Mirella Levin ’15

Mirella photo

Hometown: Geneva, Switzerland


High School: International School of Geneva- La Chataigneraie

Major/Minor: Psychology with a minor in Gender, Sexuality and Feminist Studies

E-mail: malevin@middlebury.edu

Activities: Working in Admissions, Campus Tour Guide, Zumba, Kappa Delta Rho, PAL for Early Arrival Fall 2013

Study Abroad? (have you, or are you planning on it, where/when?): Possibly. I’m considering spending my Spring semester in Hawaii.

Why did you choose Middlebury?

I have to start this by saying that I am the most indecisive person you will ever meet. As a senior in High School I was really uncertain about where I wanted to go or what type of school I wanted to go to. Middlebury had been one of my top choices since the beginning of the year (I almost applied ED). I liked the school’s international focus, strength in academics and the friendliness of the people. I also felt that Vermont was unique in a way that would allow me to transition to living in the United States more easily. To be honest, one of the deciding factors for me was the facebook group and by extension the people. I had been looking at a lot of class of 2015 facebook groups that April and Middlebury’s was just different. The students were genuinely trying to get to know one another and they all seemed really interesting and fun. After comparing all the groups it hit me that Middlebury was the right choice for me so I went downstairs and told my parents that after three and a half weeks of debating, pro-con list making and researching I had finally decided to go to Midd.

Why/How did you choose your major?

I first became interested in Psychology and Neuroscience after my first semester at Middlebury. I had taken Introduction to Psychology with Professor Velez and loved it.  I liked the combination of science and social science and how its applicable to everyday life. Psychology just seemed to incorporate all my interests, and human behavior, especially in today’s society, is fascinating to me. I initially declared a major in Neuroscience in the fall of my Sophomore year. I then  ended up taking three classes in the Psychology and Neuroscience departments in the Spring and realized that I preferred the atmosphere in my Psychology classes than in the Neuroscience classes. I felt that Psychology was a better fit for me so I switched. I look forward to seeing where my degree in Psychology takes me after Middlebury; I feel like it will be useful no matter what I decide to do.

What was your biggest challenge transitioning into the college atmosphere?

The biggest challenge I faced was having to choose my own classes. I generally like everything so I would have lists of fifty or more classes that I wanted to take and this would eventually get narrowed down to a much smaller list. I always had a lot of trouble deciding which classes to take, especially since a lot of the ones I was interested in were scheduled at the same time. I feel that I now have a better grasp on how to choose classes, and having declared a major really helped since I now have certain classes that need to have priority over others. I also try to mix things up a little every semester either by trying something new or taking something that seems really fun or interesting, even if it has nothing to do with my major or minor.

What is your fondest memory of Middlebury thus far?

International Orientation (early arrival) was one of my favorite experiences so far.  I met some of my closest friends during that week and some of the sessions were really helpful. It was also great to meet upperclassmen (the PALs) who had transitioned to living in America after growing up somewhere completely different. However, when I think about my time at Middlebury, all the fun times I’ve had with my friends come to mind. I’ll never forget the night my roommate and I were laughing hysterically at three am (I can’t even remember why) and all the times my friends and I have found ourselves laughing for hours (for example when my friend and I were laughing in Crossroads which was empty because most students were done with finals by that point and the few people that were left probably thought we were crazy).

What is your favorite class you’ve taken here?

Italian Renaissance (HARC0201) with Katy Smith-Abbott. The professor was amazing and the subject material was fascinating. You have to take this class at some point during your four years here!

What do you do in your spare time?

I like to walk around the town of Middlebury. My friends and I will often go to the COOP and Carol’s Café just for fun. I also like to go around campus and visit/catch up with friends (they all live in different areas so it can take a while). I also love to go snowboarding at the snow bowl in the winter.

If you were any fictional character, who would you be and why?

Fleur de la Cour. She speaks French and she’s blonde just like me.

You’re taking a cross country road trip: which Middlebury professor do you bring along and why?

Tara Affolter. There’s no way the trip would be boring if she came along! She’d make jokes along the way and we could have long discussions about the education system in America and how race and class affect this. It would be a great way to have a continuation of our J-Term class Critical Race Theory in Education which I took in January 2013.

One piece of advice you would give prospective students in the admissions process?

Sit down one day and think about what you really want out of your four years at college. It’s difficult to decide what type of school you want to go to or where you want to live for four years, but it will help you narrow down what schools you apply to and where you eventually decide to matriculate. Also, talk to current students if you can. As a prospective student I never knew what questions to ask on tours or during information sessions. Talking to a current student over lunch or coffee allows you to get a better  idea of what life is really like at that particular school.


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