Alaina and TaMyra discuss the pros and cons of social media. Tune in to hear how you can make social media a positive place for you!
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In a normal Vanderbilt semester, we would be gathering in dining halls, walking to classes, and going to country concerts in the city. While these social opportunities are currently off limits, It doesn’t mean that we cannot connect with others. It just means that the few opportunities that we do have left are that much more important.
Whether you’re grabbing a meal or just looking to get out of your dorm, here are some great spots to have a good time.
1. Wyatt stairs/Peabody lawn
It’s not unusual to see several groups sitting on the Wyatt center steps on a sunny afternoon. Sometimes, you can see their gazes going back and forth as they watch a football or frisbee being tossed.
2. Commons Lawn
You can’t talk about social life in Vanderbilt without mentioning the Commons lawn! Serving as an integral part of the freshman experience, it has persevered through COVID-19 as a vibrant social scene, especially on the weekends.
3. Branscomb Common Room
You might be thinking, “Every dorm has a common area”. While that is true, few are as spacious and lively as Branscomb’s. It’s almost its own mini library for studying, except you can also cruise around the room on a skateboard.
4. Alumni Lawn
While there several lawns on campus, this seems to be an especially popular spot for picnics. It’s also where you’ll find the most residents from Carmichael Towers, who live right next to it.
5. Rand Decks
This is a great dining spot to enjoy your delicious Rand cookie! Also, make sure to look up from time to time. Rand’s central location gives you the highest chance of spotting Elliot Choy whipping by on his longboard.
By this time in our year, there have surely been times where for any reason you have not been able to accompany your friends at some sort of outing or event. You begin to speculate what they are doing without you, how much fun they’re having, the memories that they’re making. Before you know it, you are wallowing in the depths of FOMO – the fear of missing out. Here are some ways to dispel that feeling.
1. Indulge in media
When you have extra time at the end of the day when you are not going out, this can be a great opportunity to catch up on that show you have been meaning to start, or to see that movie you have been hearing about. This can be a great way to destress after the day and relax your mind.
2. Read a good book
You can always use spare time that you are not spending with friends to pick up a good, insightful book. You can find books for casual reading at the library and available to purchase at the bookstore. It is good to take time to stimulate your mind.
3. Take in some culture
When you find yourself wanting something to do, you can always take advantage of Nashville’s many cultural offerings. Some examples include the Parthenon in Centennial Park and its impressive collection of American art, the Frist Art Museum downtown, Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage about 15 minutes north of downtown, and the Tennessee Performing Arts Center. Many of these places are free to get to when you take advantage of the free transit with a physical Commodore Card.
If you prefer to stay in your dorm, you can use that alone time to tend to your mental, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing. All Vanderbilt students can take advantage of Headspace, an online platform that promotes mindfulness and mental health.
In conclusion, to fight FOMO, it is important to remember that you have options that do not revolve around other people. It is okay to not attend every single function or social event. Your worth as a person is not tied to the number of parties you go to or dinners you have with others. It is acceptable to take some time to tend to yourself – you’ll thank yourself for it.
The average Vanderbilt freshmen was either born knowing their college major, or switched their major 5+ times since coming here. No matter which side you fall on, we’ve got the details on the vibes and dare I say, stereotypes(?!) of your current or desired major.
Participants in this survey either had the option to be named with their initials or use “Anonymous” to describe themselves. Please note that this article is purely for comedic purposes; the best major for you is based on a variety of factors, none of which are rooted in the clichés about your major.
Curious to know what your fellow campus companions really think about your academic path? Read on to find out.
