There is a lot of school pride. Middlebury's Geography department and its environmental impetus are unusually active. I will always remember sleeping outside in the organic garden. The most frequent student complaints are about the administration.
Middlebury is an isolated ice castle which is impenetrable by most outsiders (we have little or no contact with the townspeople) and also once you're there it's hard to leave. And this is not only because of the work-load it is also because of the lack of public resources. An international student cannot work anywhere but on campus and is subject to reduced pay. A wait-job ultimately pays more than the high-paying jobs on campus because you can only take so many shifts. well that's relative to the job.
The classes are fun but the faculty is difficult to work with. Professors are great on a personal level but when it comes to departmental politics, things get difficult.
The people at middlebury are intense and fantastic although the scene gets monotonous because there is only so much one can do over the weekend. It's not that middlebury doesn't try to spice things up with events, its more that you are just gonna see the same damn people! i mean lovely people.
you know what i mean. you have to be a midd-kid reading this otherwise it will make no sense.
School is on the rise but the administration is more focused on the students that are gonna be students in 10 years than the students in the college right now. Money is all going into development plans because it seems like Ronald is more about how his track record looks on the developmental scale than on the inculcation scale. Do something for the current students. Don't pretend to care and then blow everyone off once they want something. To me these policies are mostly all fart and no shit because yes i will be proud of middlebury when it's one of the greatest colleges in amreeka, but i want to benefit from some of those resources now too. I hope i don't sound too bitter... but this place is expensive and they have to make up for the fact that there is nothing in middlebury town to divert attention of campus.
Middlebury is what you make of it, full of crazy, nice, down-to-earth, eccentric, outdoorsy nutjobs. People that are going to change this world for the better.
Of course there is a strong community of LAXers, but they are most spoiled-white nancies, waste of space and time.
Best thing by far is the community.
Also the school throws around money for your ideas/adventures/interests (get back what you pay for I guess)
Beyond all the new facilities and campus wide opportunities that admissions might emphasize about Middlebury, what's really great is that there are so many different types of people from so many diverse backgrounds that there is always someone with a life perspective or knowledge of one area you aren't familiar with that facilitates great conversation. Students push each other to stay current in all kinds of fields, academic and otherwise, because of a community open to sharing ideas and building off others.
Another aspect of Middlebury that I cite as an important factor in my development as a person is the fact that most Middlebury students think before they speak. Random conjecture and fabricated statistics seldom pass in social conversation with other Middlebury students. Moreover, over generalizations are without question analyzed and refuted to the point where a student will actually care about the credibility of their responses. There are far too many kids at Middlebury in far too diverse of areas for someone to pass off hearsay as fact.
1. Social Life 2. Smoking allowed in dorms 3. It could be larger 4. Where is that? 5. Library 6. what college town 7. Do I care 8. The Campus 9. Maybe 10. Yes 11. Cant remember 12. Mine is that its too much
The school is too small and too remote. It is hard to meet people from outside, so you are confined to Middlebury students; people from the age range 18-24 with very little diversity in background and opinion. I miss being able to meet people in the street, miss seeing the real world with poverty and struggle. I think it is hard for many students to be realistic about life while living in Middlebury and having everything cared for. I also miss being able to have an apartment/room in the city, cook for myself, and go out (to places where there are people I do not know).
The best thing about Middlebury is that everyone is intelligent, but not in a pretentious Harvard way. I've met the greatest friends of my life, and while they were carefully selected and there are many people I don't like, Midd is doing something right if it attracted this many cool people. I would change our place on the US News and World Report rank. I'd like it if we went back to 7th or 8th, so we'd stop getting so many hard-working, not fun students. The town is gorgeous, and you can get a great sandwich in many different places. I grew up there and I'm still never bored. Steve's diner has the best service in all of Vermont. Administration sucks- they see Midd as a comapny, a product to be sold and spread throughout the world. They keep amassing more property and schools all over, building heinous buildings and tearing down the ones we love.
best: beautiful campus in a beautiful place, challenging academics
school is a little on the small side
Middlebury is a great size. It is big enough that you meet new people all the time and small enough that you actually get to see them again.
The atmosphere of the student body is wonderful, but I would change the lack of socioeconomic diversity.
Best thing: Location
Thing to change: Desire to grow and build more
Best thing academically: Ability to connect with professors outside of the academic context. At least this is true for Geography and Chinese depts.
The Otters rock my world.
its pretty much what i was expecting. i mean, small(ish), pretty, wonderful when it's nice and absolutely horrific when it's not. a lot of people have no idea where it is or what kind of a school it is, at least where i'm from. tres liberal artsy
Have you ever noticed how awesome Middlebury looks on the College home page? Needless to say, if people took that thing halfway seriously there would be a lot of pissed off people.
