Things We Wish We Knew

Here we’ve collected advice and "things we wish we knew" when we arrived at Middlebury from your Middlebury peers. Hopefully armed with some of our favorite experiential and time earned wisdom, you can start feeling like Middlebury is home before you even get here! Click the green headings below to reveal what we wish we knew! Anything else you’d like to know more about? Ask us at

I. Top 10 Best Kept Secrets


A great resource for course evaluations, dining options, local businesses and more! This is also the wonderful site that can provide you with your FREE MiddKid Card.

2. Greenhouse

Tucked away on the 6th floor of McCardell Bicentennial Hall, there is a fantastic greenhouse filled with wonders for teaching purposes and student & faculty research. A table for anything from reading to letter writing makes it a great nook any time of year!

3. Recycling Center & The Trunk

Want some new clothes or perhaps even electronics for under $10? Under $5? How about free? Middlebury is great at upcycling! Option 1: the Recycling Center. In addition to their incredible recycling, they also operate a re-use trailer where you can shop amongst reusable items other students and staff have recycled! Option 2: The Trunk, the student run thrift shop on campus.

4. Hikes, Walks & Runs Around Town

With scenic routes almost anywhere you go, you generally cannot go wrong! However to learn from the experts, click here to view cross country runner, Taylor's favorite running routes! Also check out Chemistry Professor, Jeff Byers' TrailRunner Blog.

5. Swimming Holes (including Kenyon)

While it may feel like winter for 99.9% of the academic year, there are times in the fall and spring that nothing is more refreshing than a swim! There are many places to swim in and around Middlebury including Lake Dunmore, Bristol Falls, The Middlebury Gorge, Dog Team, Silver Lake, and Falls of Lana. Here is a video from a few years ago, featuring some of our favorites!

6. 51 Main

It’s a great place for hanging out, listening to live music, playing board games and mingling with friends, family and/or professors in a very casual way! Also a great place to eat! Learn more at go/51main!

7. Library’s Collection of Equipment, Music & Videos

The Middlebury libraries are not just for books anymore! You can checkout headphones and laptops while you're in the building for building-only use. And you can check out projectors, cameras, and voice recorders for use any day, anywhere! Don’t miss the library’s amazing collection of music and videos either; you’ll find everything you could ever desire and more!

8. Middlebury College’s Special Collections

Want to see pictures from the 20s? Dance cards of the 40s? Old issues of The Campus and letters from past Presidents? Special Collections is a treasure trove, just take the time to dive in! And with their Digital Collections, it couldn't be any easier!

9. Box Office & Hepburn Zoo

Be sure to take advantage of the amazing talent that Middlebury showcases, students and visiting guests alike! The Hepburn Zoo is also one of the most magical places to see a show; don’t miss out! Visit go/boxoffice to preview some of the performances coming soon!

10. Organic Garden

A great place for everything from fireflies to s’mores to a peaceful sunset or sunrise stroll; make sure to visit the Organic Garden! Click the video below to learn more about this hidden gem!

II. Logistical Words of Wisdom

1. ACTR (Addison County Transit Resource)

Whether it’s to get to downtown Burlington on the weekend, the airport for a weekend getaway, the SnowBowl, or just downtown during a rainy day, ACTR has you covered! And best of all, it’s free for SnowBowl & Downtown Middlebury Rides! Schedules can be found at go/actr.

2. MiddRides

Want a ride back to Adirondack House from downtown? Give MiddRides a call! A free service provided by the College! Program 802-443-7433 into your phone right now, you’ll thank us later! Even better, they operate seven days a week.  7:30pm-1:30am Sun-Thursday &  8:30pm- 2:30a.m.  Friday & Saturday. Learn more at go/middrides.

3. Banking – Panther Account at the National Bank of Middlebury

A favorite bank of many students, an ePanther account (an exclusive account type for Middlebury College students) makes it even easier! To learn more click here. People's United Bank, Key Bank, and Citizen's Bank are other great banking options!

4. How to Print (Papercut, go/papercut)

From your personal laptop or computer: logon to go/papercut. Click 'Webprint.' Select printer & upload document. Go to the printing location, logon to the 'release' computer, and hit 'print' for your documents!

