An Interview On
Middlebury College

Background

Interview Date:April 2018

Gender Identity: Female
Race/Ethnicity: White
Graduation Year: 2020
Sexual Orientation: Heterosexual
High School Experience: I went to a public school in Ithaca, NY and there were about 350 people in my class
Major: Psychology
Minor: Education
Extracurricular Activities: I am an intern at the admissions office, I play intramural volleyball, I run on the Club Running team, and I am a member of the Feminist Action at Middlebury.

Did any of your extracurricular activities have a particularly big impact?
Yeah, I would definitely say club sports are a very easy way to meet people and you don’t have to have any prior experience. Like I had never played volleyball before but I formed a team with my friends and we had a blast and we met a bunch of people. And it’s a very low-key commitment.

Academic Experience

Can you describe your weekly coursework for Psychology?
Generally, I will have one lab course a semester, so there will be a weekly lab in addition to lectures that meet two to three times a week. You’ll have a good amount of reading outside of class and some other assignments, but primarily reading. I would say a few hours of reading per week per class. Most classes for Psychology are made up of two or three exams and two or three papers.

Is there anything that you feel your major’s department does especially well or especially poorly?
It requires you to take classes in all different fields of psychology. You take social and cognitive development and clinical psychology so you can get a taste of what all the different fields of psychology are like.

Can you describe the learning environment? Do you think it’s particularly competitive or collaborative?
Middlebury has an Honor Code that you sign at the beginning of your freshman year saying that you will never cheat and hold yourself to a certain level of academic integrity. There are never any professors or anybody there watching you take exams, so it would potentially be very easy to cheat, but people hold themselves and each other to a pretty high, competitive standard. It’s definitely pretty serious academically and people are competitive but not in a negative way. People are kind to each other and help each other towards success. People are competitive with themselves but collaborative with others.

What has been your favorite class in your major or minor?
Education in the USA, which is an intro level Education class that is all about different forms of education in the US and also talking about the politics of education. I think it’s an important class for everyone to take who is going into the education system

What has been your least favorite class in your major or minor?
A Psychology class with a professor that was visiting. The class wasn’t really up to Middlebury standards and I’ve heard a lot of people complain about visiting professors. There was no warning that it wasn’t a real Middlebury professor and it was a very poorly taught class.

Why did you choose Psychology?
I feel like I still don’t really know what I want to do, and Psychology felt like a major that you can really go anywhere with. It was pretty broad, and some of the other majors were kind of intimidating. I felt like it was very approachable and the professors were really welcoming and it didn’t seem limiting in any way.

On and Around Campus

Where have you lived on campus? 
Freshman: I lived in a single in Hepburn
Sophomore: Double in Hepburn
Junior: I’m living in one of the social houses and there are 19 people living in there and it’s all juniors.

Can you describe the level of safety you’ve experienced on and around campus?
I think the campus is really safe. Public safety is also really helpful when people are too drunk on campus.

What is your favorite off-campus restaurant?
American Flat Bread. It’s a pizza place.

What is your favorite place to get away from campus?
Going to Burlington. It’s the closest city and it’s on a lake. It’s really pretty.

Pros and cons of being in Middlebury VT?
Pros: (1) It’s beautiful. There’s no light pollution or anything.
(2) It’s surrounded by mountains, so we’re close to skiing. If you want to ski it’s very, very accessible.

Cons: (1) There’s not a lot to do in town. It’s pretty easy to get stuck on campus.
(2) If you’re flying anywhere or need to get a big city you have to travel far to get to an airport.

Social Opportunities

What kind of weekend activities or nightlife do you like to participate in?
I like to go out most of the time on Fridays and Saturdays and that usually includes parties with alcohol. I feel like there are opportunities to both go out and stay in which I like. A downside of Middlebury’s nightlife is that there are pretty inconsistent parties. Some weekends there will be a pretty big weekend and others not so much. So, you have to kind of pick and choose when you’re going to go out. In terms of physical location on campus, it’s pretty consistent where parties will be. We have social houses, which are big houses with up to 30 people living in them. There are also apartments and suite-style buildings where people will hold parties. All of the parties here are inclusive.

What have been some of your favorite days and nights at Middlebury?
Middlebury has a lot of campus-wide picnics and concerts. Those have been my favorite because that’s when the student body all comes out and goes to the same place. There’s always a concert at the end of classes second semester where they have food and it’s outside and everybody goes. That was the highlight of my spring last year.

How happy were you with the nightlife at Middlebury? If you could change anything, what would you change?
There are definitely nights when I want to go out and there’s not much happening. Especially because a lot of the nightlife revolves around sports teams and athletes, and if they don’t go out there’s usually not a lot happening.

Campus Culture

How did you meet your closest friends?
During orientation or in my classes.

To what extent do students of different races and sexual orientations mix socially?
I would say people of different sexual orientations mix a lot, more than different races. Race is definitely an issue on campus in general. The international students tend to hang out with each other. There is a good amount of mixing but not a lot.

How would you describe the overall social scene at Middlebury?
It’s definitely very inclusive and welcoming. There’s a pretty big drinking culture because there’s not a whole lot to do.

How would you describe the overall student body?
The student body is really fun. Middlebury attracts a certain type of person who is very excited, enthusiastic, and curious. It seems like people are always doing something people are really excited to do things and be involved.

Do you think that people are happy with their choice of Middlebury?
Yeah, I have met very few people who regret coming to Middlebury in any way.

Advice for Prospective Freshmen

What is something you wish you knew before entering Middlebury as a freshman?
I wish I had more realistic expectations about what partying at a small college is like. I thought that all college parties were crazy frat parties. That’s not what parties are like at small schools. Not everybody parties as much as you think they do.

What is something a prospective student may miss on a visit that’s worth checking out?
Definitely the athletic center. I don’t think many people think about fitness when they are looking at schools, but everyone always says that we have a very impressive athletic facility for its size. It’s also a huge part of the student body, people are very fit and active.

What is something that we haven’t touched on that is important for a prospective student to know about?
We have something called J-Term that is a 4-week term in January. You only take one class, so it’s a great opportunity to go skiing, hang out with friends, and really enjoy Vermont.

Reasons to attend Middlebury:
1) There is a big alumni network. It’s a pretty wealthy college and alums like to give back and help you network for your career.
2) We have natural resources and natural beauty that come with being in rural Vermont.
3) You’re going to be challenged, and I think that’s a reason to come here.
4) The dining hall food is good.

Reasons to not attend Middlebury:
1) The campus can be pretty isolating, especially if you don’t have a car.
2) The winters are really hard because it’s so grey and cold all the time.
3) There aren’t any pre-professional programs. There isn’t engineering or law.

Notice: Middlebury College is a trademark. Induck uses it for descriptive purposes, not to imply affiliation with, endorsement from, or sponsorship by Middlebury College.

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