Let's say I was a high school senior from the planet "Snompson" (an alien) with aspirations of attending an elite liberal-arts college, but without the means to travel. After a short Internet search I would probably run across the Middlebury Web site and fall head over heels in love with its language programs and Sound of Music-inspired campus.
Now let's pretend that I actually got in. (At Snompson Central I was editor of the yearbook, captain of the lacrosse team, Hug Club founder and MacArthur "Genius" grant recipient) Upon arrival as a Feb, I would be mortified to find Middlebury in it's winter state - a frozen wasteland - and rue the day I ever found that god-forsaken Web site. For those of you who haven't been there in a while, the home page generates a triptych of photos depicting scenes of cheery co-eds and landscapes bathed in magic-hour glow. A far cry from the meteorological hell we endure six out of the nine months we're here.
For many students here there has been a big difference between what they expected and what they've experienced. I of course, am no exception.
My first semester, I hated this place. And it wasn't just the weather - it was the people too. I thought the guys on my hall were obnoxious, immature and stupid - which wasn't far off the mark - but looking back, I was just as stupid and a lot whinier. The real problem was that Middlebury was failing to meet the lofty expectations I had created for it all summer long.
These expectations included:
Becoming instant soul bros with my roommate.
Hot smart girls would start liking me.
Everyone would be into the same cool stuff I was into.
And, perhaps most damaging, Middlebury would be the free-love utopia that it was when my dad went here.
That's right. That whole summer I was getting the Middlebury story by way of my dad who wears rose-colored nostalgia glasses with panthers and pot leaves on them. Just like Dad I was going to Middlebury, and it was going to rule just as hard, if not harder, than my dad and the class of 1977.
So of course, to my shock and dismay, it did not rule as expected. And that crushed me. As far as I was concerned, I had already bought into the Middlebury brand name and I deserved to feel like the kids on that homepage. Why didn't I want to paint my face blue and go to hockey games? What was wrong with me?
It was like buying a can of Axe deodorant only to find out that the Axe effect is just a marketing ploy.
But, you know what, I'm not that special. For every four kids that double major in Chinese and Econ there's one trying to smoke oregano. I found my niche, and maybe not so ironically, it wasn't in the image of those kids on the homepage.
Generally, Middlebury is a great place to be. However, it is not for everyone. Although it is essentially in the middle of nowhere, I like being able to use the natural surroundings. I love how I can drive only 20 minutes and be on the slopes. While this is definately a plus, it does at times get small, with a town that is asleep by 8 on weeknights, and weekends for that matter. I have met amazing people who are dynamic and interesting and motivated. It is great to be surrounded by these types of people. The academics are challenging, leading many of us at times of become overly stressed.
My school is very small, but for me, it is just right. The town is also extremely tiny, which, for me, is just right. The best things about Middlebury are the great professors and the general focus on the undergrads...(Since there are basically only undergrads.) I wish there was a more united pride about the college. There is definitely Midd pride present, but I wish it were more universal. In general, I adore it here. The opportunities I get at this college--academically--are unbelievable. People often complain about the social life on campus, but I believe if you go in search for what you want, you will find it. There are many different types of very cool, often intense, people here. One problem with the administration is its focus on getting Midd to dominate in the ratings for lib. arts schools. Its made for a more stressed out, less balanced/well-rounded/"chill" student body. I'll always remember sledding at 2 AM after the Valentine's Day blizzard--the winters here can be awful, but they can also be incredibly fun!
We have our own ski mountain. That's unbelievable. We also have an awesome dining system--no cards! Go in whenever you want!
middlebury is building itself as a name in the field of liberal arts education. the current administration has a five-year plan to expand the college into an all-encompassing educational experience. this means that they are borrowing against the current students with promises of greatness in 5,10,15 years. there's a lot of distance between the students and the administration and the students often get left behind, even on relatively small points to which one would hope a college would be committed. there's a very strong desire, on the college's part, to have us subscribe to their philosophy and vision. should you not, it has become increasingly difficult to just to find spaces and people who are outside of it. in a sense, middlebury has forgotten about the atypical student and only caters to those that fit in its plan. the practical effects of which involve attempts to control college social life leading to an increasingly cliquey and divided campus as well as a general centralization process that has taken control out of the hands of many student-run organization and made it so that everything must be approved by governing bodies (wrmc, the radio station, has always been committed to bringing small, up-and-coming acts to campus for cheap, but this past year that was lost to a new larger concert committee to which wrmc sends delegates to, but has lost control of its funding.)
