Looking for new opportunities and organizations to join can be challenging after your first year, but its still possible. (Photo courtesy Rachel Wei)
Looking for new opportunities and organizations to join can be challenging after your first year, but it’s still possible. (Photo courtesy Rachel Wei)

Sophomore Spotlight: Finding new places on campus

Exploring new ways to get involved and meet people after the first year
Emily Gonçalves

This semester, I’ve grown a bit restless, and I’ve been craving something new and different in terms of places to spend my time. 

When I started looking for new organizations to join, I wasn’t sure how easy it would be to find something new as a second semester sophomore. From my observations, most students tend to “find their place” on campus by the end of sophomore year. I thought it might be difficult to insert myself into an org this late. However, I discovered that my curiosity as to what else Vandy has to offer came at the perfect time. In the beginning of second semester, most organizations’ applications came out in preparation for the upcoming school year. So, as I scrolled through various emails and Anchor Link pages, I decided to apply for a few new clubs. 

As I’ve started the training processes for two new organizations I joined, and will start training for the third one soon, in some ways, I feel like I was a first-year again. I’m meeting a lot of new people at once, most of whom have very different backgrounds and experiences from me. I’m also having to introduce myself to people I’ve never met before a lot, which I did more last year than this year. Joining new orgs has reminded me of how much I enjoy getting to know new people, especially my fellow talented peers here. I’m grateful that I have this opportunity to be taught, guided and incorporated into clubs again like a first-year. Although it can be a little weird having peers who are my grade or younger being the “older” ones in an org, it’s a nice break from some strenuous leadership responsibilities I’ve taken on this year. 

Joining new orgs has reminded me that Vandy is as small as you choose to make it; there are always new opportunities to explore, and new people to meet. Sometimes it’s easy to get comfortable in your little bubble, and not want to stray outside it. While it’s okay to choose to stay in a bubble, particularly if that org or subject is truly what your one true love, I think it’s healthy to step outside once in a while. If you’re feeling suffocated or just bored, I encourage you to browse what else Vandy has to offer. There may be a niche hobby-centered club you didn’t know would be your life passion until you joined. Or, maybe you want to check out some of the industry-specific orgs that will allow you to dabble professionally outside the classroom. Whatever may be on your mind, I encourage you to let your gut lead you and jump into something new. 

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About the Contributors
Rachel Wei
Rachel Wei, Former Voices Editor
Rachel Wei ('22) is from Rockville, Maryland. She triple majored in human and organizational development, biology and English literature. In addition to writing and editing for The Hustler, Rachel is the Director of Communications for VSG and a member of the professional business fraternity AKPsi. In her free time, Rachel enjoys reading sci-fi dystopian novels, watching Broadway musicals and traveling.
Emily Gonçalves
Emily Gonçalves, Former Multimedia Director
Emily Gonçalves (‘20) was the Multimedia Director of the Vanderbilt Hustler. She majored in Mathematics and Economics and minored in Latin American Studies. When she’s not taking photos, you can catch this Jersey girl making puns, singing, advocating for girls’ education and drinking lots of chocolate milk and espresso!

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