In talking to people about Scotland, I often mention the difference in pace; it seems that life here is a pace or three slower than at Vanderbilt. At least mine has been. It has given me time to reflect on my own pace, and that reflection hasn’t been particularly pleasant. I sent something like what follows to my Ingram Scholar friends, and got such a positive reaction I thought I’d share it.
Vanderbilt University is an incredibly high-pressure place. We Vandykids have mastered “doing things.” And to borrow a biblical phrase, I am “the worst of sinners” in this regard. We run and do and fight and campaign and study and work and party and go go go but when we live life without commas we hardly have time to breathe or swallow much less reflect on what we’re doing or have time for the people around us who,
by the way,
How many people at Vanderbilt are anorexic? Or depressed? How many real conversations, in which someone has the chance to truly unload themselves, have you had in the last month? That late-night-to-early-morning deepening of relationships doesn’t
fit on a resume or earn a merit badge anywhere, but if there’s one
thing I regret from my first two years at Vanderbilt, it’s not letting enough of you guys tell me about your relationship with your parents, or about your real fears and insecurities, or what really impassions you.
So my real goal when I come back to campus in the fall is to – finally – breathe. To watch a few football games, take a few walks, and have some conversations about nothing. To give myself space to breathe and think and have time for the people around me. To make sure that you know that even in my whirlwind of activities, that I have all the time in the world to talk about what you care about. Hold me to it.