What Students Really Say About Farmington
It’s a funny story — I actually didn’t want to come here at all. I thought it was too close to home, too small. I wanted to go to a big school, so I could meet lots of new people. But my dad said maybe I should at least take a look at Farmington. Then, one of my friends who graduated from Farmington with a teaching degree said, I should come down to Farmington so she could show me around. I agreed, and I came here and I really, really liked it! Then I took an actual tour to learn about what was offered. I decided maybe Farmington isn’t so small. Maybe it’s actually perfect — I can actually do better in small classes and stuff like that.
Did you come to Farmington knowing what you wanted to do?
No, and I still don't. So I just came with an open mind. I thought about being in the Psychology program but I decided it wasn't for me because of the math requirements. I didn’t know if I was going to be able to handle it, so I signed on for the Bridge Program, to improve my math. The Bridge Program is really helping me prepare for a major. That’s why I'm Undeclared. I'm still figuring it out.
What’s the Bridge Program?
The Bridge Program helps students prepare themselves for college classes. You don’t get credits for the classes, but it helps get a better background for something like statistics. You take a placement test to see find your strengths, and then you have a small class, like 4-6 people. It really improves your skills in math, English, biology, or wherever you need help.
Have you taken any classes that are helping you decide on a major?
I’m taking Business and Society right now. It’s a good class. It shows you the foundation of running a business. That’s pretty interesting. I’m also seeing a career counselor on campus at the Center for Human Development. They help you decide a major and to find out what you are good at or what you are weak at. They can build you an Individualized major or get you to look at a major you may not have ever considered before.
What is it like being Undeclared?
It’s good because you have to keep an open mind. You learn what you like and what you don’t like. Being Undeclared has helped me to stay positive and be open to anything that may interest me.
What is your favorite class?
I'd have to say one of my favorite classes was Intro to Women’s and Gender Studies. I liked the way it was taught and I liked that type of discussion-based class. Classes like that one have definitely sparked my interest. I liked learning about things that I was pretty oblivious to. I'm almost embarrassed to say I just didn’t understand some of the things that were actually happening in the world. That class in particular helped me to become very aware.
Have you done an out-of-the-classroom project?
Actually my entire Philosophy class just went to jail — the Franklin County Jail for a field trip! We went there to talk about why people are punished and if punishing people is right or not, and what their circumstances are. We took a tour of the jail and learned about inmates' past and current lives and how their world totally changed based on a bad decision they made. That was an eye-opening experience for me.
Have any classes changed your views or perspective?
My Bridge Program math class has totally changed my view on the way I perceive math. When I first got here, I thought I’d ever do well in math and there was absolutely no way anybody could teach me to do calculations in my head or anything like that. After that class ... I can actually do math! [laughs]
Farmington is preparing you well?
Definitely. I love the small classes and I love the Bridge Program. It really offers students with a weakness in a subject a chance to do it, to succeed in it. It gives you the confidence to go on to other classes and feel confident in those classes too.
How’s the workload? Do you feel like you get a lot of work?
It’s steady. It’s just enough to prepare you, but I don’t think it is overwhelming — unless you leave your projects until the last minute.
Are the professors too easy or too hard?
They are perfect the way they are. Many of them go at the students’ pace. If you don’t understand something, they don’t move forward and leave you behind. If they know you're struggling, they'll help you. The professors seem to specialize in that here.
What makes somebody a good professor?
A good professor is somebody that’s understanding and doesn’t necessarily play by the rules. I mean, every student has circumstances where he or she can’t make it to class or is slower than other students on a paper or test. A good professor understands that and gives them time to learn it. He or she doesn’t assume students aren’t willing to learn it.
Are there any Farmington professors that you really connected with?
I connected really well with Marilyn Wegner, my English Comp instructor. She was really understanding, not just in class but on a personal basis too with problems I was having. So, I really connected with her. Also Ken Sawyer [Math Instructor] and Tiffany Maiuri [Asst. Director of IT]. They are both wonderful people, very smart people, I should say. I really look up to them.
What were your first impressions of Farmington?
