My Vanderbilt

I’m afraid this photograph does not have great artistic value – however, of the pictures of campus that I took in preparation for this assignment, this one has stood out as having the most sentimental value to me. It may not be postcard-worthy, but I feel it describes my current Vanderbilt experience quite well. Vandy is often described as being in a bubble – in my experience this is definitely true. As a freshman and sophomore, I noticed that us students tend to stay within the beautiful arboretum that is our campus – sheltered from the different world that is Nashville, Tennessee. When we do venture out, we stick together and gawk at native Nashvillians with curious bewilderment. But lately this view has changed. As a junior, more of my friends have cars or live off campus – introducing me to a Nashville beyond campus and Broadway. More significantly – I’ve begun to think seriously about my life after Vanderbilt. I see Vanderbilt as a starting point in my life – but where it will take me I’m not so sure. I have vague plans of course, but the future is still up in the air.

I give this photograph a very personal interpretation. In this picture I see a path leading out of the bubble. I like how the Caterpillar building is visible – showing that the campus is not as secluded as it sometimes seems. To me, the path represents Vanderbilt guiding me into the “real world,” as represented by the Caterpillar building. I also like how the trees tower over me. I associate trees with Vanderbilt, so I see their strong presence in the photo as Vanderbilt’s influence in my life. They also frame (my experience at Vanderbilt currently frames my life) and form an oval-shaped space in the center of the photograph that is occupied only by sky. This impresses on me the trite phrase, “The sky’s the limit,” which, though corny, I strongly believe. Image

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