Books: In addition to our fees and tuition, most Middlebury classes require us to spend huge amounts of money on books at the college bookstore. Some books individually cost more than $100. Here are a few ways to spend less:
- Ask professors to put copies of each book they require on reserve at the library. This means there will be at least one copy there that can only be checked out for use in the library. You can also make copies or scans of the text from reserve books, and read them at home. You can also ask professors if they have spare copies to lend you for the semester. Some of us have graduated without ever spending a dime on books.
- Request books through Inter-Library Loan (go/ill). They usually come within a week and you can keep them for the whole semester if you keep renewing the loan.
- Order books on Amazon.com, betterworldbooks.com, or half.ebay.com. Though these sites might not save you a ton of money, prices are definitely cheaper than the bookstore’s. Feel free to email professors asking for syllabi/reading lists before the semester starts to get them on time.
- E-book websites have a surprising amount of useful texts, especially those that are mass-produced or on the older side. Try these for your classes:
Laundry: Do it with friends. Share laundry cards and soap, you won’t use it all in a semester. Some social houses are privileged with free laundry machines (Xenia, KDR, Brooker), and you’re allowed to use them if you want to – the Student Handbook says so ;).
The Recycling Center: People at Middlebury throw all kinds of things away… find them in the friendly recycling center located across the road from the organic garden.
- Bikes! The bike stores in town are pretty expensive, but the student bike shop sells good bikes at the beginning of every semester. You can also use spare pieces in the bike shop to construct your own dream bike for free!
- Hitchhiking! This works very well in Vermont, and it’s a great way to meet people you wouldn’t meet otherwise while covering long distances. If you hitch alone, you must choose the driver as much as they choose you – don’t take a ride with someone you doubt, and tell the driver to drop you off immediately if you feel uncomfortable. Couples hitch well, and you can even hitch with a bike or in larger groups.
- Front Porch Forum is an online message board that many people in town use to sell used items, ask for a dog sitter etc. On campus there is a Facebook group called Free and For Sale where many people ask for rides to and from breaks.