The Pre-College Experience at MMLA

March 11, 2014

When I applied to MMLA last year I didn’t anticipate the added benefit of learning and living in a college environment. As an eighth grade student (and as a ninth grade student now), taking in the university experience wasn’t at the forefront of my mind. A few days on campus, however, proved how fun and valuable the pre-college experience was even for younger students like me. 

During the first few days at the academy I was surprised by the independence we were given. It was a surprise that at first I wasn’t sure I was ready for, but I soon adjusted to the changes from my regular routine. I felt completely safe at the academy, and enjoyed being able to wake up early to go on a run in the morning or just walk across the campus with my friends during the day. The warm weather at Green Mountain meant that we were hardly ever inside, so my friends and I often played badminton or Frisbee or went for a quick swim during free time.

Living in the dorms was a great experience for me and played a big role in developing many of the friendships I made at the academy. My roommate was the second person I met at MMLA, and we became best friends almost immediately. Even the most ordinary events were exciting in the dorms; I remember bonding with soon-to-be friends while brushing my teeth and doing laundry.  

Living at GMC reaffirmed to me that I want to go to a university somewhere further away from home. I loved being in a completely different environment than what I’m used to and meeting people that come from different areas of the US and the world, an experience that I don’t think I’ll have to the same extent if I choose to stay in Ontario. I also realized that while going to university in a city might be more lively, the nature and outdoor activities of the campus made me love the rural setting of GMC.

If you’re lucky enough to have a few choices in terms of campus this summer, I’d recommend choosing a campus that is noticeably different from where you live. While the experience will be exciting and eye-opening at any campus, learning at Green Mountain in an environment completely different from Toronto made my experience all the more rewarding.

Katya Pollock is a ninth grade student from Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada. Last summer, she attended MMLA at Green Mountain College to improve her Mandarin Chinese proficiency. Outside of MMLA, Katya studies Mandarin with an at-home tutor. This summer, she’s enrolled in the Chinese Academy at Swarthmore.