The campus of Green Mountain College currently sits dead. All the residence halls are empty, not filled with students anymore. The doors to Griswold Library are locked, but the shelves are still filled with books, magazines, and research materials. Our beloved community-based farm is now overgrown, the fields and greenhouses empty. The signs from the final week of classes still posted on the doors.
Chicken, the friendly farm cat who roamed the campus, does not sit outside the library anymore. The farm animals are gone, but are in better homes. Behind the old baseball backstop lay the trails to the Poultney River. The boardwalk is disappearing with the overgrown nature that surrounds it.
The river is quiet, only visited by local citizens who come to fish or swim. The remembrance of my classmate Fuquan Ford, who drowned in the river last summer, does not have a memorial anymore. The dumpsters behind the biomass plant are now filled with broken pool tables, student artwork, destroyed couches, table lamps and bookshelves.
The soccer field, where my old team won our conference championship last year, sits unmowed. The scoreboard is the only reminder of our victory. The practices fields sit unused, the goals moved off into the tall grass, and the old recreation course stands mighty.
The paths to the residence halls were covered in leaves and debris from moving out broken furniture. All the benches and picnic tables were turned over. The old outdoor volleyball court is starting to be taken over by the grass that surrounds it.
Empty beds, desks, and dressers could be seen in the old dorms, layers of dust caked on them. Some rooms still had books, school supplies, and one room still had a GMC flag hanging on the wall. The old coffee house sits with all the furniture placed as it was when there were open mic nights and dances. The one classroom that did not have any blinds drawn had flipped over tables and chairs scattered across the room. There is graffiti still marked up on the white boards.
I walked through the abandoned campus with my old teammate and best friend Jessie. It was a cool August day when we decided to visit. During our time there, we thought about how, this time last year, we were in preseason for soccer and getting ready to begin new classes. The memories that I made at GMC will forever hold a special place in my heart, as with those with whom I attended.
The abandoned campus sits alone in a dying town. The buildings are empty and the dust is collecting on every surface and corner. The river is quiet and the life of the school is gone. I think about that green place every day, and what would have happened if the college never closed. Some days, this is all I choose to think about and lose my sense of place here at NVU.
Everything is peaceful now, there are no more heartaches or pain over losing my previous home. It has died, and I have restarted life in a new beautiful home.
Every day, I look at the mountains in front of campus. I take them in as breaths of fresh air, and reflect on my time here so far. I get to study in a place that almost feels like my old home, and play soccer with an amazing group of people. The sunsets here give me a sense of hope, as if this is the place I needed to end up at.
Now being at a new school, I have more time to study, play soccer, and get involved around campus. I will have to study for an extra semester, take more classes, and graduate later than I hoped for. There are many benefits in doing this, and I am thankful for the people who have helped me so far during my short time here.
The town of Poultney will always be where it has been, but the campus of Green Mountain College is now gone. There shall only be fruitful and long lasting memories that will keep the spirit alive within all the students who have studied at that green place. I will visit again in the spring with Jessie. Even if a new name gets placed on those buildings, we will look for the abundance of dandelions in the fields. Those dandelions will represent what used to be in that place.