(Noemi Zendejas Rodriguez ’26 reflects on her weekly experience at the Scott Center’s SlowDown program.)
The SlowDown helped me get through my first semester at Middlebury. As a first-gen student, I didn’t fully know what to expect at a college like Middlebury. All I knew was that I had to do my best.
The workload and expectations were thrown at me without a warning. I was trying tofigure out how to stay on top of everything while taking care of my mental and emotional well-being. Besides the academic rigor, I was also adjusting to new people and the environment. It was a huge transition that was slowly dragging me by the feet. However, I learned about the Scott Center after arriving here and visited when I was able to. I felt very at home and welcomed, like a weight lifted completely off my shoulders. I felt overwhelmed with this huge transition, but the SlowDown helped ease all the new adjustments I was facing.
Every Tuesday, after my first-year seminar class, I head to the Scott Center ready to feel some stress relief. My focus/thoughts shift from worries about assignments to enjoying the moment with coloring, having tasty cookies and tea, and chatting with others. The people at the SlowDown create acomforting and delightful environment. Music usually plays in the background adding to the heartwarming environment. Afterwards I feel ready to get back to everything ahead of me: my assignments and the rest of the week.
I’m excited to try new activities such as knitting and making bracelets. I would recommend this event, and the Scott Center, to anyone, especially those looking for a place where they can feel at home and at peace.