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Rachael Grenfell-Dexter

I left for summer break about a week ago. I told everyone I was going home to Chicago. It’s always strange to say, because I’m leaving home too. Vanderbilt has been more than a home away from home for me. It is home. I have friends who turned into family, two bosses who have become my surrogate moms, a room that feels like me. Just like I could tell you the best place to get ice cream in my hometown, I can now do the same for Nashville. (In case you’re wondering, that best place in Nashville is Jeni’s, hands down). Having two homes is a strange, yet beautiful thing. It’s bringing your hometown flavor to Vanderbilt and letting Nashville shape you in the same way. And the timing for embracing Vandy as home is a little different for everyone. I’m a rising junior now (Where did the time go?), and I can’t imagine calling any other college, or city home. From anchoring down at football games, to meals at Pharmacy, to movie nights in my dorm, Vanderbilt is home. It’s a bittersweet feeling, leaving home to come home, but I feel awfully blessed to be in this predicament. I’ve got a summer of adventuring, trips to California and South Africa, planned all thanks to my summer stipend on behalf of the Chancellor’s Scholars program. But you know what? All that adventuring will give me lots of stories to share with my families at both of my homes. And that’s exciting.

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