Nicolas Mendia ’16

Nicolas Mendia

Hometown: Chicago, IL

High School: Latin School of Chicago

Major/Minor: Psychology Major, Gender Sexuality and Feminist Studies Minor, Pre-Med


Activities: Posse Scholar, Crew, Middlebury Mountain Club, Middlebury Student Emergency Response Team

Study Abroad? (have you, or are you planning on it, where/when?): I may not study abroad because it is hard to do when Pre-med, but ideally I would like to study in either England or India.

Why did you choose Middlebury?

Have you ever inched your way up to a pool you just know is cold and hesitate going in before you realize the best way is to just jump? Yeah. I never had that feeling being on the Middlebury campus. It just always felt like a warm, comforting pool to me that I could dive on into without fear of freezing to death or drowning. It was a really positive feeling. I also tell people that I could have lived in New York or LA any time of my life, but that choosing Midd was really the only time I could ever see myself living in beautiful-middle-of-nowhere-Vermont (I say that fondly).

Why/How did you choose your major?

Ever since I was a little kid I loved to know how stuff worked. It really was more of a necessity. So when I got to college and realized there was a major that allowed me learn how the brain worked, and how one brain worked with another (in those things we call human interactions), I was set! I am also a big fan of JStor, which I get to spend a lot of time on for psych papers.

The pre-med part (which isn’t a major but practically is) is because I have always been quick under pressure and can think fast. I also love learning about new advancements in health care and want to be a part of them (think bionic arms and better antiretrovirals).

What was your biggest challenge transitioning into the college atmosphere?

I had a couple of injuries throughout the year, which made things pretty hard to navigate. I would suggest watching out for attacking logs on the Trail Around Middlebury (TAM) and taking it slow when riding your bike to class.

What is your fondest memory of Middlebury thus far?

One of my fondest memories at Midd so far has been taking that first run along the Trail Around Middlebury (not the run where I sprained my ankle…) I grew up running in a city so getting to run in such beauty and past a field of cows is a pretty memorable thing. I also went on another great run with a friend around Christmas time to one of the neighboring towns at night. It was phenomenal because we would be in near darkness for a long stretch then come across a house decorated floor to ceiling with flashing Christmas decorations.

What is your favorite class you’ve taken here?

My Gender, Sexuality, and Media course first semester was the bomb-diggity. Have you ever spent a summer day lying on your couch watching show after show of a new series on Netflix, and loving it (who hasn’t)? While we didn’t necessarily spend entire days watching shows, we spent an amazing three hours each week watching shows such as Glee, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, movies from Hitchcock, and web series– all while queer theory-ing them up! The class was also so great because it taught me how to write concisely (no paper was longer than a page, single spaced). I sure learned how to get my point across!

What do you do in your spare time?

I like to weave scarves, run, get lost on JStor, have dance parties in the green room in BiHall.

Which Harry Potter character would you be and why?

Hands down Hermione. I spent a good deal of time in the Library this past year, and I love using the things I learn and applying them elsewhere. I can also cast a mean patronus.

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

Kim Cronise. A) She is hilarious. B) She has fabulous glasses. C) She loves to meditate. I also would bet money on the fact that she probably can make a jammin’ mix tape.

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

I spent a lot of my time trying to make my essays all prim and proper. Looking back now, I would advise any student to really try to write how you speak (sans foul language and bad conjunctions). I started to have more fun with responses when I did that, and I noticed people reading them would have a better sense of who I was.

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