Move-In Day: An Open Letter to the Class of 2016
It’s nearly overwhelming, in the best way possible, to think of all the cars, buses, trains and planes making (or that have already made) their way to The Martha Rivers Ingram Commons at this very moment, carrying with them the Class of 2016. Simple ponderings like, “who traveled the farthest,” “who bought the best dorm supplies,” and “who got the most expensive speeding ticket” (real talk) are competing with bigger, more earnest thoughts stemming from a recognition of how far you’ve come to get here, metaphorically, and how far you’ll go next. Yes, that’s what’s far more enveloping: the pride we feel in having played a minor role in your remarkable stories, which will only get more riveting from here.
I think the idea of “stories” is important at this juncture. Whether or not we acknowledge it, we’re all living one with each passing second, something the late-great essayist and screenwriter Nora Ephron knew when she famously said, “everything is copy.” And while you might not be interested in writing the next When Harry Met Sally (an aside: it’s not actually possible), I hope her sentiment resonates – you are the authors of your own stories, and the next four years are going to impact that narrative more than you can possibly imagine right now. Epic, right?
Alright, now that I’ve gotten my sappiness out of the way (it gets worse with age, forgive me!), I, along with my colleagues, want to welcome you to Vanderbilt and congratulate you once again on the incredible accomplishments that brought you here. We remain enormously proud of your class, which set a new standard for future applicants and brings so much value to the Commodore body through your hard work, talent and personality.
Chances are your attention spans are (legitimately) short right now, so I’ll stop here with a prompt to check out all the welcome notes and useful content on the Common Place site and student blog Inside ‘Dores, as well as to encourage you to follow along with the Class of 2016 Storify throughout the weekend, where your tweets, Instagram shots, Foursquare check-ins and more are being added into one awesome social collage. Be sure to don all your updates with the #vu2016 hashtag so our Web Communications colleagues can easily find and publish them for everyone following along.
Welcome to Vanderbilt and the rest of your life!