STACI HILL ‘15
Hometown: Davie, Florida
High School: University School of Nova Southeastern University
Previous University: University of Southern California
Activities at Middlebury: Directing through Research, Education, Adventure, and Mentoring (DREAM), J-term orchestra pit, work-study, ResLife, Feminist Action (FAM)
Congratulations times two: you’ve officially completed your second round of college applications! I applaud you all for taking the reigns of your college experience; transferring is by no means an easy decision. I can assure you Middlebury is the family you’ve been searching for and the source of intellectualism you’ve been craving.
A little less than a year ago, I was handed an acceptance letter to Middlebury. My immediate reaction was undeniably emotional. Those months of writing essays, reliving standardized test scores, and scavenging for recommendation letters culminated in an unparalleled combination of relief and excitement. My mother was dumbfounded when I communicated my apprehension a few weeks later, but choosing my fate – the second time around – was more intimidating, more permanent, and more uncertain.
Since you’ve been accepted to Middlebury, I’m sure you have incredible options for the upcoming school year; however, I urge you to consider a few of my personal experiences as a first year transfer student as you make your final decision:
Middlebury is a tight-knit, intellectual community. You will not only be welcomed with open arms, but also engaged with heart and soul.
My first two weeks at Middlebury, I made it a point to sit with someone new at every meal. Students, who felt foreign at the time, invited me into their discussions, sometimes even personal dilemmas. They were also interested in my story: Why would I leave California? What was missing? What do I hope to find? Some of these people are my friends today and others are simply smiling faces around campus. These first few weeks verified that Middlebury was more than an academic institution, but a welcoming family.
Middlebury professors want you to dream, achieve, and share a good meal.
It’s hard to communicate just how passionate professors are about not only their field of study but also their students. Even in my larger lecture classes, my professors make it a point to know my name, where I’m from, and an occasional fun fact. Professor Byers, my chemistry professor first semester, held review sessions the night, yes as in Post Meridiem, before every exam to answer any questions. He was not shy to remind us that Middlebury would pay for his lunch (and most importantly dessert) if he ate with one of his students. At Middlebury, it’s not uncommon for students and professors to walk into the dining hall whether it’s for a casual lunch or to review a paper. It was over one of these lunches that I learned about the research opportunities at Midd. I’m now planning on working in a chemistry lab this summer on campus.
Middlebury is accessible and open to change, allowing you to mold your own experience.
There’s something special about being a transfer student: We know what’s out there. We weren’t afraid to take the risk. We’ve taken charge of our future. And we’re united under this common thread of an unparalleled appreciation for our newest collegiate experience; therefore, there aren’t that many of us. As a transfer student, who understands how lucky she is to have found her college-fit, I am extremely passionate about the transfer process. The Middlebury community is incredible and will welcome you; however, my orientation experience did not reflect that. Because everyone from professors to Ron Liebowitz (who holds office hours every week) is so accessible, I have the opportunity to work with the Associate Dean of Students for Student Activities & Orientation for revamping what it means to be “oriented” as a transfer student.
Middlebury incites the sense of adventure in all of us.
Located between Vermont’s Green Mountains and New York’s Adirondack Mountains, Middlebury is the center of adventure. The Middlebury Mountain Club, naturally, holds the title for the largest mailing list. Sending out emails once a week informing students about weekend excursion reminds the student body to get moving. Students are welcome to borrow tents, sleeping bags, first aid kits and more from their gear room. This J-term I fueled my growing sense of adventure by taking a Hunter’s Education workshop. Although I’ve yet to go out into the wilderness and explore the huntress within me, rumor has it that Rabbi Schiffer is known for taking a few students turkey hunting every year. Now that Spring is near, I’ve been training for the Middlebury Maple Run. On May 5th, I will run my first half marathon alongside my friends, peers, and most of my professors!
Choosing the right school a second time around is daunting. Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns. I wish you the best of luck and hope to see you next year!