Experiences You Can Only Get at UVM

A question I am always asked by family and friends is “I’ve heard so many good things about UVM; what is it that makes that school such a great place?” And now into my third year at UVM, I can already give an abundance of reasons – many of which have occurred this year.

Being a fisheries biology major, I have to take many lab classes; two of which this semester are over four hours long each! While I come home on Monday and Tuesday afternoons absolutely exhausted, and usually covered in mud and water, the memories that have already been etched in my head will last a lifetime. For example, a few weeks ago in my limnology (study of lakes) class, we had lab on Lake Champlain aboard the UVM research vessel the “Melosira.” On this particular day, the temperature was approaching 100 degrees, there wasn’t a cloud in the sky, and it was very humid out. After conducting our tests onboard for over 2 hours (and nearly passing out from heat exhaustion), the boat captain turned down the engine and allowed all the students in the class to “go overboard” and swim in the lake for a while! Talk about exciting! How many students will be able to say that during their UVM experience, they got to jump off the Melosira and go swimming in Lake Champlain…during lab?!?!

And just the other day, again in my limnology class, we had another awesome lab experience. This time we got to kayak around a local reservoir and conduct tests about the depth of this reservoir. So my buddy Kevin and myself paddled our kayak to the most northern point of the lake and ran our tests. However our tests were run in a small cove of the reservoir, and we were completely unaware of  and isolated from the intense wind that was blowing up the reservoir right in our direction. Our paddle back to shore was incredibly difficult going against the wind; we were battling whitecaps that had kicked up in this little reservoir. We got back to shore exhausted, sore, and completely soaked.

But these are memories that will stick with me for a very long time. UVM is a university that strongly encourages “out of the classroom experiences” and I am starting to truly understand what these experiences are, and I couldn’t be happier with my college choice. Thank goodness I have two years left here; I wonder what other crazy lab stories will come up in the next few years!!!

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