My (Real) Vanderbilt Experience: It’s a Success (Sort of)
It’s 2:00 AM and I’m at Stevenson Library. On my right are five research papers, newly printed and stapled. On my left is my planner, covered in writing. After being at the library since 10:00 PM (Phi Lamb Chapter ended at 9:30 PM), I’ve only put together a Chemistry study schedule, I haven’t actually studied. And I’ve only practiced thirty minutes today. My head’s buzzing with all the stuff I have to do and I’m trying to keep everything under control. And one thought above all: College is so much harder than I thought it was.
After receiving emails from high school seniors raving about how much fun I’ve been having, I’ve decided to give y’all a real picture of what my life is like. And here we go.
With starting the SyBBURE research program, chapter and New Member meetings for Sigma Phi Lambda, in addition to Blair orchestra rehearsals, violin lessons, Math 2501 (the continuation to Math 2500), General Chemistry, and Italian Film, as well as trying to keep up with all the friends I made first semester, my weeks since the beginning of January have been crazy. I haven’t even seen my best friends in two weeks, partly because they’ve been crazy busy with rushing the Christian fraternity, BYX (Beta Upsilon Chi, or Brothers Under Christ). And goodness, I miss them. So much.
But now it’s hell week and I have two violin lessons and a General Chemistry exam. I’m thinking about sleeping in Stevenson library. I’m also thinking I don’t have time to shower, and I may not have time for tomorrow. And I haven’t done laundry in two days and I’m getting so desperate.
This is my real Vanderbilt experience.
College is so much harder than you think it is. Some of this has to do with actually building in time to sleep, eat, and shower into a schedule that’s packed with proofs, Sapling, and scales. Remember: You HAVE to eat. You cannot go three or more days without showering. Don’t even try. Some of your friends (shout-out to the more chill members of the Pre-med species) may find time to watch Netflix in their pajamas with take-out. This will not be your life. But it’s SO worth it when you receive a 94 on your GenChem exam and run screaming around the floor because you can do Gen Chem and so obviously, you’re going to med school! And it’ll be worth it after Monday, the Worst Lesson in the World, when you have Friday’s Best Lesson in the World. It’ll be worth it and amazing. You’ll be so happy you’ll be jumping. The two (though not consecutive) midnight to 2 AM practice sessions at Blair that week will be worth it.
Yes, my life sounds crazy. It’s a mess and it’s wonderful. I’ve realized that I can’t do everything well, but I know that I can try. I’ve realized that sometimes I won’t sleep enough and I’ve accepted that. But I’m doing everything I love—even the swing dancing classes!—and I have the most amazing friends ever who pray for me and support me through everything. And there is God to give me strength.
So that’s my real Vandy experience. There’s more to it than that: the late-night conversations with the Vandy van drivers because I’m Vandy-vanning to Blair, the million Southwestern salads because that’s the extent of the healthy Munchie mart options, the running to daily mass in thirty minutes from Blair to the Cathedral. There’s more to it, and in my next posts, I’ll elaborate. But I just wanted y’all to know that it’s not all Rand cookies and swing dancing. College can be really, really hard sometimes. But it’s okay. Because Vandy is my love, and if you have any questions, you should totally email me at Sophia.firstname.lastname@example.org! I’d love to talk to you.