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5 Things That I Will Not Regret Doing In College

Posted by on Wednesday, July 16, 2014 in Academics, Admissions, Art, Blair School of Music, College Life, Dining, Food, Freshman Life, General Information, Nashville, Student Life, Studying.

Oh dear.  I’m going to be a senior this year.  How did I get so old so fast?  Move-in day is still so fresh in my mind- most likely because I do it every year- but boy, did the past three years go by quickly.  Say, did you just ask for advice, young ones?  Here’s a list of things I am glad I did:

1. Finding community. For some, there may be a magic click where you find your friend group right away, but it took a little while for me to begin to feel comfortable with all these new people.  That also meant that I had to put myself in social situations, get out of my comfort zone, and actually converse with people. Forming relationships is a process but the friendships made are so rewarding.  You can read about making friends on Commons, finding people to connect with at Blair, all the fun times at the BCM, and all that jazz on the Inside ‘Dores page.  I would also recommend making friends with older kids, a.k.a. upperclassmen, as well because from what I’ve found, they provide a wealth of wisdom.

Here we are, loving the birthday boy. Friends love birthday breakfast.

2. Taking an eclectic mix of classes. College is that time to explore your many interests and hone in on where you really want to invest your skills.  I took courses ranging from Financial Accounting to Orchestra to Community Development.  And I’m stoked to be taking American Sign Language this upcoming semester!  Of course, thisalso means attending classes.  I can’t say that I’ve never missed a class, but I think going to class is so important; it’s probably the primary reason you’re going to college, right? During classes, I had to sit near front in order to give my full attention towards my professors (though to be honest, I couldn’t successfully take 1:10 PM classes because my body is wired to nap at that hour), but for most of my other classes, I tried to be an active listener, take good notes, and participate in discussions.

I would definitely categorize "Maymester in Switzerland" as an eclectic class. How else would you get to visit the CERN hadron collider?

3. Making food time fun time. Food is a key ingredient in friendships.  Pun fully intended.  Meal times are communal times, so intentionally schedule meals with friends, professors, your Head of House… whoever!  You could even sit with someone new and make a buddy.  Also, over the course of my college career, baking has become one of my favorite hobbies.  Funnily enough, my friends seem to enjoy my hobby too.

My suities and I threw pancake breakfasts and invited a bunch of kids over for 8 AM pancakes.

4. Serving the broader community. You are receiving so much from your Vanderbilt community, so give back!  Invest some of your time for the broader Nashville community, for the homeless, for the sick, for the sake of cultural diversification or for the arts!  It’s healthy to get out of the Vandy bubble and devote time to a cause other than yourself.  You can find volunteer opportunities at the OACS page, fliers around campus, or by just asking people!  I loved working with Room in the Inn and W.O. Smith.

Working in the kitchen at a homeless ministry in Chicago over spring break. We made LARGE quantities of food.

5. Exploring Nashville. There are an incredible variety of things to do around Nashville.  You’re in a new place, you might as well make yourself at home and become a native to this town! Geocaching would be a great way to go exploring.  There’s the downtown area with the Nashville Symphony and Laser Quest and the Frist, there’s East Nashville with so many yummy places to eat like Jeni’s and Burger Up, there’s Hillsboro Village with its quaint little shops and splendid little eateries, and so many other places to explore.  I’ve been making a bucket list of all the restaurants and activities that I want to try before graduation; so much to do in so little time!

The nearest place to get Jeni's ice cream is Hot and Cold. I LOVE JENI'S.

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