What originally attracted me was that I never saw anybody walking alone. That was the thing — I never saw people alone. I always saw people in groups of friends. I noticed how tight the community was, and I really liked that, knowing you can meet new people and make friends.
Have there been any major surprises?
I’m actually surprised at how much the professors at Farmington care about their students, compared to other universities where professors pretty much say you either get it or you don’t. But the professors at Farmington give you time to learn it and help you through it. I was thinking, "Oh no, I'm going to totally on my own at college," but that’s not how it is here. My biggest surprise is that I'm actually taking tough college classes, getting this much help, and getting recognized for my work. That's the biggest surprise.
What would you have liked to have known before you came to Farmington?
I would’ve liked to have known some smaller details. I remember needing a printer one night, and I had no idea you can go make prints in the campus Computer Center at 2 in the morning — how cool is that! Little things like that are helpful.
What do you find unique about Farmington?
I like how town of Farmington is very college-orientated. There are a lot of things for kids to do and there are reasonably priced stores for college kids to go to. Like Reny's and all those little stores downtown. It makes it a nicer campus.
What's it like living off campus?
It’s wonderful. I don’t feel out of the loop at all when I come back onto campus. I still have all my friends. But I think living on campus your first year is a good chance to meet new people.
Do you have a campus work study job?
I did last year at the Fitness and Recreation Center. I worked the front desk as well as the Fitness Center's Cradles & Crayons childrens' program.
What do you do in Farmington for fun?
I go to the movies. The movies are so inexpensive here in Farmington!
What is your favorite part of being at Farmington?
That would be probably be the motivation I get here. As soon as I come onto campus, the professors say hi to me, my friends say hi to me, and my advisor checks in on me. So it gives me the motivation to keep doing well, to keep going.
What do you think of the Farmington community?
I feel like I'm a part of something, like I’m a part of a positive community where everybody is just working at their own pace. I like being a part of that. The community at Farmington is very mixed. Different from what I am used to at high school. It gives you kind of a good chance to meet different kinds of people.
Do you have a favorite Farmington memory?
It was probably the first night, when we were freshmen. All the freshmen met in the auditorium for a show. They had a couple of comedians and some funny dancers .It was just a really good way to start off and break the tension with all the new people. It was just a good laugh with everyone and one of my best memories.
What do you want to do after you graduate?
I hope to do something in the business world. I don’t know what exactly, maybe marketing. I see myself working in a career that I really enjoy and that’s rewarding.
Are you looking at attending graduate school?
Has Farmington been an overall positive experience?
Do you have any sage advice for an incoming student?
Get to know the people around you. Once you are here, you are here. You need to make friends. Be open to new people. Be open-minded.
Would you recommend UMF to a brother or sister or friend?
I definitely would. But hey, my twin sister goes to school here, too.
- Kristen Bisson
From Waterville, Maine
- Emily Baer
Double major: Art and English
From Brunswick, Maine
- Andrew Thompson
Double major: Music and Art
From Plymouth, Massachusetts
- Shawn Rogers
From Dover, New Hampshire
- Lesley Kittredge
From Mount Vernon, Maine
- Kristen Simoneau
Community Health Education - School Health Education
From Jay, Maine
- Shane Koski
From Auburn, Maine
- Renee Meserve
Early Childhood Education
From Westbrook, Maine
- Casey Myers
Early Childhood Special Education
From Winooski, Vermont
- Craig Nadeau
From Fairfield, Maine
- Michaela Hitchcock
Environmental Planning & Policy
From Springfield, Vermont
- Erica Austin
Double major: History and Geography
From Turner, Maine
- Alison Gerrish
International & Global Studies
From Portland, Maine
- Lisa Kittredge
Liberal Arts Undecided
From Mount Vernon, Maine
- Nate Burns
Double major: Music and Philosophy / Religion
From Wayne, Maine
- Genesis Burke
From Amesbury, Massachusetts
- Mary Beth Kirby
From Farmington, Maine
- Joel Hatfield
Secondary / Middle Education
From Palermo, Maine
- Courtney Church
Sociology / Anthropology
From Portsmouth, New Hampshire
- Emily Langton
From Manchester, New Hampshire