Anchor down and be thankful

This Thanksgiving, we reflected on the things we love about Vanderbilt.


Emery Little

This Thanksgiving, we’re thankful for Vanderbilt. (Hustler Multimedia/Emery Little)

College life is hard, and it can be easy to focus on the things you don’t like about your school (we’re looking at you, vuNet). As Thanksgiving approaches, however, it’s important to take a moment to reflect on what you’re grateful for. Below, we’ve rounded up the many things we appreciate about Vanderbilt. 

The Vanderbilt community

This fall, we’re grateful to get an in-person experience at Vanderbilt, allowing us to make friends outside of the confines of Zoom. It’s refreshing not to have to worry about whether you’re on mute or sit awkwardly in a breakout room. Plus, our clubs and organizations have been able to meet in person, allowing us to make new friends and connect with pre-pandemic pals. From playing frisbee on Peabody Lawn to drinking coffee in the Hustler newsroom, it’s so nice to feel reconnected to our community.


While we love the Vanderbilt campus, Nashville offers so much to do. From concerts to Broadway to restaurants, Music City always has something fun to do (and to distract us from studying for finals). When there’s a rare week without exams, students can hop onto TicketMaster and find a fun concert, regardless of music preference (although Taylor Swift seems to be Vandy’s music artist du jour). If you need a distraction from classes, a run past the Parthenon in Centennial Park is the right way to go! Plus, there’s a near-infinite number of coffee shops to explore, including right nearby in Hillsboro Village and the West End neighborhood. 


There’s just something about Wesley on a Saturday morning that makes the Vanderbilt community feel so much closer. You run into people from all walks of your Vanderbilt life—class, clubs, your first-year dorm and maybe even your VUceptor, if you’re lucky. The community vibes? Immaculate. Is it weird that it’s on top of a CVS? Sure. Is it the most happening CVS rooftop in the country? You know it.


One of the best parts of Vanderbilt is that it’s quite literally a land of opportunity. No matter what you want to do, you can probably do it: take a class on that race and religion topic you liked in high school, join an a cappella group, work in a lab, you name it.


This might sound a little strange, but we think the squirrels are kind of cute. No? Well, they’re entertaining to watch, at least. Nothing gives Vanderbilt more character than the bushy-tailed critters hopping between trash cans on Commons and scurrying across Alumni Lawn clutching discarded Rand to-go containers in their mouths. Plus, what would tour guides do if they couldn’t boast about our three-to-one squirrel-to-student ratio?

Vanderbilt Diploma 

We all know that Vanderbilt is ranked #14 in National Universities by U.S. News, and guess what? Job recruiters do, too. Being completely transparent here, that “Vanderbilt University” at the top of your resume is going to be a big deal post-grad. As a senior currently in a LinkedIn-induced spiral, that is certainly something for which to be grateful.


Vanderbilt professors are some of the brightest minds in the world, and what better way is there to learn than by conversing with professors who literally helped discover what you’re learning in the first place? Across the board, our professors are leaders in the field, and those with firsthand experience with their subjects make class extra interesting.


As you reflect on what you’re grateful for today, take some time to think about what has made your Vanderbilt experience special. Whether it’s your friends, professors or even Rand cookies, we’re fortunate to have the opportunities that this school provides us.