So perhaps this is going to sound overdramatic and sentimental, but kids we’ve reached the beginning of the end. Back on campus for my last semester at Middlebury, my mind constantly wonders back to the beginnnings of my inklings that Middlebury was even a place that I was interested in making a part of my life.
This time, four years ago, I was a sitting duck. Second semester senoritis – Relax, but do not slack off! – was setting in and translating my early decision acceptance to a life. I was in love with Middlebury, but not having started here yet, I couldn’t even begin to fathom the eclectic experiences that I would have here. The number of days that I was extremely excited by coming to Middlebury were tempered with days when I grew terrified that sitting in the middle-of-nowhere Vermont I would follow a very linear path that would lead me to an English major and a publishing career. Both are perfectly valid choices – I’m still pursuing a minor in English and jobs in the literary world – but the point is that I was terriffied about feeling stuck here, but my time at Middlebury has been the least stuck that I’ve felt in my life. There were other days that I worried that I would just not be cooky enough for this place that gets stereotyped as only flannel and granola, but Middlebury is what you make of it and you will be what you let it make you.
The greatest gift that Middlebury has given me has been freedom from the feeling that I always need to have my next move pre-planned and fit into some larger life plan. I still overthink things sometimes, but Middlebury has been a time when I’ve been able to just go with whatever came my way. Four years ago I would never have imagined that Middlebury would lead me to Costa Rica to teach English for a J-term, to Germany or Argentina for research and a semester abroad respectively, or to logrolling or joining a social house on campus. How could I have known that I would try rugby or take a class about the state of Islamic women in Germany? How could I know that I would get an opportunity to do publicity for a restaurant in town? How would I know that my friends would hail from far and near from California to Hong Kong? And that the options for next year would range from Boston to Thailand?
I chose Middlebury because it intrigued me. I chose the school that I would most regret not attending. At times, Middlebury scared me, but somewhere in the fear of getting stuck I got this glimpse that maybe Middlebury would mold me into something I’d never imagined before and as I begin to reach the end of that road, I can’t imagine it any other way.