People in New England never seem to get bored of talking about the weather. Although cold temperatures are a yearly guarantee, I’m always asked how I can deal with Vermont winters, coming from sunny San Diego. But truthfully, I think having been denied snow for so many years makes me more excited than most for the first snowfall…
3 Reasons the winter is something to embrace, and not to fear.
J-Term is a glorious time at Middlebury College. Usually about the time that fall midterm exams are getting underway, there are murmurings of “I can’t wait until J-Term… it’ll be so nice when J-Term is here…” When we all return to campus after winter break in January, we’re looking forward to a month of one intensified class. Students can choose to take courses ranging from Chinese Painting, to Middlebury Entrepreneurs, to the ever-grueling Organic Chemistry. Classes meet with greater frequency and for more hours per week than during the fall and spring semesters, but this is a time to really dive into a subject, focus your energy, and be creative. I’ve been looking forward to my Introduction to Painting class for a few weeks now, and can’t wait to take my first-ever art class! Monday, Wednesday, Friday from 1-4pm, so there is plenty of time for skiing, making snowmen, and taking a Wine Varietals workshop.
Student and visiting instructors also put on workshops that students can choose from—yoga, “Cooking to Seduce,” Intro to Guitar, Tap Dancing and more. J-Term is a time to hone new skills, experiment with new hobbies, and enjoy Middlebury’s diversity. We also have the pleasure of hosting many visiting professors during January as well. Other students choose to do an off-campus internship or volunteer work for the month. Whatever the case, J-Term is a time to experience Middlebury life like never before!
2. The Snowbowl
The Middlebury College Snowbowl is a great place to spend a few hours getting outside during those frosty months. A student life pass is an affordable $150 for the entire ski season, and the ACTR shuttle passes by Adirondack Circle every hour to take you the quick 25 minutes up to the mountain. We have a new tri-chair lift to get you up the hill and a student-run ski patrol if you take a bad turn on your way down Kelly or Lang.
My favorite Snowbowl routine is to head up to the mountain, take a few runs with friends, stop for a hot chocolate and head back out if it’s a nice day. If it’s an especially icy day, I’ll grab the book I’ve inevitably brought with me and read a few chapters while admiring the snowscape outside the lodge’s windows. It’s fun to watch all the little kids walk awkwardly in their ski boots and be impressed by that kid who sits next to you in history—who knew he was a nationally competitive ski racer??
3. Winter Carnival
Winter Carnival is a long-standing Middlebury tradition. Reasons to love it: we have a day free from classes. The ski team hosts their home races. The winter sports teams have some victories at home, and the students guarantee an active (and vocal) fan section. We have a great concert or two. There’s a bonfire AND fireworks. Ice sculptures!! The Carnival ball is always a blast, thanks to our MCAB Traditions board.
So have no fear!! Yes, sub-zero temperatures and icy sidewalks are coming soon, but so is J-Term…
Hope I can also enjoy the Vermont winter with other Middkids in the future!
Thanks for sharing all the school life experience~
Middlebury is really an attractive place for me!