From a Middlebury computer: logon to the computer. Select 'print' on your items, and select the printer of your choice. Go to the printing location, logon to the 'release' computer, and hit 'print' for your documents!

5. How to Do Laundry

Main locations: Coffrin, Atwater, Forest , Hadley 1st floor, Kelly 1st floor, Stewart 1st floor, Painter basement, Hepburn basement, Gifford Basement. Purchase a laundry debit card from the MacGray machines in the Student Center, Ross Dining Hall, Forest Laundry, or Atwater Laundry Room. Purchase with cash only (accepts only five, tens or twenties), you can use this card forever and can add money onto it as needed. You can then use the card like a debit card in campus Laundry Rooms. The cost of laundry is 1.25 for washing and .50 for drying. Visit go/laundry to learn more!

6. How to Get a Job

Visit the Student Employment Office (go/seo) website to learn all the ins and outs of getting jobs on and off campus. Check out the 'find a job' tab!


1. Eating for Free on Campus: Dining Hours & Options

Extra tip: always check go/menu to check the menus of the day and select your preferred location!

Atwater- Open for breakfast (7-9:30am) and lunch (11am-2:00pm)! Special themed dinners sponsored by the Commons and Middlebury College Activities Board (MCAB) often are often hosted by Atwater.

Proctor- Open for breakfast (7-10:00am), lunch (11am-2:00pm), dinner (4:00-8:00pm) & language table lunches (Mon.-Fri. seating @ 12:20pm, door closes at 12:35pm).

Ross- Open for breakfast (7-11:00am), lunch (11am-2:00pm), dinner (5:00-8:00pm).

Check out how we use local food in our dining halls!

2. Eating Out on Campus Sans Dining Halls & Payment: Weybridge & Dolci

Weybridge House is known for their commitment to local-eating and sustainable living... but many people don't know they have open meals! Join in every Monday and Wednesday for dinner @ 6:30pm, or Saturday for brunch at 11.

Dolci, the student run restaurant on campus, amazes with inspired, creative, and delicious cuisine! Dinner is free, but seats are limited to those who respond for tickets first! Be sure to sign up on Middlink to get on their email list!

3. Eating Out on Campus... for a small price!

The Grille is perfect for late-night or mid-afternoon pick ups! American bar food, salads, subs, sandwiches and wraps are all fantastic choices at the Grille!

Crossroads Café the new student run cafe is not to be missed! Offering healthy, creative options (in addition to Vermont Cookie Love cookies), definitely worth the few extra dollars you'll spend! Especially their "Strawberry Fields Forever" (Whole-wheat waffle with yogurt and strawberries, who could ask for more?).

MiddXpress is a great on-campus convenience store, stocked with snacks and other goodies.

The Gamut Room is a student-run coffee house and art/performing space, complete with food, snacks and beverages. It is open Sunday-Thursday between 9pm and 1am and located in the Gifford Hall Basement.

4. Eating Out Off Campus... It’s not that Expensive (especially with a Middkid Card... it gets you great discounts, so be sure to sign up for one  now!)

While you cannot go wrong anywhere in town (check out MiddKid's full restaurant list), these are the favorites of our 2011-2012 Res Life Staff.

American Flatbread: With an all-natural wood-fired pizzeria, Flatbread is great for parents, friends, dates and nearly any occasion! Pizza not to miss: New Vermont Sausage! The hours are Tuesday-Saturday 5-9pm, so be sure to pay a visit!

Carol's Hungry Mind Cafe: A super cozy cafe where you can drink a coffee or tea on a large, overstuffed couch while you relax away form buzzing campus.

Costello’s: From Italian products to seafood to sandwiches, Costello's has it all! Best place to get a sub, hands down!

Noonie Deli: Definitely in the running for best Middlebury Deli. With so many unique sandwiches, you can never go wrong!

Steve’s Diner: Sometimes, when all you need is a breakfast array, Steve's has you covered!

Stone Leaf Teahouse: A great tea room with a huge variety of teas and pastries. A comfortable and quiet atmosphere to do work or hang out with friends, located in the Marbleworks Plaza.

Otter Creek Bakery: A DELICIOUS bakery and sandwich shop that is easy to walk to from campus, located next to Two Brothers Tavern. 