“Art majors are cool. I think that they’re insanely talented. And while I am not personally in tune with the fine arts world, I love to see people share their talents and the effort they put into their work.” – S.E. ’27
“You’d excel in HOD.” -Anonymous
“K-Pop stans who want to study abroad in Korea.” -D.T. ’24
“Likes Asian food, but can’t use chopsticks.” -Anonymous
“Goody two shoes, golden child, extreme organizational skills, but sort of regrets their major.” -B.M. ’26
“Turn back now.” -A.C. ’25
“Having fun on the weekends? Never heard of it.” -Anonymous
“The cause of the future robot uprising.” -J.Y. ’27
“It’s giving Breaking Bad.” -S.L. ’25
“Get a life.” -I.H. ’25
“They spend all their time in Stevenson library.” -E.G. ’27
“Overachievers” -I.H. ’27
“I hate chemistry.” -I.D. ’25
“Students draw one Lewis structure and think they’re Pablo Picasso.” -B.S. ’27
“Who signed up for these classes willingly?” -H.M. -27
“The people in physical chemistry are the only people not getting physical.” -T.S. ’24
“You peaked in elementary school.” -M.M. ’27
“Simpler times.” -S.B. ’27
“Preparing to have 8 children.” -Anonymous
“Better not move to Texas.” -Anonymous
Cinema and Media Arts
“Ok, I’m a bit biased as a CMA minor, but I think that we’re okay. There’s a stereotype abt film bros, which def exist and are very annoying, but mostly it’s just people who like watching movies and maybe want to work in the field. It’s chill.” -S.E. ’27
“Social and extroverted.” -B.S. ’27
“All about bridges.” -C.C. ’26
“Glorified architects.” -B.M. ’27
“I don’t even know what they do.” -I.H. ’27
“Party planner but for cities.” -Anonymous
Classical and Mediterranean Studies
“Stuck in the past.” -G.C. ’25
“Never grew out of their Percy Jackson phase.” -K.M. ’27
“The lead-up to a philosophy major.” -M.G. ’24
“Social justice warrior.” -Anonymous
“The sweetest people who have no aim in life.” -C.L. ’27
Communication of Science and Technology- CSET
“Basically doing the work that scientists can’t.” -B.S. ’27
“Scientists with social skills.” -Y.D. ’27
“Want to be Hank Green.” -G.G. ’24
“How did you get into Vanderbilt?” -Anonymous
“You came to do no work.” -S.N. ’25
“Just another name for HOD.” -Anonymous
“Congratulations- you can communicate.” -Anonymous
“You have to go to college to learn how to talk to people.” -A.S. ’24
“Comp sci people tend to be more nerdy/introverted” -B.S. ’27
“They talk to computers more than they talk to other people.” -Anonymous
“Either a frat bro or a math nerd. No in-between.” -Anonymous
“Say you’re in Greek life without saying you’re in Greek life.” -Anonymous
“You like children a little bit too much.” -P.D. ’27
“Glorified baby-sitter.” -Anonymous
“People that write long letters and seal them in a wax stamp. They go to slam poetry a lot.” -B.M. ’26
“Why would you major in English? You speak it.” -Anonymous
“Sorority girls.” -A.W. ’24
“What the hell is that?” -B.S. ’27
“Oui, oui- baguettes!” -M.S. ’26
“The Eiffel Tower is all you got going.” -Anonymous
“You either want to be broke, a teacher… or both.” -L.C. ’27
“Historian or history teacher- one or the other.” -Anonymous
Human Organizational Development – HOD
“Your biggest struggle in the day is coloring.” -B.M. ’27
“You breathe for 3 seconds instead of 4 and suddenly you’re failing.” -L.G. ’24
“Don’t need to use more than 3 brain cells.” -E.S. ’26
“The people that thought they could avoid the business jokes, but in fact, made themselves more of a joke.” -G.A. ’27
“They just play scales.” -I.H. ’26
“Careless whisper… iykyk.” -C.L. ’27
“They kind of scare me, but at the same time I’m really impressed by them because you need to really have an appreciation for math while being certain that that’s what you want to do. I haven’t met many mathematics majors, but I think that speaks to how smart you have to be to declare your major as mathematics.” -G.M. ’26
Medicine, Health, and Society
“Extra for what?” -H.F. ’25
“Dream about being a doctor but in reality won’t do anything in life.” -Anonymous
“The HOD of science.” -B.S. ’27
Molecular and Cellular Biology
“Doin’ too much. Overachiever. You’re a wannabe Bill Nye.” -G.A. ’27
“They have a lease for Stevenson.” -Anonymous
“Lemme guess? You’re pre-med.” -Anonymous
“They think that they’re gonna be the next Mozart.” -Anonymous
