The Best of Midd

By Guest Contributor

Learning to navigate a new community is a daunting task. For seasoned Midd kids, we forget that we were all once fresh faces on campus. We confused AXT with AXN (go/map), worried about how to maximize the ingredients in Proctor for a delicious creation and tested out study spots around campus before finding our favorite nooks and crannies. Some of the lessons — like how to prioritize our time and foster meaningful friendships — continue to resonate, even for those of us in our last few months at Middlebury. Thankfully, the campus is full of special services for its students — a fact we tend to overlook after settling into a weekly routine. Therefore, we took this week to poll three Student Wellness Leaders about their favorite services around campus. Here is what they told us:

This spring is Addie Cunnif’s final semester at Middlebury. Among her top priorities: acquiring hobbies and finding a job for her future life. Thankfully, Midd can help her do just that. For her two mandatory PE credits, Addie logrolled and learned how to pop-lock-‘n-drop it in a Riddim workshop. Some of her friends have gone ice climbing, been CPR certified or gone spinning in the YouPower Cycle room for their PE credits. While mandatory PE may seem like a throwback to middle school, Addie is glad that she was pushed to step outside of her comfort zone. When the reality of graduation hits, drop-in hours at the Career Services Office give her time to construct a polished cover letter or resume for her hopeful employer. The CSO can even conduct mock interviews to get you thinking about your best qualities. During Addie’s last semester, it is a real comfort to have those services available.

Coming to Middlebury, Sierra Stites was initially overwhelmed by all of the College’s resources. Her academic and social worlds were now centered in the same place in a way that she hadn’t yet experienced. Now that she’s a seasoned junior, Sierra has a better idea of how to make the most of her time at Middlebury. An appointment with Director of Learning Resources Yonna McShane at CTLR helped Sierra work on time management strategies and helped her avoid the Middlebury tendency toward an overflowing schedule. Together, they looked over syllabi and arranged calendars in advance. And with all that planning, Free Friday Films (now offered every week!) are definitely something Sierra has taken advantage of since her first year on campus (only two weeks more until Les Mis!). Last, but definitely not least, Sierra’s commons dean and faculty heads have been instrumental in making her feel a part of the Middlebury community. Discussing academic and personal matters, as well as the best brands of jeans, is never amiss in the Commons office.

Like most sophomores, Sanela Smaka has a few semesters of experience under her belt, but she still has much to learn from being on campus. Being in the middle of her Middlebury career offers its own benefits and challenges. While it’s easy to slip into a familiar routine, Sanela has found sophomore year to be the perfect time to spice things up by using the resources she already knows to explore new things. For Sanela, figuring out the MiddRides schedule has made it much more exciting to check out live performances at 51 Main on a frigid Friday night. Sanela loves to cook and eat delicious food. Every week at Dolci, she can enjoy the festive atmosphere and unique menus or even work behind the scenes as a chef. No matter how you do it — big steps or small — Sanela thinks that sophomore year is the perfect time to push herself to explore new things while having the reassurance of a few semesters worth of experience.

These are only snapshots of the many ways you can take advantage of the Middlebury community. Whether you need academic or emotional support, career guidance or an opportunity to unwind, Middlebury is there to help. So the next time you’re stuck with a resume question or can’t figure out the best way to express yourself in a cover letter, stop by the CSO’s drop-in hours. When you need a concise thesis statement, writing tutors in the CTLR are there to help. Get your heart pumping with some yoga or Zumba and then set a countdown for Dolci tickets at 9:00 p.m. However you choose, take advantage of the Middlebury bubble before it pops.

Members of the Student Wellness Committee

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