VUcept: Round 3
VUcept is a student organization made up of 92 upperclassmen who mentor first-years throughout the first semester. I am a VUceptor for a group of 17 first-years who are in my Visions group (a running joke among VUceptors: does the class of 2020 really need Visions?!….don’t roll your eyes).
There are people from all over the country and the world in my Visions group, and my favorite part about Visions is making new and diverse friends every semester through this program. I am also teaming up again with Joe Rando, who is my faculty VUcept partner as well as Fundamentals of Management professor!
People ask me all the time: what’s your favorite part about Vandy? It’s a really hard question to answer because there is more than just one, but I would definitely put VUcept in my top 5. This organization has helped me meet so many new people, and actually get to know them well, not just on a superficial level. First, we had training for VUceptors, a 4-day, 12 hours/day marathon. VUceptors are sorted into ‘color groups‘, made up of 10 VUceptors. Color groups are a great way to befriend other VUceptors and interact with them meaningfully throughout the year. It’s also a useful way to share tips and advice about being a VUceptor. I am a returning VUceptor, so this year my experience of being in a color group was different, and I had leadership role to guide new VUceptors throughout training. I’m in Green Machine, and I had so much fun training with my color group! At the end of training, we wrote warm, fuzzy notes for each color group member, and I’ve kept the ones I got in my special memories’ box :)
After move-in day came orientation week. CommonVU (or a punny way of saying orientation week…we at Vandy love puns with VU’s and ‘Dores!), was hectic but a lot of fun. I want my VUceptees to love Vanderbilt as much as I love Vanderbilt, and it was so rewarding for me to see them get acquainted with campus resources and learn more about Vandy through True Life, Honor Code signing, and other orientation events. At the end of CommonVU, we had a fabulous party at the Frist, where I finally got to dress up and wear something other than my I <3 VU shirt! Vandy sure knows how to party in style.
As for our Visions meetings, I’m having a lot of fun getting to know my VUceptees more and partnering again with Joe. It’s still early on in the semester, but my group seems to be bonding well. I’ve started a GroupMe competition, in which VUceptees compete to win points by posting pictures and videos of other members in our group chat. It’s motivated and incentivized my VUceptees to meet other group members outside of Visions (and hone their paparazzi skills). We’ve also talked about ‘deeper’ topics such as identities, racism, diversity, and transitioning to college, but at the end of the day, Visions is about people and friendship, and I’m so proud to see my VUceptees befriend each other and go much beyond small talk.
This is my second time being a VUceptor, and experience is a great thing to have. Last year, I was too fixated on being the perfect VUceptor, and my Type A personality prevented me from being spontaneous and from taking a step back to enjoy being a VUceptor as much as I should have. Don’t get me wrong: I had a wonderful experience and a great Visions group last year (which included my former VUceptee and fellow blogger, Abby!), but this year, I am more relaxed and don’t stress out when things don’t go according to plan. Being a year older and going into my junior year have also given me more self-confidence and the ability to recognize that there is no formula to VUcept success. Just be yourself….that sounds so trite but it is 100% true!
I can’t wait to see how Visions shapes up over the course of the semester! I’ll keep you updated :)