This past week and a half has been absolutely chaotic, but I could not be more excited to be back in sunny (and less humid than last year) Nashville. From welcome back parties to welcome back papers, Vanderbilt is as exhilarating and as tiring as ever. My new classes are fabulous – much better than the general Calculus, English, and Psychology classes of last year – and being with my friends again is awesome.
Coming back to Vandy after four months of summer vacation brings both its ups and downs. Although Move In this year was much less stressful than last, there are still aspects of coming back that are difficult to adjust to. For starters, I am living on a completely different side of campus. My dorm’s new location is perfect for fun (Greek Row), but sometimes it is hard to remove myself from the social aspect of college and get things done. Additionally, I have not spent time doing academic work in four months and therefore it has not been easy to get back into the habit of studying. Finally, college requires an insane amount of energy in order to keep up with clubs, Greek organizations, schoolwork, and social life. There’s nothing like coming back to college that breaks that relaxing attitude you’ve held about life for the past summer…
Despite the few drawbacks of returning, there are so many positive features of Vanderbilt that make coming back unbelievably easy. They say that true friends are able to pick right back up after time apart, and that definitely holds true in my relationships with the people at Vanderbilt. From my closest friends to people I have only met a few times, everyone is more than happy to see each other again. Walking through campus during the first days of the semester is the perfect way to witness the energy of the happiest college students in the U.S.
Speaking of the amazing students, the beginning of the semester at Vanderbilt is no excuse to slack on your commitment to student organizations. Many student organizations began their first festivities of the year on the evening of upperclassmen Move In as we welcomed the incoming class of 2019 to Vanderbilt. Sororities, independent clubs, and sports teams cheered the freshmen on as they completed their first Vanderbilt tradition, the Founder’s Walk: walking together from the freshman campus to Alumni Lawn (the next time they will all be together on that lawn is their graduation in 2019).
The next day, I spent 5 hours in the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt for a Dance Marathon retreat. Dance Marathon is Vanderbilt’s largest student-run philanthropic organization that raises money for the children’s hospital. Our efforts culminate in the 13.1 hour Big Event in February in which we dance for those who can’t. This year, I am the Director of Fundraising for Dance Marathon. At our retreat, the DM executive board went on a tour of the hospital, met the hospital fellow who we funded due to last year’s efforts, and discussed opportunities for advancement for this coming year.
As you can see, there was no break from serious business.
Finally, with such friendly and dedicated students, it is no wonder that the beginning of first semester was met with some considerable fun. From pontooning on Percy Priest Lake to dinner at our favorite Nashville restaurants, this first week and half indicates that sophomore year is going to be absolutely thrilling.
Time to go, class starts in 15 minutes!