Senior Admissions Fellow
Why I wanted to become a Senior Fellow
Looking back at my own college search process, I remember how hearing a student speak or give a presentation always had a stronger influence on me than a staff member. I remember listening to these
students and trying to imagine myself in the stories they would tell about his or her life at the college.Perhaps unfairly, these students would sway my college decision a fair amount. Now going into my last
year at Middlebury, I felt like actually being one of these students would be a great way to give back to the institution that has given me so much.
What I did this past summer
For most of this past summer, I was finishing my semester abroad in Valparaíso, Chile and then I spent a week of hanging out in Buenos Aires, Argentina. During my last month of summer, I was fortunate
enough to get a job on the west coast through Middlebury at the Monterey Institute of International Studies directing Voices of the Class, an orientation tradition we have at Middlebury that was just
getting started at MIIS.
What my college search was like
My college search began with a 15-school east coast college tour (that did not include Middlebury!) organized through my high school. In the end, I don’t think I actually applied to any of those schools, but what was really great about the tour was just finding out what I wanted in my ideal school through looking at a bunch of schools. Later, I remember using a bunch of websites that would rank different aspects of the school (campus life, food, academics, etc.) to create a list of the top schools for me. The most important aspect was food (I mean, if I was going to be eating it everyday…) and Middlebury really took the cake for that one. In the end, my biggest advice would be to be selective about the schools you apply to (I applied to 6, I had a friend that applied to 26) so that you can really get to know and care about each one you apply to.
Life at Middlebury
Biggest challenge in transitioning to college
I think initially, I was just really worried about whether I could make a place called “home” at Middlebury. I am very connected to my hometown and my friends from home and I didn’t know how
people I would just meet could become as close as people I had known for practically my entire life. However, during Orientation, I found one of my dearest friends and am still finding people who really make Middlebury feel like “home.”
Choosing a major
I decided to be a Literary Studies major because I wanted to be able to study world literature outside of the English Department (Russian Literature, Arabic Poetry, Epic Poetry) and I also wanted to be able to read literature in Spanish. For me, Literary Studies really resonated with the kind of literature we would read in my high school and I really enjoyed the freedom it allowed in choosing my classes. However, going into Middlebury, I did not expect becoming an Education Studies minor. Everyone on campus always recommends classes from the Education Studies department, and one semester I decided to take one with Tara Affolter and from there, I totally found my calling.
Favorite Class or professor
First, any class in the Education Studies Department even if you are not a minor. The teachers are incredibly inspiring and it is actually quite useful to be able to gain a critical eye on your own education experience. Outside of this department, I would have to recommend Maria Hatjigeorgiou, professor of Religion and Women and Gender Studies. Maria was my first year advisor (professor of my first year seminar) and is such an inspiration. I remember coming to Middlebury with this ideal of the Liberal Arts life nourishing the body, mind and spirit and although it may sound cheesey, she totally lived up to these standards as a professor. Just one of those people whose passion makes you passionate about the subject.
Favorite Vermont-based activity
Jumping into a swimming hole.
Favorite winter activities
Long walks or sledding
Favorite spot off campus
Carol’s Café or a day trip to Burlington
Favorite dining hall concoction
A solid Panini in proctor
How have you changed in the course of your time at Middlebury?
I think when I came to Middlebury, as most first years are, I was very all over the place in terms of what I wanted to do. I joined almost every student organization from Capoeira to the Mountain Club mostly because all of it sounded awesome. Now though, I think I have found, or rather, have chosen the activities I love and the activities in which I want to dedicate my time to make a more enriching experience in each one. I think the discipline of learning to choose and be deliberate about your work is the value of any liberal arts education.
One thing every Middkid should do before they graduate
Jumping into a body of water in the middle of the night with a group of friends one fall or spring night (winter is only for the bold…).