Sunday, July 8, 2012

Joining The Vanderbilt Community

Welcome to Vanderbilt Summer Academy! Today was officially the day we begun our college life experience! We had a wonderful brunch at the famous Pancake Pantry. Many alumnus at our past Vanderbilt dinner recommended this place, so we made sure we tried it out. Although the walk was tiresome and not very pleasant and we had to wait in line in the hot humid weather, it was definitely worth it. The pancakes were very delicious and I was completely satisfied.

We then headed back to our beautiful hotel to pick up our heavy luggage, and drove down the street to the Hank Ingram House at Vanderbilt University. The whole registration process was very organized, and I was really happy that we got an awesome canteen with a straw. Everything went smoothly, and after lugging up my luggage up a couple flights of stairs I finally arrived at my dorm. I met my proctor, Tessa, and she was very nice. Luckily, I am in the same proctor group as Yessenia, so she’s just right down the hall. I unpacked, fixed my bed, and of course took down every detail of the room. Already having experienced dorm life at two other universities, I can say Vanderbilt has the nicest dorms so far. They are just the right size, very clean, modern looking, with plenty of closet space, and of course equipped with the much needed air conditioning in this blazing heat. I moved into my dorm with much time to spare, and my roommate didn’t arrive yet, so I began meeting other girls in nearby rooms.

 We had a little meeting at our proctor’s room, and got to know each other a little bit. It was interesting to see how ethnically diverse our group was, the variety of things we did, and the things we had in common. I was excited to learn that my proctor was in marching band, and even later learned she was in it for eight years. The 14 girls in my group are all very friendly and different in their own way. It’s amazing to engage with other cultures, because you will truly learn a lot.

Since it was raining outside, we took a little tour inside the Hank Ingram House. As I walked around, I began to see many other groups of people, and I realized how many people there are to get to know in the span of three weeks. I know I will definitely make many friendships and learn new things.

We ate a nice dinner at the dining commons, and continued to bond with our proctor group. I especially enjoyed the carrot cake; it was quite delicious. With many people from the city of Nashville, I am now getting used to their Southern accents.

We all then headed to the Opening Ceremonies. It was located in a beautiful room on campus, and all the people in charge of this program were very pumped up and excited. We made a pact with our directors: Visibility, Availability, and Responsibility. These three words describe our role here at VSA. As our leaders are always physically there for us, we must always be visible towards them. Being available, means being helpful to each other and having each other’s back. Lastly, responsibility is making sure we know that what we are putting in VSA is what we are going to get out. I am excited to take full advantage of the people here, the campus, and the curriculum, to not only benefit my own well being, but also to benefit others around me.

The Opening Ceremony was very lively and fun with different skits of each of the houses at VSA. There are three houses: the V-House Vipers, the S-House Survivors, and the A-House Avengers. I am part of the S-House, and our proctor is really pushing us to show S-House spirit. Throughout this program, there will be little competitions between each house, and although we didn’t cheer the loudest today, hopefully us, underdogs, will rise to the top. I think I will lose my voice by the end of this week.

We continued to bond with each other, and not only get to know each other more, but also the campus. One of the proctors is a student here at Vanderbilt, so she gave a more in depth tour of the campus. I began to notice the many bugs, so bug spray was definitely an important thing to pack.

We ended our first night here at Vanderbilt with a little serious meeting with our proctor group.  Although we’re going to have a blast here, it’s important to remember that we must continue to respect each other, especially in the dorms, and learn to trust each other. It has been a busy day, and I didn’t have too much time to get to know my roommate. However, she is a very kind and sincere young lady whom I hope will create a long lasting friendship with past VSA.

There is so much planned for us in the next three weeks, and I hope the current thunderstorms don’t ruin any plans! I am so blessed and thankful to be here around an amazing group of intelligent people, and I hope I continue grow as an individual and get to know myself more as a become a part of this Vanderbilt community!

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