“You’re gonna be a music education teacher.” -A.M. ’24
“You were definitely in high school band.” -Anonymous
“Which one’s worse? Band kid or choir kid. Answer- both.” -V.S. ’27
“If you’re anything but a doctor, you’re a disappointment.” -E.C. ’27
“Maybe consider studying what’s wrong with your brain.” -Anonymous
“Congratulations- you can think.” -B.S. ’27
“Making friends with the thoughts in your head.” -A.P. ’25
“How do you know you’re taking philosophy?” -N.W. ’24
“NASA wannabes.” -L.C. ’27
“It’s math but with a fancier name.” -A.M. ’27
“All pain and suffering. All of it.” -C.L. ’24
“They all join the Honor Council.” -B.S. ’27
“They are triggered by everything.” -Y.D. ’27
“They tend to never have any assignments due, and are very relaxed. Sometimes they’ll try to examine how I think and apply what they learned in class, even when it’s everyday things like being a little sad.” -Anonymous
“They don’t want to face their own feelings.” -C.A. ’27
Public Policy Studies
“The people who aren’t really doing anything but just want to travel the world.” -Anonymous
“They’re trying to make a difference. Just plant a freaking tree.” -I.H. ’27
“I feel like the people in there don’t really have a religion. So I question why they’re even in the major.” -Anonymous
“Dedicating your life to studying a man that doesn’t exist.” -Anonymous
“Peaked in high school.” -Anonymous
“You learn about how good school could be, just to be bullied by the system.” -H.M. ’27
“I feel like people who study sociology are underrated, like their major. It’s really interesting actually, and requires a deep understanding of social issues, statistics, and economics. Sociologists are pretty cool people to have conversations with because of all of that.” -R.R. ’27
“Sociology majors in my opinion tend to be less in numbers so IMO it’s hard to meet them (maybe I’m just not looking hard enough), but whenever I do, I find that they’re well-informed about concepts or issues I care about.” -L.M. ’26
“I haven’t met many Spanish majors; most people I’ve met in that department are either really passionate about the language and tend to be bilingual themselves, or they are aiming for a career that needs/requires/heavily relies on Spanish as a language. In general, I think pursuing the study of a whole language is really impressive as it’s not just a matter of overall sentence structure, but the cultural nuances that come with the language itself.” -L.M ’26
“No me gusta.” -C.G. ’26
“I have a couple friends who are theatre majors and even though we make jokes about it being a useless major, I really admire them for pursuing their passion. Most theatre majors I’ve encountered, including my friends, are also very artistic, creative, and expressive which I also really admire.” -G.M. ’26
“Join a club, not a major.” -Anonymous
“You’re on Broadway, whether it’s on the stage or on the street.” -W.B. ’24
Whether you entered Vanderbilt with a crystal-clear major or have danced through multiple choices, this article has explored the vibes and stereotypes surrounding your current or aspiring field of study. Remember, the insights shared here are all in good humor, and your ideal major is determined by a unique blend of factors that go beyond stereotypes.
Until next time … peace!
It’s not easy being a college student. Yet, as soon as I got settled in last semester, and my classic Chloe boredom that comes from my need to be constantly doing something set in, I decided to increase the difficulty level on my life even more by getting a job.
I wasn’t going to go for anything crazy; just a part-time to help me feel a little less guilty about spending my savings on Ubers and the occasional dinner out to a restaurant not on meal money. I deserve to treat myself, and with a bank account that is getting replenished every two weeks, it’s a lot easier to convince myself of that.
After some searching, a few awkward interviews, and a bit of “embellishing” about my experience, I landed myself a sweet gig at a local coffee shop. I would be a barista. Is there anything more of a classic college job than that? It would be just like the old days of playing Papa’s Freezeria on CoolMathGames (rip Adobe Flash Player), just for realsies this time around.
