A Vandy Student’s Guide To Back To School In Nashville

As an incoming junior at Vanderbilt University, I am newer to Nashville, and excited about the doors that learning and working here has allowed me to experience. I am a Communications of Science and Technology major and Engineering Management minor, pursuing a career in marketing and digital strategy. I want to utilize technology to tell stories and connect others, whether those are the stories of a person, place, company, or product. I am also a summer intern at the Nashville Entrepreneur Center, helping to build their diversity and inclusion program. I am very passionate about this initiative and making the innovation economy accessible. Exploring the city, enjoying local restaurants and engaging in conversation with new people I meet is also high on my list and one of the reasons I am excited to share my Nashville this week.

My Perfect Morning:

One perk of finally being an upperclassman is choosing your schedule early. For me, this means that I finally don’t have a class at 8:00 am. With all of this morning free time, I do try to stay productive, and that means going to The Rec for a bit of morning exercise. This morning, fitness class is called Core Fusion, which is basically a combination of Pilates and weights to do a full body workout. I go back to my dorm to get dressed and ready for the day, but I have time for a quick breakfast before class. My favorite place for breakfast is Grins Vegetarian Café. Even though it’s campus dining, I’ve actually seen Grins on blogs about food in Nashville, and that’s because the food there is phenomenal! I order the quiche with a side of fruit and tea, and plan out my day as I enjoy my meal. I have two classes in the morning. First is Organizational and Managerial Communications, and the other is my Documentary Production Workshop. 

My Perfect Afternoon:

After classes are done for the day, I head to Rand, which is our dining hall and student center in the center of campus. On the walk there, you have student organizations set up in front of the building advertising their programs. We call this “The Wall”. There is always something going on on campus, from Greek life philanthropy events to performing arts shows, to speaker series, and clubs advertising for their general meetings. I always get caught up at The Wall which generally leaves me with buttons, stickers, flyers, and candy. I love how vibrant our campus is and how there is never a dull moment with so many events.

Speaking of campus being vibrant, Rand is crazy packed during lunch time! The lines are long and there are people everywhere! I like to go to Pi and Leaf for lunch and get my favorite salad, and I usually eat in the multi-cultural lounge with my friends. The MCL is in the student center, and it is the room in which the multi-cultural student organizations have meetings, but is also just a fun place for the people involved in those organizations (and, well, just anyone who loves hanging out with a diverse group of people) to eat lunch and study.

I, however, cannot study in the MCL. I get too distracted by my friends! So, after lunch, it’s time to find a quiet place to go over notes from the classes that I went to in the morning, and catch up on my reading for other classes. My favorite place to study on campus is Buttrick Hall, where I can stand up at the tall tables so that I don’t get too sluggish when I’m reading. It’s pretty quiet, but every once in awhile a tour group or students walking to class will shuffle by, so it’s the perfect amount of background noise to keep me alert and focused. I work on homework until it’s time to change into a dress for my chapter meeting.

My Perfect Evening:

Chapter meetings are an hour each week where the entire chapter of a sorority comes together to get ready for our service, philanthropy, and sisterhood events. I love chapter because I get to see my friends and every meeting is different! Sometimes fraternities will come sing to us, student organizations will advertise their events, or special guests such as the Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Inclusion, the Rabbi from Hillel, and students involved with the KC Potter Center or Project Safe will lead discussions on how we can utilize our Greek experience to make campus a better place.

After chapter, my sorority sisters and I will usually go eat at Warren and Moore, which has some of the best dinners on campus! It’s a different theme every night, but my personal favorite is Greek night. From gyros to Mediterranean potatoes to Greek salad, Warren and Moore dinners are the perfect mixture of food and fun.

 

My Perfect Late Night:

I have one more quick change for the evening, and that’s workout clothes and sneakers because it’s time for dance practice! Some of my favorite events on campus are the multi-cultural showcases. There is the Vanderbilt Association of Hispanic Students’ Café Con Leche performance, showcasing dances from Hispanic and Latino countries, the African Student Union’s Harambe event, in which students perform dances from African countries and get to eat traditional African cuisine, and this semester is The South Asian Cultural Exchange’s Diwali Showcase. Hundreds of students sign up, and this semester, I am in the Bhangra dance, which combines Punjabi folk music and pop music for an exciting and colorful performance. Our performance is high-energy and takes a lot of stamina. We practice four hours a week, and most of us have never done Bhangra, but we become like a little family during the months of rehearsal.

a-vandy-student-shares-raven-delk-with-friends

I hop on a Vandy Van, the little vans that circulate throughout campus at night so that we don’t have to walk in the dark, and go home to my dorm, where my hallmates are hanging out or studying in the common room. The best way to end a jam-packed day is with a cup of tea and a pair of pajamas with my hallmates.
That’s typically the way that I would describe a day at Vanderbilt: Jam-packed. We live, eat, and learn with our community. The collaborative nature of the campus is what makes every 24-hours, and this Vanderbilt experience as a whole, is a time that I will never forget.

Written By

Hey Nashville! I am Ashley L, born in Nashville with some Chicago suburb living in between. Music City is growing and I am enjoying all it has to offer from the newest indie restaurants to making my way across the city greenways. My background is marketing and my passion is all things entrepreneurial. I can't wait to share all the fun things I have and will discover...stay tuned!

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