Never having been to the East Coast before, I had my reservations.

My trip to Sterling College in Vermont was a eventful one, overflowing with missing flights and eluded flights, and late night taxi rides, so on the morning that I arrived at Sterling, you can imagine how exhausted I was. Through my jet lagged eyes and sluggish stride, I began to meet staff and faculty members. As I tried to put on my best ” really, I’m just fine” smile, I could see that every hand I shook and gaze I met, each person was genuinely excited to be there and to meet me. Not until a few days later did I realize that those smiles and firm handshakes were a accurate representation of who these people were.

Sterling College

Every student I met was confident and articulate, and had a sense of self that I have never seen on any college campus, let alone anywhere else. It’s easy to compare Sterling students to students from my High School, but from a omniscient point of view, California inhabitants are still looking for who they are, while Vermont(ian’s) seem comfortable in their own skin.

One of the other things that really stood out to me was how wet and green all of the land is. Since Vermont has just started its summer, all of the snow is beginning to sink into the ground, the creeks are running fast and there is mud. In California, the drought has only gotten worse, and with summer upon us, one can only expect it to get dryer and it’s dwindling water sources even lower.  I’m sure I’ll enjoy the slightly longer showers that a healthy water supply will provide me for my time here.

Sterling College

As seen in the pictures in this blog post, I went wandering on my second day at Sterling, and I found the livestock. I have a deep love for animals, so meeting all of the calves, goats, sheep, lambs, chickens, rabbits and pigs made me so happy. I had a few moments where I stopped and looked at the enormous draft horses, but I hung back since I felt it best if I met them when one of the students who works with them could be there to introduce us. It feels good to have such a close relationship with the animals that support this school and community.  It is obvious how connected all the animals are here – humans & livestock –  and it feels like more of a living organism than a school, this fact definitely wasn’t clear to me in California.

The people and the earth here is enough for anyone to fall in love with Vermont. I can’t wait to see what else I discover while I’m here and I hope that all the excitement and love I have for this place comes across over the next few weeks.

Sterling College

–Bella Roper


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