Vanderbilt University - Comments and Student Experiences|
I had a great time at Vanderbilt. I learned a lot, and after kids, I taught myself a new discipline with help from the university librarian. My academic advisor was way up in the faculty and he was accessible to me, my parents and was willing to take risks to let me get what I wanted out of my major. (Actually cut me loose on an international program so that I could travel alone for a week in rural Spain -- that would probably not happen now..............but it was AWESOME! )
There are a lot of rich, white, beautiful people here. There are sororities and fraternities. I was in one. I loved it. The most beautiful and intimidating person I ever saw in my life (to this day) three weeks into my freshman year turned out to be my maiden of honor and my daughter's godmother. I had to extend myself here and develop my self confidence. It paid off.
I was ready for the work world, the dating world, the shallow work the system world -- all those "worlds" out there. Vanderbilt is a microcosm of the Southern Universe, but as time goes on and experiences begin to even out, I learned a lot here that had absolutely nothing to do with academics that I would not exchange for anything.
Academics were fine for me -- they can be a mixed bag. I was not a math/science person so I did not have to deal with TA's that could not speak English, though that can be a problem from what I understand. I had some really terrific professors in the liberal arts -- very accessible -- we ate at their houses, went on trips together, hung out at lunch, and were easy to talk to. My fine arts, Spanish, and Latin American Studies professors were all very engaging. I did not take a lot of survey courses. I AP'd out. I had a good academic experience.
I would send a child here.
The best thing about Vanderbilt is the community of students and the worst thing about Vanderbilt is leaving. I never miss a reunion, keep up with my friends, learned how to teach myself anything, and was a saavy new grad. I got job offers in Madrid, Spain, NYC, and Boston.
I run my own business now and have the best of both worlds. I have a career I really enjoy, but I can manage my time to be with my kids. As a college applicant, that might not mean that much, but Vanderbilt put me in the driver seat.
Drawbacks: It's expensive.
Fact: The Greek system, though not as dominant as it used to be, is a force on campus. Vanderbilt is full of beautiful people. Southern manners are an influence. Big plusses: The music scene is killer. You'll make friends for life if you want to. The Commons is not like any kind of freshman living situation I've seen anywhere else. Smart friends.