Let me start by saying that this is my favorite time of year at Middlebury College. The Vermont foliage is stunning right now, it isn’t heavy jacket weather yet, and Middlebury students are all feeling well rested after our mid-semester break.
It is finally hitting me that I am back in the environment that I learned to appreciate during my time abroad. Although studying in Paris was incredible and I wouldn’t trade my experience there for anything, towards the end of the semester I caught myself missing the distinct community feeling and atmosphere of my home away from home at Midd.
My fresh perspective while abroad helped me realize that Middlebury truly feels like home to me. It isn’t easy to pinpoint when exactly this development occurred, and I think this realization happens in a different way for every Middlebury student. Some might realize that Middlebury is “home” when they change the default shipping address on Amazon, when they’re recognized as regulars at the best restaurants in town, or maybe when they simply realize that the majority of their friends are here.
Personally, I didn’t realize the extent to which Middlebury had become a second home to me until I was placed in a new environment. While in Paris I lived in student housing and met students from many different countries. When they asked me where I was from, I found myself describing Middlebury more often than my hometown. As I formed new relationships, I realized how integral my Middlebury experience is to my identity.
I consider myself lucky that the place I chose to study as an undergraduate has become such a big part of myself. With that in mind, my advice to those currently in the middle of the college application process is to consider what qualities are important to you in the next place you’ll call home. In other words, the community feeling and quality of life at a particular college can be just as important as academic considerations.
Until next time!