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Simply put, Vanderbilt felt like, and continues to feel like home. My junior year of high school, I toured Vanderbilt, and my tour guide, Tyler, painted such a specific and intimatepicture of his day-to-day experience at Vanderbilt, that I was able to see myself walking the campus as a student and attending lectures rather than feeling as if I was hearing about an unfamiliar experience of college life. Through Tyler's stories told and interactions during our tour, I could see that Nashville and Vanderbilt's campus was the perfect balance of not too big and not too small. To this day, I continue to meet new people and find new things to do around Nashville while knowing that I can always find a friendly face to sit with in Rand or in passing in between classes. The same day I toured campus in the morning, I went to a concert downtown at the Ryman, only to run into my tour guide, Tyler, sitting two rows behind me with his friends. That very real and authentic "Vanderbilt" experience proved to me truly how in the midst of a busy campus and fast-growing city, I was able to feel at home and known by people if I were to attend Vanderbilt, which has been the case in my experience here so far!
Describe a favorite activity or organization and why you like it.
Alternative Spring Break has been the most rewarding organization that I have been apart of. ASB sends groups of 12 students to different cities all over the US to complete service projects regarding different issues over students' spring breaks. ASB aims to motivate students to become active citizens through intentional community engagement and education, service, and reflection. Not only is the work students do worthwhile and impactful, but by serving closely with students from all over Vanderbilt's campus, you learn to open your perspective and end up learning different values from the reflection and outlooks of the other students.
Describe a favorite class and why you like it.
Intro to American Studies has been one of my favorite classes at Vanderbilt so far. Being an AXLE fulfillment course, I took it only to check off the box of the requirement, knowing that I had zero knowledge in anything that was not a strict STEM course. Professor Torres-Colon introduced me to a type of thinking through anthropology that I had never knew existed. I was consistently challenged to think bigger and differently than I did the class before, always being stretched. I loved the class because there was no correct answers and no concept off topic. I did my final project on toxic masculinity and college male workout culture, allowing me to research something I was genuinely curious about and allowing me to jump into a realm of discomfort all while feeling strongly supported in my curiosity.
Describe your most memorable Nashville or off-campus experience
If you're looking to get a little bit away from the city, my go to thing to do is go to Percy Priest, which is just a short drive from campus. Day or night isa good time to hang out, do some cliff jumping, and make a fire to spend time outside and hang out with friends in a different environment. My favorite memory was when a group of 30 people all shoved into cars our sophomore year and headed there the Sunday night before school started, made smores, had a campfire, went swimming, and sang songs under the night sky. It really was a wholesome way to catch up after a long summer and enjoy the cool that the night brought during the heat in August.