Archives for September 2019
Introvert: a quiet, reserved, or shy person who prefers situations that require minimal levels of stimulation.
College is hard.
It’s a new experience, a new level of pressure, and a whole new environment that you may feel almost thrown into.
But beyond all that, there are new social situations that you have to navigate, a lot of them where first impressions are your only chance to make an impression.
If you’re an introvert like me, situations like that and so many others can be daunting. You may feel scared, nervous, or think about avoiding social situations all together by hiding in your dorm and locking the door to ward off potential visitors.
And while I’m not innocent of doing that (maybe more than one time…maybe even this weekend), I’m also very aware that being an introvert all the time in college can lead to missing out on opportunities that could have been received if I had stepped out of my comfort zone a little bit.
So, for all the introverts out there on the Vanderbilt campus, this is the first installment in an officially unofficial guide on how to be an introvert in college while also navigating the social scene in different ways. It’s not always enjoyable or comfortable, but necessary.
And who knows, we may end up liking being around other people for extended periods of time at the end of it all.
Voted number seven of Best College Dining experiences, our university has nothing short of good food. Whether you’re in the mood for pasta or Tex-Mex, Mongolian or salmon, there is always something on campus sure to satisfy even the pickiest, critical of eaters.
Number 5: The “Randwich”
If you’ve visited Rand Dining Hall on Main Campus, you’ve definitely passed or noticed the forever-long line that forms in front of the deli-style sandwich line. The “Randwich,” a renowned feat across campus, is a made-to-order lunch go-to amongst undergrad students. My favorite toppings for my sandwich? The lovely basil aioli atop a warm pretzel bun. There is nothing better in this world.
Number 4: Commons Salmon
Salmon is not your run-of-the-mill dinner, but it is a speciality of Chef’s Table in Commons. The flaky goodness tends to make an appearance in the first-year dining hall a few times a week, and by popular demand, Campus Dining has even released the recipe for the fish online.
Number 3: 2301 Smoothies and Salads
Another favorite among students, the smoothies and sautéed salads at 2301 in Rand are completely unmatched. Free of top allergens and vegan-friendly, 2301 boasts a wide array of health benefits while also offering delicious, tasty treats full of fresh fruits and vegetables.
Number 2: Fries at the Pub
Having a dining option on campus that boasts milkshakes, burgers, quesadillas, and queso is nearly unheard of, but The Pub at Overcup Oak meets and exceeds the rarity. With indulging foods and a restaurant-feel, The Pub feels like a real treat, especially after a stressful week full of exams and homework. Go to The Pub if you’re interested in watching televised sporting events and enjoying a cozy, nostalgic vibe, complete with historic booths with carved names. The waffle fries remain a fan favorite, far surpassing any other fry on campus (yes, even the sweet potato fries of Commons).
Number 1: The Rand Cookie
Arguably the most iconic Vanderbilt tradition of all time, the Rand Cookie is a right-of-passage. Scooping your own cookie off of the baking sheet makes for an already nostalgic situation, but the warm, gooey dessert is far beyond that. It is a bonding experience among students, especially when reflecting on the Rand Cookie controversy last semester in which Campus Dining replaced traditional Rand cookies with a less-appealing sweet. The result? A campus-wide petition and protest that eventually reaped the return of the original. If you haven’t had a Rand Cookie yet, I urge you to give in to the tradition. You won’t regret it.
- Waking up early just means that your mid-day nap/s will be that much better. This is especially great when your 8 am class is all you have that day.
2) The fruit smoothie is well worth it, too. Somehow, the smoothies taste a lot better when you don’t have to wait in a long line to get them. Whether you decide to get it before or after your 8 am, the line won’t be that long.
3) The early bird gets the worm. The early bird also gets to finish the day at noon. That leaves a good minimum of ten hours to get everything done. Managing everything becomes much easier when you have more time!
4) Sleeping in on the weekends feels like more of a luxury when you’re used to waking up at 7 am. The prolonged pain is worth the bliss you get from waking up at noon on Saturday. Trust me.
5) You get a jumpstart on adulthood. If your future job is going to require you to wake up early, which it most likely will, taking an 8 am class is great practice for the rest of your life. Yay, adulthood!
And as always, don’t forget to Anchor Down!
Kerissa has the details on upcoming events on campus this week, including Flulapalooza, Lights on the Lawn, and Commodore football and soccer games
On this episode Dean Gresalfi highlights the upcoming Lawson Lecture in her Dean’s Minute, Kerissa delivers your weekly calendar of events, and Estelle has a terrific discussion with Carolyn Floyd, Director of the Office of Immersion Resources at Vanderbilt.
One month. It feels like ages, but we’ve only been on campus for one month. Going into move-in day and orientation one month ago, I was itching for everything to start: for the first day of classes, the first football game, the first night on the town. However, it has only taken one month for my mindset to completely change. The theme of this past month? To me, “slow down.”
Slowing down is hard in this day and age. We live in a society that tells us to go-go-go, urging us to never let down our personas of confidence and poise. We are expected to not only succeed, but to play the part, look the part, and act the part; in other words, twenty-first century “imposter syndrome” influencers have put societal pressure at an all time high. Thus, I think there are several ways we can “slow down” in order to further our social and academic growths this month on campus.
#1: Slow Down the Homework
Okay, okay. That’s bad advice. But really, if this is you, quit spending all of your time doing homework! If you find yourself spending more than a few hours working, stop. Pause. Take a break. Engage in some valuable social interaction, watch some Netflix, eat a Rand cookie, or just breathe. It’s good to be productive, but we also need time to just be. Don’t be afraid to take a break every once in a while. After all, a little self-indulgence is good for the soul.
#2: Slow Down the Comparison
As Teddy Roosevelt once said, “Comparison is the thief of all joy.” At a university so prestigious, it is incredibly easy to fall into the trap of thinking, “Man, everyone else has their crap together,” “Everyone is so much smarter than me,” or “Why am I the only one who is failing Gen. Chem?” Everyone has their own battles, and comparing only makes us even more insecure. Believe it or not, everyone else is having their own unique period of adjusting, which often consists of missing home, of feeling overwhelmed by first exams, and of sheer lack of confidence. You are not alone.
#3: Slow Down Studying in the Library
Don’t get me wrong; Central, Peabody, and Biomedical Libraries are great. However, after hours of reading in the dark and dingy cubicles of Central Library Floor 6, life can become…well…dull. Switch up your routine! Try studying on Alumni Lawn or in Panera Bread just down the street. A change of scenery can be a good thing!
I hope we use this next month to grow closer together as a first-year class. I hope we slow down and enjoy the time we are spending here. I hope we never take any second, any meal swipe, or any twenty-minute-walk-to-Wilson for granted. Let’s slow down together.
On this week’s podcast Dean Melissa Gresalfi discusses the power of failure, Estelle delivers the Commons Calendar of events for the week ahead, and she also has a terrific interview with Lia Okenkova, a first-year Curb Scholar.
Shery has all of the details on upcoming events around campus, including the Student Wellbeing Org Fair, the Undergraduate Research Fair, and of course, Family Weekend!