Name: Sarah Elliott.
Hometown: Blue Hill, Maine.
Favorite song: Depends on the day, but today is “Last Breath” by Plush.
Current living conditions: Hadley Hall, Ross Commons.
Proctor or Ross? Ross all the way. No bias here.
A freshman hailing from a town that has a smaller population than campus, Sarah had six colleges knocking on her door last April. By the end of the month, her choice was hinged upon an inanimate object.
“I came to visit during Preview Days and I loved the architecture of campus, but it was the stone exteriors of the buildings that I latched onto.”
Fortunately, Sarah elaborated.
“My house was built in 1802 and it is mostly made up of stone from the quarry that used to run through our backyard,” Sarah began, “and over the years, my house has evolved from a storage site for granite, to a bar, and finally to a residential home. So yah, you could say that I like stone.”
Perhaps it should also be mentioned that both Sarah’s mother and father are architects. But for Sarah, attending an architecture class during April’s Preview Days almost deferred her finger away from clicking the acceptance button on Middlebury’s website.
“It completely shook me up” she said, “and to be honest, I began questioning whether or not this was the place for me.”
A prospective architect herself since the days of Pokémon and multiplication tables, Sarah immediately noticed that the architecture program at Middlebury differed immensely from the courses she had taken whilst at high school. Her one glimpse of class offered fifty minutes of pure production with little theory. Now do not get Sarah wrong—theory versus practicality is not a debate she is willingly to perpetrate. But after consulting with her parents, Sarah decided to choose the place that felt right, regardless of whether or not the architecture program was up to par.
“Because really, no matter where you go, it comes to down to the community,” Sarah noted, “that’s where the real learning happens.”
The concept of the honor code, a student-led initiative and no doubt a prominent reflection of the college’s community, ensured Sarah’s mouse did not waver too far from her virtual acceptance letter. Even during her twenty-four hours here, she noticed the unique amount of respect between professors and students present at Middlebury.
“The faculty really listens to students, and it sounds cliché to say this, but I really had no expectations coming in. I just hoped my visit and the feeling I gained on campus that day wasn’t a fluke, and instead would be a feeling that would endure for the next four years.”
She is a candid young woman though, revealing that she is “still trying to find [her] place here at Middlebury.”
Regardless, Sarah does not define discovering her Midd identity as her most intimidating challenge to date—an unfortunate, physical debacle between ice cream and her shirt claims this title.
“For me, I got a stain of chocolate on my white shirt. It was at that moment that I realized that my mommy wasn’t here.”