Middlebury Co-Op (Free Wednesday Sandwiches w/your MiddKid Card!): With all fresh, local and natural foods, the Co-Op is a fantastic place for snacks, deli sandwiches, and even smoothies!

51 Main: A cozy downtown cafe that serves drinks, light fare and desert. They often hold events such as music, exhibitions, and outreach functions. A great place to meet a professor for coffee or grab a drink with a friend.

IV. Great Bits of Academic Advice!

1. Librarians

Similar to the Commons Deans, don’t be scared of talking to librarians regarding any type of questions or research, even if it’s just a small project! They’re there to help, and happy to share all their wisdom, so make sure to learn not just from Wikipedia!

2. CTLR (Center for Teaching, Learning and Research)

The sooner you visit the CTLR, the happier you'll be here at Middlebury! Visit go/ctlr to learn more about all of their services, professional writing tutors, drop-in peer writing tutors (no appointment needed!), peer tutors for other courses, and more! They are more than happy to ensure you have your best academic experience possible, and learn and work to the best of your abilities!

3. Office Hours (What Are They? What Does This Mean?)

Some of the benefits of attending a small, liberal arts school are the personal relationships and access students have to Professors. Open Office Hours (which all professors have) are times you should feel free to drop by, whether it's to ask a question about the last lecture, get some help preparing for the next paper or exam, or just to introduce yourself in a larger lecture class. One Res Life Member advises: "I wish I had felt more comfortable attending Office Hours during my first year-- I would definitely advise incoming first-years to go as often as they desire, it really helps!"

4. 24-Hour Study Locations

Not that we want you studying at all hours, however, in a pinch, the Wilson Café (in the Davis Family Library), BiHall, and Sunderland are always great places to go!

5. Course Syllabi

Says one Res Life Staff Member: “Read your syllabus and all your assignments thoroughly! It's not like high school where the syllabus isn't informative or necessary.”

6. Don’t Limit Yourself!

Take the add/drop period seriously (a period during the first few weeks where students can ‘shop’ for courses to try and switch around their schedules)! If you didn’t end up with classes you like during registration, write to the professors of courses you hope to be in, and visit their class. Be prepared to not be accepted if the course is already too full, but it’s always worth a try!

V. Some Words of Wisdom from Midd Alums...
  • Take risks with your class choices, take some just for the fun of it without worrying about how this impacts your career… and put yourself out there socially as well. Stretch and get to know all kinds of folks on campus and in town. It may sound corny to you, but I promise you that some of the people you meet this year and in the three that follow will be dear friends for life.
  • Savor every moment, it will go by quickly.
  • Look around you and see the beauty. Love the winter.
  • Take some time to watch the sunsets.
  • Remember that having questions is normal. Remember that struggling at times is part of the path to success. Remember that feeling homesick is expected. But when having questions turns to feeling completely lost or when struggling becomes feeling completely overwhelmed or when being homesick turns to feeling alone, use the faculty, staff, and other students to help you. We all have at some point in our Middlebury careers.
  • Memorize the mountains, both east and west.
  • Just because Work Hard Play Hard is the Middlebury MO doesn't mean it's got to be. Give yourself times for extreme academic absorption and exuberant [late] night dance parties -- and also for long and short walks, endless Proctor dinners, 2 am hallway chats about the meaning of life -- and remember that just because everyone at Middlebury smiles most of the time doesn't mean you're alone if you feel blue, stressed, sad, angry, exhausted... You don't need to add acting perfectly happy when you aren't to the list of things you're trying to be perfect at. You aren't alone. Tell people how you are actually doing when they say "how are you" and if they don't like it find better friends. Above all find people and activities and ideas that help you be your best self and love them as much as possible. Oh, and don't forget you can invite profs to lunch in the dining halls. Talk to them. They are awesome.
  • Value the various people you get to encounter along the way.
  • Middlebury has its own golf course and its own ski hill. Use both.
  • Don't spend so much time studying that you miss the Midd experience; don't spend so much time playing that you miss the Midd degree!
  • If you are feeling seriously overwhelmed for any reason, talk to your advisor or a dean.
  • Don't waste a minute. It's all too delicious.