California has been my home for nearly my entire life. I was born and raised in Los Angeles, and at sixteen I knew the ins and outs of the city as if it were etched into the palm of my hand. By the time college acceptances came around, I knew I had to leave. My heart was set on exploring the world, discovering new cultures, and pushing my limits. The choice was between my three favorites: UC Berkeley in Berkeley, CA, Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN, and Macalester College in St. Paul, MN.
The best decision I made in the process of college admissions was to visit each of these three schools and hope that one of them took my breath away. Once I set foot on Vanderbilt’s campus, I just knew it was the right place for me.
The campus itself is a National Arboretum. The beautiful brick buildings and the grassy lawns that connect them stunned me. It seemed more like a tourist destination than a school campus. I looked around at the hundreds of smiling students strolling down the stone pathways and imagined myself walking alongside them. Vanderbilt offered the rare combination of endless possibilities, accessible and brilliant professors, and a nurturing environment.
In Fall 2011, I moved into my dorm. Everybody around me was nervous, but very few would readily admit it. I was sure that I was the most nervous of all the twelve hundred freshmen. Was I ready to be challenged beyond what I thought possible? Would I be able to successfully attend a top twenty university?
I soon learned that there was no exaggeration in the claims about accessible professors and nurturing faculty. By the end of my first year, I made the friends I never thought I would, and I had built personal relationships with most of my professors. Surprising as it is, everybody cares about everybody else, and no student is ever left behind.
A year later, I am deeply involved in campus life, student organizations, and my academics. All of my professors work very hard to make their subjects fascinating and to form personal connections with their students. The administration made starting two student organizations a smooth and easy process, creating a comfortable environment for growth and learning. I chose Vanderbilt for its beauty and its promise, and it has given me so much more than that. I have never been happier!
Rochelle Glazman found a passion in education at an early age. She began tutoring in middle school, and in high school she also became a teaching assistant to two department chairs. She was Vice President of the Student Body, an AP Scholar, and a 4.0 student. Currently, Rochelle is studying Economics and Managerial Studies at Vanderbilt.