Home » Note to the Class of 2020
Note to the Class of 2020
After years of releasing VUpoint, a print publication for first-year students featuring essays from faculty and students across campus as well as informational resources, this year the publication made the leap to become entirely online and to focus primarily on student voices. As it evolved, we knew we wanted to shine a spotlight on the wisdom and experiences of Vanderbilt students and faculty, suddenly, Many Voices, One VU was born.
We hope this collection of essays will embody what it really means to be at Vanderbilt; a part of a community that is varied and diverse and yet still united. We have our own experiences and troubles, and no single story can define “VU.” But rather, together, we hope that the unique voices and perspectives we’ve assembled here will fit together just a few of the different puzzle pieces that make up Vanderbilt’s community; a community that you’ve just joined.
Ultimately, we come to college to learn. To learn about biology or literature. To learn how to be doctors or teachers and, eventually, fully-functioning adults. We also come to college to learn about ourselves, about the world around us, and about the infinite variety of people with whom we share this world. Too often, though, we get caught up in classroom learning – the readings, papers and problem sets – and forget how much our peers, our professors and all those around us have to teach us as people. Everyone has a story, and whether it’s happy or sad, simple or complex, it has value. We hope that this collection of essays, of hopes and triumphs, struggles and memories will give you a glimpse into all of the stories that await your discovery at Vanderbilt, and all that they have to teach you.
In curating this collection, we strove to preserve each individual’s authenticity and to provide a platform for the voices that might otherwise have gone unheard and the stories unspoken. They will show you that you can have amazing experiences here, and difficult ones too, but that through it all you will not be alone. So be brave, ask questions, and listen closely to the people around you. If you’re lucky (and we think you will be), you’ll discover something as amazing as we believe we’ve found in the funny, honest, and inspirational voices we’ve assembled here for you. We hope that you too will find that you have a meaningful story to share and a community eager to listen.
Elizabeth Winter, ’18,
Natalee Erb, M.Ed.