In all honesty, I hadn’t really been a coffee drinker at all before I got the job. I promised myself I wouldn’t become addicted, and I think I’m still in the clear. I enjoy the taste, but I have yet to use my own money to pay for a coffee; I either get my free employee drink each shift or I use a meal swipe at our lovely Suzie’s here on campus. I’m a coffee appreciator, but not an addict.
I have to say, after working at the shop for a few months now, I find myself genuinely enjoying it (and will hopefully continue to do so). I’ve met a lot of super cool people there that have become trusted coworkers who I can talk to about crazy stories from my week while we clean. There’s nothing that brings people together more than sharing a laugh while scrubbing toilets or confiding in each other while scraping coffee grounds out of a french press.
I wouldn’t condone getting a job while being a student if you don’t have good time management skills. I’m very good at planning out my day to account for all of the things I need to get done: class, exercise, socialization, studying, work, and sleep. I recognize that I possess a rare skill in my ability to balance my life. It takes a real pro, and there’s no shame if it doesn’t work as well for you. Working is, well, a lot of work.
One of the hardest parts of having a job is my work schedule. As a coffee shop, we aren’t open too late, which is nice for me, but it does also mean that we open early in the morning. I walk to work before the sun comes up, and probably before most of you are even close to being awake. I have to admit, it has given me a little bit of a superiority complex, but that gets erased as soon as I have a day off and end up sleeping well past sunrise.
All in all, having a job while being a student is a challenge, but with the right skills, it’s doable. All it takes is a bit of planning, a lot of self-discipline, and just a splash of espresso in your system as soon as you clock in.
Like many of us, I have been on Instagram for years and see both the benefits and positives of the app – yes, it’s a powerful platform for connecting with others and sharing experiences. However, recently, I’ve felt the need to reassess my relationship with social media, prompting me to embark on a month-long journey to (try to) quit Instagram.
I decided this challenge would run from November 1 to December 1. I knew this month would pose a challenge, since Thanksgiving Break would be a full week where Instagram would be very appealing.
Regardless, I trudged onwards. First, I had to block Instagram from being used on both my phone and my laptop. My phone was easy; I simply deleted the app. My laptop, where I do a significant amount of ‘Gram checking, needed a different approach.
I’ve used the app SelfControl before, which is free for Macbook. If you have a different laptop, take a look at this article to find an app that works for you. If you don’t trust yourself, there are also more concrete ways to block it from re-installation from your phone for a set period of time.
The app will show up on the Mac launchpad. See below.
You can add any website to the blocklist. I set the timer for 31 days, a.k.a. 744 long, long hours. This is how it looked upon set-up. Very scary.
When the website is blocked and you try to visit it anyways, this is what will show up. No getting past this! You also can’t undo the timer from SelfControl. Good luck with that.
Like many of you, I suffer a moderate addiction to checking an app that (mostly) does not do anything for me. The positives I do see in Instagram are (1) being able to post stories and (2) checking club events happening on campus, which are often not posted on Anchorlink.
This was a month to see if getting off the Gram’ would benefit my mental health and free my mind for other, more important things.
11pm: Doing my weekly scrolling of the Hustler, I wanted to share Chloe Whalen’s article on how to destress on my story. I get my phone only to realize I have no Instagram app. It’s going to take some time to adjust.
(If you haven’t read her piece on cornfields, you’re missing out.)
4pm: I’ve been at Central since 10am this morning. While I haven’t done as many assignments as I wanted to, I didn’t get any urge to go on Instagram! Until I thought about it now.
Has it already begun to get easier to stay off the ‘gram?
10:45am: In bed on Sunday morning, I forgo the usual habit of checking Instagram, which I usually feel quite icky about anyway since it’s not a great way to start the day. Instead I check my news email. As thrilling? No. But did it make me stop using my phone quicker? Yes.
