Sex and the College

By Middlebury Campus

Marriage … marriage?!? We’re only in college and are therefore still exempt from thinking about such commitment, right? Wrong. There is always an exception to the rule, and yes, we go to school at that exception. Love is always in the air at Middlebury: Statistically, about 60 percent of Middlebury graduates marry Middlebury graduates. But wait, before we talk marriage … 60 percent?!? Is that even possible?!?

With my best detective intentions, I decided to validate this statistic at the Alumni Office; or at least I was going to, but since I’m one of the 40 percent that don’t have a Middlebury knight in shining armor to take me anywhere on his white horse, let’s just say that I didn’t get to the church on time. So instead, I took my best detective intentions and asked students about Middlebury marriages. I heard story after story of parents meeting on the steps of Pearsons, of graduated siblings newly engaged to their Middlebury romance, and yes, even of a brother’s friend’s cousin’s sister’s nephew re-meeting his Middlebury sweetheart 30 years after graduation and marrying her on the spot. (Have you realized yet that “welcome to the Middlebury family” has a very literal meaning?) The stories were more validation than the Alumni Office could have given – I think 60 percent may be an underestimation of reality! But if the statistic is true, then the real question persists: Why do so many Midd-kids marry Midd-kids?

I found my answer in Princeton Review’s “The Best 331 Colleges” (the book that you swore you never wanted to see or hear of again). When describing Middlebury life, a student is quoted as saying “everyone around is an overachiever, star athlete, talented musician and very attractive.” Wow – of course we marry each other! Everyone talks about how high our marriage statistic is, but instead of doing the typical “look to your left and look to your right – you very well might marry either of those people,” do it a little differently. In the dining hall, in your classes or while walking around campus, look to your left and look to your right. And ask yourself, would you really mind marrying the attractive overachiever, star athlete and talented musician next to you? My guess is that 60 percent of you are seriously thinking it and 30 percent are unsure (the other 10 percent are commitment-phobic and ran away at my first utterance of the word “marriage”). Maybe Middlebury is just inherently a compatibility zone. And maybe that’s not as bad as the statistic may first make you think. So hey, once your midterms are all over and you’re well on your way to that Middlebury degree, take a moment and think about the Middlebury Mrs. or Mr. for a change.

Are those wedding bells I hear from Mead Chapel?