2 Years Later
I remember what it was like to be a freshman. I got to eat at the Commons Center every single day if I wanted to for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I could still do this if I wanted to, but the walk is a lot farther from College Halls this year. (Side fact: my favorite meal at Commons was breakfast––pobably the best fruit and yogurt bar on campus). I was surrounded by 1599 other freshman going through the same experiences that I was going through and found myself surrounded by a community of people that were genuinely interested in making sure I had a great first year of my undergraduate experience.
Two years later, as a junior, I get to look back at freshman year with lots of great memories. I’m convinced that I wouldn’t have lived my first year in college any other way. Two years later, my brother is now a freshman on the Martha Rivers Ingram Commons. As I get to hear all about his first weeks at Vanderbilt and compare them to my own, I realize that there are some things that are different for each and every student, but that there’s also some things that every freshman eventually figures out. Talking to my brother during his first month of being a freshman at Vanderbilt has helped me gain some insights about this.
THINGS THAT FRESHMAN (Eventually) LEARN
- You have to sleep at some point. Staying up until 3 am every single night because you can is not a feasible way of life, especially when you have an 8:10 a.m. class the next morning.
- You have to use your time wisely. Being a college student is a balancing act––sometimes literally and metaphorically as you’re trying to either plan your schedule or walk with a backpack, bike, and care package from Rand to Commons.
- Getting involved is key to finding a community on campus. The best decisions I made my freshman year include joining VIDA and University Catholic. It was through joining these organizations that I began to really feel a part of the larger Vanderbilt community.
- Getting off campus is not difficult, you CAN break the Vanderbubble. Even though freshmen are not allowed to have cars it’s easy to get around campus. From taxis that take Commodore Cash to Commodore Cruises that provide you transportation, a meal, and tickets to events around Nashville, Vanderbilt students have no problem getting off campus. Plus, there’s always the option of finding upperclassmen friends who are more than happy to give you a ride to Target.
- College is an experience that involves more than just academics. There is always something extra going on! It’s worth it to attend and participate at events and shows around campus. They’re usually free and offer you a great study break and way to get to know what other people are up to on this beautiful campus.
While this is not an exhaustive list I think it reflects the balance that Vanderbilt students are constantly trying to achieve as well as why we’re the happiest college campus in this country! However I do have to say that Vanderbilt is just a little happier for me since I have a sibling here (Shout out to Miguel Gomez!).
It’s been so great to get to hang out with him and help him learn some of these things. However, since college is an experience, there’s no better teacher than experience itself. I’ve made mistakes and all freshmen (and upperclassmen, we’re human too) make mistakes and forget to sleep enough or get off campus every once in a while or to try something new by joining a new organization. But that’s okay! We have four years to learn and grow and enjoy all the great opportunities on this campus and in Nashville!