I will not let myself post about the “end” of senior year – not yet, anyways. I won’t talk about how my last Winter Carnival has come and gone or how the “100 Days” party is right around the corner. I’m not going to focus on the fact that talk of dinner reservations and plans with friends for graduation weekend has officially begun. Most importantly, I will NOT dwell on email I received this week asking me to confirm the spelling of my full name for my diploma (!!!). Instead, I will focus on the positive – that sense of enthusiasm, adventure and fun that has come to define my final semester at Middlebury.
This weekend, a group of friends and I are heading down to Pittsfield, Vt. to compete in an annual snow shoe race that we have done for the past few years. The event is always worth the early morning wake up; it offers an awesome course through the snow, tons of competitors from across New England, a warm fire, free lunch and music at the finish line. It is safe to say snow shoe racing was not on my radar screen before coming to Middlebury, but, as I mention during my information sessions, it has come to be one of my favorite parts of winter! The Middlebury Mountain Club (MMC) helps tons of us participate, covering the registration fee, providing free transportation to and from the mountain, and lending out snow shoes at open gear hours. My group of friends competing this year is the biggest yet, and I know that’s because we all feel – whether we want to admit it or not – that it’s our last shot to do something like this.
That “why not?” attitude seems to have pervaded our lives, and I can’t say I mind it. Trip to the Ben & Jerry’s factory last week? Delicious. Last minute visit to Burlington? Absolutely. Even classes have taken on new excitement; having finished my major requirements, like many of my friends, I am taking courses in disciplines I’ve never focused on. Reading Moby Dick and learning about South Asian geography, for example, Midd continues to push me academically.
So, if senior spring is tinged with sadness, it also brings a new energy to classes, activities and adventures here. Graduation may be looming in the all-too-immediate future, with caps and gowns and diplomas just around the corner, but in the mean time seniors are choosing to focus on the present and live it up in the Green Mountain state.