The Power of a Name
I won’t lie, there have been days when I’ve waken up and wondered why I decided to go to Vanderbilt. Why did I pick such an academically challenging school? Am I in the right place? Why is pre med so difficult? Why can I not get A’s as easily as I did in high school? …
Sometimes I wonder how different my life would have been if I had gone to another university, such as one in my home state, Louisiana. Maybe I would have had it a bit easier academically, and I might have been closer to home in case I needed anything. Maybe I would have hated it, or loved it. Who knows?
At Vandy, you sometimes feel a bit overwhelmed by everything and everyone around you. The innovation and buzz around campus, once used to hook you in, becomes normal, so you forget what it’s like outside of VU. When it becomes your life, you forget that it used to be your dream.
Then you get a reality check.
You come home from break, or go traveling, and suddenly, you aren’t just one of the many amazingly talented and intelligent Vanderbilt students. You become THE Vanderbilt student. Being there, you forget how impressive it actually is to go to an institution of Vanderbilt’s caliber. So what if you aren’t the top of your class at Vandy, you were one of the few chosen from your hometown to attend VU, and that’s enough to restore the initial giddiness you once felt when touring, applying, and getting accepted.
All this being said, although Vandy will become normalized in your daily life, don’t forget the initial excitement you had about it, and the power of a name. No one you meet will know your GPA: once they hear that you go to Vanderbilt, they will be impressed. You might even discover other people in your community associated with Vandy, which will help open new opportunities.
So, in the end, though the academics are challenging and you will feel tired and overwhelmed, know that you are in a very special place that not many people can go to, so enjoy it.