Posted by Shing Ann Yeh on Wednesday, August 21, 2013
This is by my awesome friend Carson Nunnally, who is a sophomore in the Blair School of Music. She is an amazing violinist, cookie-creator, blogger, and human being. Here’s her take on her first year at Vanderbilt!
College. With impeccable timing it conveniently crashes down onto our lives, leaving us in desperate search for the chips of our identity and the task of piecing them back together again. After packing up all of our belongings we begin triple checking our list to make sure we have all of the essentials: shower shoes, No. 14 pencils to last a lifetime, and enough Target dorm décor which we hope can transform a 10×10 room into a rough version of the Pottery Barn catalog.
Orientation comes around and it’s time for the parents to leave their beloved children, that’s you, at a place more like summer camp than college. This is that beautiful time when there’s more food than you can eat, free T-shirts and truckloads of new people. People whose names you’re going to forget a good two or more times. After the activity packed day you’ll fall into bed at night wondering how to survive orientation long enough to make it to the first day of your undergraduate.
Eventually the whirlwind settles down and people fall into their own routines: coffee at nine before that 101 class, or those two critical hours of studying before lab. You will probably get tired of hearing the words “time management” thrown around, and you scoff, thinking you have it all figured out, until you realize that instead of watching that last Game of Thrones Episode, you could have been writing the paper that’s due tomorrow. At 2:00 am you’ll turn your light off and swear never to procrastinate again. Good luck.
Class schedules, homework, and finals keep everyone busy enough and the year will probably go by faster than you think. Signs advertising book buybacks and freshman move-out tips make you wonder where the year went, wasn’t it only yesterday that you were driving up to your dorm on Commons giddy and nervous watching so many upperclassmen cheer you on as though you were some kind of hero for making it here. But really, aren’t you?
You are who you want and work to be. During your time here try everything around you, new foods, new experiences, new sounds, and new classes. Don’t be afraid to make a decision for yourself that may not apply to those around you, it’s harder to swim against the crowd but more often than not it becomes doubly rewarding. A well regarded professor said to me the other day, “If you don’t question or change majors once during your undergrad, something’s wrong with you, not to say there aren’t a few who stick with something all four years and are still happy.”
While you’re at Vanderbilt work hard, explore and push the boundaries of the box you’re comfortable in. Believe in who you are, try to make time for the silence and the colors that your own body can give you, and make time to reflect on the things that make you happiest. Peace.
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