3pm: I need to check a club and if they’re still holding meetings, but alas, Anchorlink is not answering my questions. I can’t check Instagram. Many clubs only use Instagram to publicize events, leading to more of its necessity. I end up emailing the President :0
11:48pm: I was about to leave Commons after an hour working on climate studies. Like I do when I feel bored on my laptop, I go to check Instagram. When I realize I can’t, I head back to Hank. I’m probably shaving about 20 minutes off my procrastination.
12:04am: I really, really, really want to check Instagram right now but can’t. I have so much work to do, too. I guess I should get started on that.
4:23pm: I need to check when a club’s next meeting is for my anthropology project, and they also don’t list any upcoming meetings on Anchorlink. I email the club president instead, fully knowing that Instagram would easily answer my question. Luckily I receive a reply quickly. C’mon, Anchorlink.
Today I start to legitimately consider re-downloading the app, just admit the regression, and move on. After 2 days of a debate tournament, I thought I deserved to check the app. I spend 20 minutes texting my friend and move on, going to bed at 2 am.
Do you use Instagram as a reward too, for when you’ve just accomplished something or had a busy day?
Read more about the psychology of social media here.
Okay, you can all say you told me so, because I redownloaded it. My flight home was yesterday, and I am bored. Do I have things to do for school? Yes. Do I feel justified to redownload it on this Friday? Also yes.
Over the break, I spent a significant amount of time on Instagram. I didn’t quantify it, but it wasn’t great. Opening Instagram to post a quick story leads to an enormous amount of time on the app because of addicting aspects of the app.
My mood didn’t improve much either, as we can expect. I liked being on the app again, but I also felt so blatantly addicted that I don’t look back on my week of using it very fondly.
It’s the Saturday before we’re back to classes. I delete it, promising to not use it again until the end of the challenge on December 1. I’m successful on this promise, at least.
It’s done. It’s over.
I rejoice in the challenge being over and somehow, still download the app again. My attempt to break free from Instagram for 1 month taught me many, mostly negative, things about social media use. Usually, a naive opening of the app to “check it quickly” or post a story leads to falling down the rabbit hole. Is it worth it? Or should we instead be more interested in what’s actually in front of us, like these beautiful scenes on campus?
That’s for you to ask yourself.
Until next time… peace!
With 1.5 weeks left until Thanksgiving Break begins, you might feel the excitement on campus to push through finals and make it to Turkey Day. But before our brief fall interlude, it might be time to consider these tips for academic preparation, travel, health and wellness, and the last activities before break.
It’s essential to use these next days wisely, especially when it comes to academic responsibilities. Here’s a guide on how to prepare before the break.
- Work on Pending Assignments:
- Address any pending assignments or projects that are due right before the break. Set aside time each day to make progress on them. Completing assignments ahead of time also allows you to pack and enjoy next week without looming deadlines.
- Organize Your Study Materials:
- Take some time to organize your notes and study materials. If you use a paper agenda like I do, rip out the pages from August til now. Clean out your backpack and discard unnecessary papers, English majors. We know you do a lot of printing.
- Meet with TAs and Professors
- Personally, meeting with the TA in one of my courses helped me navigate the papers more easily. If you want to get involved in research or publish your work later in the semester, talk to those professors now to ask for their help.
- Pack Early
- If you live in humid South Florida like me, brace yourselves and pack the lightest clothing and leave your coats here PLEASE. If you live literally anywhere else, pack a coat. Nuf’ said.
- Clean Your Dorm Room Before you Leave
- This could apply to any time you leave campus for an extended period, but doing some light cleaning will make the room nicer for when you return.
- Pack Food for the Flight
- Tired and hungry are not a good mix. Bring a protein bar and fruit. You could bring a salad or something with less than 3.4 oz of liquid. I’ve noticed BNA is more lenient on food at TSA than other airports.
- Bring a Bandaid
- Do not make the mistake of one of my close friends. Bandaids are crucial for when disaster strikes!
