Standing on the Cumberland Bridge (Status of College: 25% Completed!)
Walking through Target two days ago, I joked with my friends about how, just a year ago, I would have been busily looking at all the choices for type of comforter, pillows, and all the prices for room décor. I would have been obsessed with finding those perfect desk decorations. Silly freshman, I thought, laughing a little. Just three days ago, I had been packing as if my life depended on it, heavily regretting the four desk lamps I had purchased, the five blankets I possessed, and the numerous T-shirts that were just there. (But Move-Out complaints will be featured in another post). I still can’t believe that I packed up and moved out of my Commons dorm, that I won’t be living there next year. How did this happen?
Somehow, the two-second “Hi, how are you?” conversations turned into deep talks that lasted till 5:30 AM. Somehow, through random encounters involving spilled food and Malaysian Cultural night, I met two of my closest friends this semester, Lauren and Carolyn. Somehow, the professors whom I was close to first semester became even closer as second semester progressed; through my research program, I even went to the symphony with one of the founders of the College Scholars program!
In class, I was able to journey into Italian film with an Honors Seminar, meeting juniors and seniors from across the College Scholars program, each with their own story. I learned how amazing it was when tangents became teachable moments in this liberal arts class, the only one of my coursework this semester. In the concert halls of Blair, I was able to play my MOST favorite symphony in the symphony orchestra—Sibelius Symphony No. 2 Opus 43—and begin the Wieniawski Violin Concerto in D Minor, of which I played the first movement for my violin jury.And in the basement of Stevenson, I met with my professor for the SyBBURE research program and became the leader of a sub-group investigating “Gut on a Chip,” which is a microfluidic device hoped to one day test pharmaceutical drug delivery.
On the fun side, I sock-hopped and swing-danced at a random sock-hop/swing-dance in Nashville. I made a cake with one of my math class buddies for my math professor on Pi Day, jammed with two composition majors in the Stambaugh music room, and had SO much fun throwing colored dust at random strangers at Holi.
The last night before I left, Carolyn and I took a bus into Nashville and walked along the pedestrian bridge (it’s beautiful!) Standing on the bridge, overlooking the Cumberland, we couldn’t believe how far we had come. Just last year, only nine months ago, we were freshmen, without friend groups, without as many posters on our walls, with barely any idea how the meal plan was best to be exploited. Suddenly, here we stood, with people we could call at any hour of the day or night, artfully decorated rooms, and an intimate knowledge of how much can be stuffed into a 100%-plant-compostable Rand to-go box. Standing there, looking at the lights’ reflection on the river water, only one question ran through our minds: How did this happen?
College has been a roller-coaster. I ended with a GPA two-tenths higher than last semester (YES!), applied for and was accepted for a Mayfield, pledged the Christian sorority Sigma Phi Lambda, and finally started my research position. The Cornelius Vanderbilt Scholars program is also coming together, with so many plans for socials and planning for the scholars to get to know each other better. I’m super excited about the future of the program.
As for University Catholic, I’ll be co-leading a freshman girls’ bible study next semester (except we’re not going to call it “Bible Study,” because we need a cooler name than that. I’m thinking “The Shady Characters”). I’ve never lead a Bible Study before, so this will definitely be an adventure! And the boys’ bible study (each co-led by one of my best friends!) are going to combine with ours for social events once a month! So the whole experience will be fabulous. Planned social events include “How To Swing Dance,” “A Night of Murder and Mystery,” and a mini-tour of Nashville. We’re going to rock this. (Totally email me if you would like to join!)
Vandy Class of 2020, the adventure is about to begin. Have the most fun ever this summer as you shop for the cutest comforter, posters, and desk décor. Get those sundresses and sandals, or those khaki shorts and button-downs. Go for it, because you’re about to be thrown into a world where Alumni Lawn actually does exist (a story for another post), Google Maps is such a thing, and your Commodore card may or may not be in your possession. But you got this, I promise. Because it’s only a year or so before you are standing on the Cumberland Bridge, thirty minutes till midnight, wondering how you came this far.
Questions? Email me, of course! :)
Ever most sincerely and lots of love,