Middlebury College

Middlebury, VT: January 27 was one of the coldest days imaginable to visit a Vermont college. A considerable amount of snow had fallen the night before, and the temperature was predicted to linger around zero.

We arrived at Middlebury in time for the group information session in the elegant admissions building. The director empowered us with knowledge about the school ranging from the dorm system to the 40 majors, and their Winter Term, in which students take only one class that explores an area unrelated to their regular study.

Then we gathered with other prospective students to tour the campus, where everything we heard at the information session came to life. Our guide from California never lost her smile even as the snow seeped into her shoes. I was amazed at the life and vibrancy on campus despite the bone-chilling temperature. From the cluster of friends bouncing a basketball down the snow-covered sidewalk to the laughing girls entering The Grille, I was able to understand the uniqueness of this college perched among the Adirondacks.

As I flip through the course catalog, the printed words of Robert Frost caught my eye: “Something we were withholding made us weak, until we found it was ourselves.” Middlebury asks a considerable amount from students and, in turn, gives back much more than just an exceptional education. In addition to the new library soon to open and the Snow Bowl (their own ski mountain), each of Middlebury’s 2,300 students will assuredly grow from time spent at the college. The strong standards and values upheld by this nationally recognized liberal arts school make me wonder how any college could ever be chosen over Middlebury.

Reviewed in 2003