Last night, I did my laundry. Laundry is one of those tasks that always takes me longer than I anticipate—I find folding especially challenging—and I always kind of resent it. Last night, however, I felt suddenly struck by the significance of the activity. There I stood, sorting my socks from my jeans in the basement of a dorm, chatting with a friend about laundry detergent. After putting my laundry in, I walked down the hall to sit down and read before heading up the hill to dinner with friends.
I suddenly realized the smallness of my radius of movement. It was absolutely miniscule. From a bird’s eye view, my days would look like laps from dining halls to classrooms to libraries. They would look like I was spinning in circles. I had never noticed that before because I had never actually felt bored. Well, in truth because I never have been bored.
Some might look at this situation—my small radius of movement—and find it stifling, and I think I would have agreed with them before this experience. But living in it, I so appreciate the tight-knit community of Middlebury. My change of heart stems from the realization that this is not just a close community; it’s brimming with resources and new experiences. Sometimes, I feel as if I am peeling back layers of potential—discovering rooms I did not know existed and people I have never met. Middlebury feels simultaneously supportive and expansive, as if despite my extreme comfort here, I could keep discovering new things. This sensation of never-ending newness comes from the energy of the people who comprise this community. Certainly, Middlebury does not constantly keep hiding new rooms or strangers around campus. Rather, students, staff, and professors bring exciting new ideas to campus. Whether it’s a new club, class, or a new way to use a space, innovation renews Middlebury everyday.
I probably will always dislike laundry, but Middlebury sure is a great place to do it.