“What did you do over your Febmester?”

It’s that most splendid time of year again…THE FEBS ARE HERE! What’s a Feb you may ask? Well, here’s a link for some of the logistics: http://www.middlebury.edu/admissions/apply/february but to really know the Feb program, you need to know the Febmester. Currently at the forefront of everyone’s minds—Feb and Reg (September admission) alike—is that age old question: “What did you do over your Febmester?”

Each Feb is given the incredible opportunity to take a Febmester, which is like a gap year but only eight months in length. The best part of the Febmester? What you decided to spend your eight months doing is entirely up to you. It’s a chance for you go somewhere or learn something you had always wanted to but couldn’t find the time for in high school. It’s a chance for you to learn a new language in a foreign country, hike a trail that challenges every part of your mental and physical endurance, or reconnect with family that fell to the side when SAT prep, band rehearsal, and soccer practice reigned supreme. It’s a chance to take something you’ve always found interesting and turn it into your greatest passion or discover something you never thought of trying before. For me, the Febmester was the perfect time to get my first job and learn how to play the guitar on the side. I had never had time for a job before, and I really wanted to enter Middlebury having had that particular kind of responsibility.

And what is ultimately most wonderful about the Febmester is the stories you bring with you to campus in February. By the time February comes, Febs are so excited to finally be at Middlebury, they want to learn everything about each other. Febmester stories are not only a great way to break the ice during orientation, but they’re also a way for you to tell people what you love to do, who you are when you’re not at school. It’s amazing how the Febmester stories simultaneously make every single one of us unique and bring us all together to unify the class. I have many friends who spent their Febmesters hiking long, involved trails, and those who hiked in Spain have a lot to share with those who hiked in the US. Those who went abroad to Italy have a lot to talk about with those who went abroad to South Africa, because even though the cultures are hugely different, the experience of being in a strange country with new food, new customs, and, often, a new language builds friendships that last not only your four Middlebury years, but also far beyond graduation.

There are countless perks of being a Feb, but the Febmester—both the experience and the way it aids in your transition to Middlebury—is by far one of the most special pieces of Feb life.

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