Middlebury vs. McGill for English and Media Studies

Hi! Having a lot of trouble picking a school to commit to. I narrowed down my list to Middlebury and McGill, but have concerns with both.

I’m from NYC and feel as if Middlebury might be a difficult adjustment compared to my city life. However, the academics are amazing. I also do get concerned with the location, since everything seems to be focused on the campus, I’m worried that I won’t always have stuff to do.

For McGill, I’m worried that because it’s so big, it could be very impersonal. I’m also worried that living in a different country could present its difficulties. I also was really really set on small class sizes and a community feel, and I’m not sure if there’s that big feeling of community at McGill or not.

I’m planning on studying English (writing) and media studies of some sort in college and I really am looking for an experience. I’m pretty outgoing and independent so I think I could do well at either of these schools, but I’m still super torn.

Any help or insight would be amazing :slight_smile:

If you considered Middlebury, you were aware from the outset of its location. Are you looking for a traditional college campus experience? That’s what you’ll get at Midd. There is a good reason it has a 96% freshman retention rate.

My kid attended a school like Midd. Many kids from cities who attend rural or not-urban colleges wonder what students do for fun. Midd is going to have a lot going on because they want students to be happy on campus. There will likely be regular outside entertainment brought to campus, such as concerts and comedians. There will probably be regular college sponsored events, such as dances, dinners, and parties. There will be clubs and theater. There will be winter sports, apple picking, Halloween parties, spring festivals, and all kinds of fun stuff.

No, you will probably not be heading out to restaurants and big museums whenever you like. But you will have many breaks and all summer to do that stuff. Look at their events calendar from precovid, which will give you a better idea of what to expect. Look at their insta, Facebook, and Twitter feeds.

Montreal is a fun city and a lot of students obviously love it. But you’re right, you’re not going to get many small classes and indepth discussion with other students and professors. If that’s what you want, don’t go to McGill. If you must have access to big city life, don’t go to Midd.

This is the biggest factor in my opinion. This seems important to you. Your impressions of McGill seem to be based on the city itself and not the college experience. Visit Montreal on a break and go to Midd.

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It’s only 2.5 hours away - it’s closer than NYC (but NYC will be accessible by train).

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Also, I got waitlisted at Wesleyan, Harvard, Columbia, & Northwestern - all of which I really really love (hopefully that gives some context on what type of schools I like) and additional background on me:
-I’m a female from Brooklyn
-I’m involved in a lot of activism groups (climate justice is a big one and I’m also Senior Council co-president at my high school)
-I’ve founded a magazine dedicated to discussing social justice issues that I’ve done graphic and web design (all self taught) for
-I play guitar, read, write, do graphic design, make jewelry for fun
-I really like expressing myself via my clothing

A waitlist at those schools is effectively a no, sorry to say. Wesleyan and Columbia do give more context. I think you’ll find your people at Midd, but you’ll find your people in Montreal too. It might take a while to find them, simply because it’s a huge school. Surprised Oberlin isn’t in your list, though I don’t know what schools you applied to. Of these two though, I think you’ll prefer Midd.

You’ll find a lot of like-minded students at Middlebury when it comes to environmentalism and climate justice. Bill McKibben teaches at Midd.


Thank you! You’ve been super helpful. I actually did get into Oberlin but Middlebury gave me more money and I didn’t love Ohio as much.