Mariam Boxwala ’13

Hometown: Essex Junction, Vermont

High School: Clarkson Secondary, Stephen Lewis Secondary, followed by Essex High School 🙂

Major/Minor: Double major in Psychology and Biology

Activities: Clubs – SparkPlug Interfaith Discussion, CSR, Meditation, Psychology

Study Abroad? (have you, or are you planning on it, where when?): I decided not to study abroad

Why did you choose Middlebury?

When I first found out about Middlebury, I wasn’t quite sure, because all my life I had planned to go to a Canadian University (being from Canada, and only having moved to the States in my senior year). However, as I learned more and more about the school through the admissions process, the more I realized I wanted to be here. Middlebury’s small but surprisingly diverse community is primarily what made it such an attractive choice. Here you will find students who come from all corners of the world as well as students who live only a few hours away. Everyone at Middlebury seems to have a crazy story to tell about their past! After my first visit during preview days, I began to fall in love with the gorgeous campus and student body. The student teacher dynamic was another thing that won me over; small class sizes and the fact that professors seemed to know each student personally was something I found very appealing.

Why/How did you choose your major?

I’ve known that I wanted to pursue Psychology ever since my high school held a “career” day in grade 10. However, after coming to Middlebury and being exposed to multiple other options, I have found myself changing my mind constantly. For a while I did pre-med with neuroscience. At one point, I considered taking on literary studies and forgetting science all together. I think what I struggled most with was what others wanted for me, and what I wanted for myself. After spending my summer after my first year in India, and talking to cousins, friends and family back home, I came to the decision that Psychology was definitely what I felt most interested in. What helped most was talking with another cousin who was also a Psychology major. Although I still have doubts about what I want to do in the future (in fact, I just added Biology as a second major), I am sure that Psychology will somehow remain a part of it.

What was your biggest challenge transitioning into the college atmosphere?

I am used to a small but lively home, with constant interaction amongst family members. In my house it is rare to find yourself entirely alone; there is almost always someone at home, someone to eat, talk and spend time with. Growing up my mom was always home, and my siblings and I, being similar in age, went to the same schools. In addition, I come from a religious background with a high level of community involvement; every week I volunteered at the community school, and our family would find ourselves helping out with a mosque function at least 3-4 times a month. At Middlebury, not only had I left behind family and some very close friends, but an entire lifestyle. Simply talking on the phone with friends or seeing my parents on breaks and certain weekends could not make up for this. Getting used to a new lifestyle, new friends and creating for myself a new sense of community was one of the hardest challenges I faced in transitioning to college.

What is your fondest memory of Middlebury thus far?

My fondest memories of Middlebury will always be the late nights spent with friends doing absolutely nothing, or almost everything. Once I remember doing laundry at 3 AM in Forest; another time we spent the night playing Apples to Apples and other board games. I will always think back to these days and remember smiling faces, and recall all the wonderful moments I’ve spent with such fantastic people.

What is your favorite class/Who is your favorite professor?

My favourite class at Middlebury thus far has been Islamic Art in India with Professor Cynthia Packert.

What do you do in your spare time?

I like to spend my free time being outside, especially if the weather is nice. I enjoy walking around with friends, and spending the day lazily. I also like to paint, knit, write poems and short stories, and bake. And like many other middkids, I love reading good novel.

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