Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The ILC’s Maiden Voyage to Vanderbilt: The Roads to and through College

Rebecca (on the left) revealed an impressive testing history during our Seminar on academic rigor in college

I believe some of the great things about having current students and recent alumni deeply involved in VSA are that they are probably more enthusiastic about the opportunity, rather than how much it pays, they have so much pride in their school, and lastly they are the perfect people to design a college information session around because they are living it right now.

Tonight was our College Seminar Night and after spending a full day of classes discussing the ins and outs of Hinduism and an hour of learning and practicing the art of improvisation, we were able to sit down with some VSA proctors and staff in focus groups speaking on one of four issues: questions one should ask on a college tour, things to do to increase chances of getting into the college of your choice and to make Freshman year more comfortable, the academic level of college work, and the options about postgraduate education. With a choice of two, I attended the Seminars on the academic rigor of college work and things to do to increase chances of getting into the college of your choice and to make freshman year more comfortable.

Rachel answered questions in the Seminar about academic rigor in college

Kevin and Malikah were just some of the proctors that participated

The meeting was simply a question and answer style seminar, I learned that Vanderbilt offers lots of services and activities for Freshman, like the wonderful environment of the Freshman Commons, a weeklong orientation consisting of Seminars, fairs and mixers for Freshman, and Academic Advisors. I learned that a student at Vanderbilt doesn’t declare their major till the 2nd semester in their sophomore year. I learned the importance of the application as a whole, the total package, instead of just ones test scores or grades alone. I also learned about college style test especially at Vanderbilt which usually consists of essays and no multiple choice questions. In fact some courses have no tests, just written papers.

Most importantly I learned that getting to college is a truly competitive process, even regarded as harder than staying in college according to some. Academically one must be on the top of their game at all times and one weak moment can become an off topic essay response on a final. The college experience is rewarding, but all good things come at a price.

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