Senior Sophie Reflects: Role As A Student Leader
When I came to Vanderbilt, I pictured leadership the way that it was in high school: largely based on who liked whom the most, not what it came to be in college. In college, leadership became about seeing gaps and filling them. I kind of came across this definition of leadership by accident, and I wrote a post about it here.
I feel like, when you’re a senior, you’ve seen three new first-year classes come to Vanderbilt, and you realize that next year, you’ll be irrelevant. Things will have changed. Towers 3 & 4 (apartment buildings from the 60s or thereabouts) will probably be torn down. EBI (E. Bronson Ingram, the castle-like dorms & dining hall) will no longer be totally new.
And then someone in a random application asks you if you’ve had an impact and the answer is, probably not that much but maybe a little? And that’s all you’re really going for anyway.
“How do you think your role as a student leader has positively impacted the organization with which you are involved, the entire Vanderbilt community, and yourself?”
I hope that whatever leadership I have done at Vanderbilt has made at least one person feel a little less awkward, more welcomed, and more confident. One person smiling a little more or laughing because we’ve talked is what makes me happiest. Through the Scholars Council, I helped make a space for College Scholars (an A&S Honors program) to mix, mingle, and have fun together, mostly because College Scholar seniors told me how much they regretted not mixing with this community. My junior year, I wanted to un-ghost the custodial and dining staff on campus – some are so warm and funny and so unknown. Through a Library Lawn photo display and online articles, this was possible. Online, through blogging on Inside Dores, I’ve tried to help freshmen make their lives easier by taking premed step by step and only taking Math 1300 if necessary, because hey, Vanderbilt is a lot more welcoming and confidence-inducing when you love what you do. Off campus, I’ve tried to reach out to students who want to pursue their faith journey through the communities of University Catholic and Phi Lamb, the Christian sorority, because sometimes people just need that initial “Hi, I’m Sophie, what’s your name?” I don’t know how much impact – how does one measure impact? – I’ve had on the Vanderbilt community, but I just hope that I’ve made at least a few people feel a little more loved. That’s the goal, that’s what makes me happiest.