I came to Middlebury to get a small liberal arts education, and I wouldn't sacrifice that for anything. At times, though, the school gets a little claustrophobic and you feel like you know everybody on campus. Of course this isn't true, but I think lots of people wish Middlebury were at least a little bit larger at times. It's nearly impossible to be anonymous here.
Middlebury has lots of money. It seeps into everything; we have beautiful facilities, great food and more technology than one could shake a stick at, but all this luxury means a heavy-handed administration. First years are infantilized, seniors are frustrated. That said, the abundance of funds means Middlebury students can do almost anything they want - need a plane ticket to Ireland? Apply to the special flex fund!
In my four years here, I've seen the campus grow and the college's name rise higher and higher in the rankings. I've also seen much of what attracted me to Middlebury be methodically swept under the rug as the majority of students settle into the many comforts of the Middlebury lifestyle while falling short of perhaps reaching their full academic and extra-cirricular potential.
But I love this place. I've found a group of people I'm incredibly fond of and have had some of the best times of my life here.
Middlebury needs to get rid of the Commons system. It makes a small college even smaller. Athletic facilities are incredible, and the food is better than most. Social scene is lacking some sparkle. If you like the outdoors, Vermont is friggin beautiful, and cold. Skiing is fun. Liebowitz Day, the day we celebrate our esteemed president of the college is a hilarious tradition started two years ago.
Overall, despite how many different kinds of intelligent people go to Middlebury, there was always a sense of a smaller community within that of active and interested people. People always wonder how I got all the way across the country to a small school in Vermont. Either they've heard of it and are properly impressed or they are completely clueless and think I'm crazy for moving away from Football U. Middlebury students are driven, but despite the myriad of things people could choose to be up in arms and active about these days, it was always crazy to me how impassioned students got about the littlest things. "Stop the Lockdown" had people angry. How DARE they lock doors during the day and keep us safe? And "Save Proctor." Now I love Proctor dining hall as much as the next guy, but I think pouring your energy into keeping an old, dirty, but amazing dining hall open, is extremist in the way only Midd kids tend to be. What is immediately important, right in front of my face, affecting my day to day life? That, I'll fight tooth and nail for. Anyone who remembers the New Logo debaucle summer of '08 will see it. It's that stupidly strange power, that we hope will later be harnesed for good in the world, that makes Middlebury unpredictable.
It's hard to get bored at Middlebury. There's always a plethora of activities each weekend sponsored by MCAB (Middlebury College Activities Board), and parties to go around. The school itself isn't very big, and at times it can feel like you know everyone on campus, which can be a problem over the weekends when there isn't an abundant city life. The town of Middlebury is very much a college town, but not in the regular sense. The community and school are very involved in projects (Relay for Life comes to mind) but the town itself does not lend itself to a 'party' life. There are only two bars within walking distance.
I think Middlebury is the right size, the professor are excellent, the students are sometimes very irritating but overall there are much more interesting people here than at my high school. I wouldn't think about transferring.
Almost everybody complains about the social scene, even if they are two completely different people they will still complain, but I think its alright. The town is tiny and there is not many places to go, but when is the next time that you will be surrounded by so many other people of the same age?
The administration seem a little conservative and obsessed with raising money but not more so than other colleges.
Middlebury's beautiful Vermont location help to set an amazing environment for the school. The natural surroundings are gorgeous and provide a lot of things to do that are not necessarily apparent. No there's no mall, and yes the movie theatre downtown sucks--but that's not what this school is about. If you are someone who is creative, enjoys doing things off the beaten path (often quite literally), and don't need every minute of your "social time" to be planned out for you with the usual dances, movie nights, and whatnot (all of which Middlebury has as well), then you will do well here. Middlebury is well respected and becoming more so all the time. It has a reputation for excellent language programs (although they are far from the best departments) and its connection with the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference and School of English are strong and help bring a lot of interesting speakers and professors to campus. The people here are phenomenal, the teachers are (on the whole) engaging and highly highly intelligent, and the quality of life is off the charts.
the best thing about middlebury is the campus. the campus is a beautiful place to spend 4 years, but if i could change anything i would make the winters shorter. unfortunately, that's not possible. for me, the school is just the right size. people's first reaction when I say I go to middlebury tends to be, "where is that?" I spend most of my time on campus in friends' rooms or my room. i go into town very rarely, maybe twice a month tops, and that's really only if i need to do something extremely important like get a haircut. there's a pretty good amount of school pride, and nothing is really unusual about middlebury. students often complain about the workload and the weather.
Middlebury is a small academic community of hyper-motivated entitled individuals. Town is dreary.
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