Health and Wellness
- Manage Stress
- Yes, easier said than done. This could take on any meaning for you. If going to a club meeting would be relaxing, do that. If you want to take a nap, totally do that instead. I just attended my first knitting meeting this year and it seems like a great hobby. Find what works for you!
- Stay Hydrated
- It’s usually easier to concentrate and sit down to get work done when you’re properly hydrated.
- Connect with Supportive People
- Social connections are essential to our wellbeing. If you’re going home to a very small family (that you love!), it seems like you’ll be losing touch with your social circle for a long time. Spend time with people you care about on campus before the break.
Last Activities Before Break
- Vandy Cooks – Vegetarian Comfort Food
- Date: Wednesday, November 8
Time: 5:30 – 6:30 p.m.
Location: Vanderbilt Recreation and Wellness Center
- Sign up here
- Date: Wednesday, November 8
- Before the Burnout: Relax! Relate! Release! Leadership Workshop
- Date: Thursday, November 9
Time: 12:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Location: Leadership and Service Space
Sign up here
- Date: Thursday, November 9
- Vitality Fall Showcase
- Date: Friday, November 10
Time: 7:15 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Location: Langford Auditorium
- Sign up here
- Date: Friday, November 10
- Lanterns – By the Multicultural Leadership Council
- Date: Monday, November 13
Time: 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Location: Sarratt Cinema
Sign up here
- Date: Monday, November 13
- Internship Search Party
- Date: Wednesday, November 15
Time: 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Location: Langford Auditorium
- Sign up here
- Date: Wednesday, November 15
Hope this article was helpful!
Until next time… peace!
If you’re anything like me you probably are wondering how to get more involved in the upcoming spring semester without overwhelming yourself. During the fall semester you may have joined every club imaginable, no clubs at all, or maybe you have the perfect balance figured out. Whether you have the perfect balance or have no idea, here’s my tips to getting more involved!
Tip 1: Check Anchor Link
Anchorlink is a great way to see all of the organizations and clubs that Vanderbilt has to offer. I didn’t know how to work it at first but when I finally figured it out it benefited me a lot. When you’re on Anchorlink make sure you search for things that appeal to your interests. This will save you from over exerting yourself and save some space in your busy schedule. Remember the organizations and clubs you join do NOT have to have something involved with your future career path.
Tip 2: Talk to your peers
Honestly a lot of things didn’t sound interesting to me on paper but talking to people around campus changed my perspective on a lot. People introduced me to so many different organizations and clubs and they’ve even influenced me to join a few. Sometimes the topic may seem super interesting to you but the description lacks the same appeal. Trying out a meeting and talking to people about their experience in the club can make or break your opinion on the organization. Obviously I would recommend you to feel it out for yourself but these experiences help you get the bigger picture.
Tip 3: Watch the Newsminute
Hey, I may be biased but the newsminute showcases a few events that are happening in the upcoming week on campus. If you do not know where to start or where to look this can be a great starting outlet for you. Remember getting involved does not just mean joining clubs, it also means getting involved in the social life at Vandy.
Tip 4: Go to events that interest you
I was really scared to go to events, especially alone until recently. I was feeling left out of the social scene so I started going to events I saw around campus and constantly emailed about. Going to these events is an extremely easy way to meet new people and experience the social aspect of college life. Checking your email and the bulletin boards around campus will also inform you about these events!
Tip 5: Figure out what works for you and DON’T stress
A common misconception is that if you did not get involved or join the club at the beginning of the year… you can’t join now. This is not true for most organizations, in fact I joined a new club last week because I found free time in my schedule. It is never too late to get involved! Also I would like to remind you that you’re not behind, everyone moves at their own pace. We all have different schedules so do not overload yourself. Getting involved is supposed to be fun for you, not exhausting. Figure out what works for you and your schedule and don’t focus or stress on what other people are doing.
Whether you’re wanting to get involved in clubs, social events, or volunteering I hope these tips help you get involved in your upcoming semester at Vandy!
Alaina and TaMyra check in on everything they’ve experienced ranging from social life to stress this far.