The City. The Degree. The SEC.
Growing up, my family was always a little too fond of college football. The energy of the games and the community of the fans I always found exciting, and I looked forward to the opportunities I had to trek to the stadium on fall Saturdays. Going into college, I knew this was something I wanted to retain and have the opportunity to experience at my own school of choice.
When choosing a college with this in mind, the main slogan that drew me into Vanderbilt was the title line of this article: “The City. The Degree. The SEC.” It encapsulates pretty quickly three of the best things about Vanderbilt, in my opinion. The city of Nashville is booming, and provides us with opportunities to see talented live artists, hear acclaimed speakers, and engage with national and global companies (which we can often see free thanks to programs like Passport to Nashville). The Vanderbilt degree holds a special weight not only because of its reputation, but also the educational programs and learning environment Vanderbilt has to offer. But the SEC, now this is the part of the slogan that most people don’t think of. However, this part is the one setting us apart from other schools with comparable degree programs. At Vanderbilt, I have the opportunity to not only better myself with amazing classes and peers, but also to engage with high energy fans at sporting events of all types. From football to bowling to basketball to tennis, our teams are competing against some of the best in the country, and holding their own doing it.
I was reminded of this slogan’s pertinence this semester when I went to the University of Florida to visit my sister for the Vanderbilt game. Vanderbilt’s less than stellar record this season had us projected to lose by 21 points, but we were ahead for most of the game (holding a lead until the third quarter). Afterwards, talking to my college football fanatic father, he reminded me of why I am so lucky to go to Vanderbilt with a simple offhand comment, something like “the fact that Vanderbilt can hold its own in the SEC is really saying something for the caliber of the school. Smart kids, happy kids, talented kids- what do you guys not have there?”
And honestly, that’s a pretty good question. The well rounded nature of our student body academically and in extracurricular activities, the location that opens us up to unique cultural and business opportunities, and the fact that Vanderbilt can be a prestigious private institution and still hold its own in the SEC all make Vanderbilt one of a kind. These three factors coming together, along with the amalgam of other factors that set the school above and beyond, was what eventually made Vanderbilt my home. To this day, I couldn’t be happier with my decision.