As any scholar can attest, the best part about being Posse, aside from the warm fuzzies and weekly/bi-weekly/BIG meetings with each other and the mentors, is having someone to go for advice. So for the month of August, 2011 we asked the scholars, “I wish I had known or someone had told me… (about Middlebury)” and this is what they had to say:
“I wish I had known about my classes before I actually signed up for them. I should have just asked around a lot to get as much information as possible. Also, to answer some of the questions above, there are no parties to avoid, as long as the work that needs to be done is completed. Best place to play hide and seek is Battell or Ross. I personally prefer Battell but if you asked Jon Castro, I am sure he will say Ross. The fitness center is a great place to be. It is however very crowded in the afternoons especially after 3pm because all the athletes will be in there. The best time to be in there is in the morning before classes or very late at night in the Sweatshop.“
“So I wish someone told me how different Middlebury Vermont would be from everything that I had been used to for 18 years. In many ways, though, they did. I was told that many people there would be skiiers, private school graduates, that they’d love the cold and that they’d be used to seeing the stars at night. That they’d be different.
But what I wasn’t told was how to react to all that. It’s easy to do everything with your Posse, to sit by the people you know the best, you’ve known for the longest, with people that come from the same place as you do with many of the same past experiences. And that’s not a bad thing. By all means, some of your fellow Posse scholars may become your best friends — for life.
But Middlebury, as a learning environment, really is so much bigger than your immediate group of 10 or 12, or the Posse family of 40-50. Take what you know, what NY has taught you, and pass it on to those who may think that the subway is the most scary place in the world. And take what they have to offer as well. Play tennis, go snowshoeing, learn about someone’s childhood life on a farm in Iowa.
Yes, we as Posse scholars are all smart. (And yes, NYC is the best place on earth). But there is SO MUCH MORE. Spread your NY knowledge, but be open to taking some back. Understand that for some people, Middlebury is the most diverse environment they’ve ever been exposed to. And though it may not seem that way, it may be for you too. Just ask the people on your freshman hall where they’re from, what they love to do, how many languages they speak or what they did last summer. You’ll see that everybody has their own story, regardless of what we may assume.
I guess what I’m trying to say, in a much more condense way, it to be open-minded. Don’t just tell yourself that you’re willing to be open-minded… work at it each and everyday. Middlebury is an unbelievable place, and I’m jealous of the four years you have lying ahead.”
Ariel Ritchin (MP9)
“Don’t compare how you did in high school to how you should be doing in Middlebury. Midd is a completely different ball game, if you stress yourself out saying that you used to be the top of your class and now you aren’t you’ll be stressed out everyday. Yes, you should aim to do well but it should be the best you can do while being happy, healthy and safe. Don’t compare yourself to anyone in your class, posse or back home; be happy with yourself and remember that this education is priceless!”
Come back every Thursday during the month of August for the rest of the advice. And if you would still like to contribute, click here.