July 16, 2013

On the Road: Vanderbilt University

You know when you find a dress comfortable enough to wear on a college visit that it was meant to be. 

I picked up this pretty piece at Target a few weeks ago, and I've been in love ever since. I have this odd habit of dressing up even if I don't leave the house--I like to think it makes me more productive...though I'm not exactly sure how well that works hehe. But I'm not ashamed to admit that I've spent several summer days lounging around *cough* working intently in this comfy dress.

Dress, Target ($17)// Shoes, China ($6)// Bow, Rire (giveaway) Whoa, only three pieces?! That must be a record or something!

I was definitely pleased with my Vanderbilt visit. The campus was quite scenic, so I proceeded to drag my poor mother off to take photos when the PreVU program was finished. I love a good play on words too--it's perfect because PreVU sounds like preview, but VU also stands for Vanderbilt University!

I was just tickled pink.

There's also something about actually being on campus that helps you decide if the school is for you. I could definitely see myself there. They fed us (very, very, very good food). What else could you ask for?

Haha, but really. The atmosphere can make such a big impression, and Vandy's left a good one on me.

On a more serious note, though, they have a strong engineering program. And as this girl, torn over all the possibilities, could use strong premed, prelaw, engineering (too many others!) programs to satisfy my many interests, the school is a good fit. 

Take a look at the photos below--I felt like I was at the White House!

Now time for my philosophical tidbit of the week. You know me--I love finding deep meanings in seemingly mundane situations, and something just clicked as I was teaching my brother how to swim.

I felt slightly self-conscious as I plunged into the cool, blue water. The familiar smell of chlorine was nostalgic, yes. But it had been much too long since I had last stepped foot into a pool. Could I still remember to swim?

I've never been much good at swimming--my form is strangely reminiscent of a frog's. The last time I went swimming was summer gym class before freshman year. But I learned that swimming is a skill much like biking--it's something you don't forget easily.

"Teach me!" My brother splashed the water eagerly.

I complied, unbegrudgingly. "Okay George. See, all you have to do is put your feet a shoulder length apart, bend your knees slightly, and push yourself to start."

I demonstrated. He followed my instructions with a strange concentration on his face, bending his knees, then pushing off. But soon, he was flailing wildly, splashing the water, and back kon his feet again.

"It's okay George," I said encouragingly, "I got you!"

But few more tries proved futile.

"It's just I'm afraid to fall," He told me earnestly.

"Well you can't be afraid to fall if you want to swim!" I exclaimed, though with a touch of sympathy.

I proceeded to take a break from my sisterly duties, attemping to swim a few consecutive laps across the small pool.

"Teach me!" My brother pestered me as I arrived back in the shallow end.

"I have been teaching you! I can't swim for you--you have to learn it yourself!" I told him impatiently, though as sincerely as possible.

Then something hit me.

Has your fear of falling kept you from doing something great? Has it prevented you from growing as a person? From telling someone something you've been aching to say?

It happens to us all. Some more than others. But to fill that void, that emptiness, to ease the aches and burdens, we must put ourself out there. Push off the stability of the concrete pool floor, leap past the safety of the starting line. We must be vulnerable. We must be determined. We must be fearless.

We may fall, but there is always someone to catch us. And with each plummet, we become more masterful at brushing ourselves off gracefully. It's the learned art of life.

Don't let the fear of falling hold you back.

Sometimes I think these posts are more pertinent to my life than yours. Sometimes I feel like I'm preaching to myself, almost as a reassurance or pep talk. I hate to be vague, but there are many things that I need to do that I've been avoiding. I'm terrified. But I need to let go of the confines of familiarity, bare my soul, and fly. I need to be brave.

Until then, my friends. I pray that I'll have an inspiring story to share for next time. Have a beautiful week!

Join the conversation!

  1. You look so pretty in this floral dress. I maybe biased but when the campus has pretty architectures and/or gardens, I tend to want to attend that school lol. I mean, if I am spending the next 4 year of my LIFE there, it might as well be beautiful, right? :)

  2. My daddy got his phD from Vanderbilt! And when I went there, I remember how lovely the campus was... I remember lots of green and nice architecture. I'm glad it left you with a good, solid impression. :)

    I also love that you dress up even when you don't leave the house. Ah, I am equally guilty of that...! It really does make you feel more productive though, doesn't it? And sometimes it even MAKES me more productive. That's the scary part. ;)

    "Don't let the fear of falling hold you back-"--yup, I can definitely relate. I'm afraid to try new art things ALL the time. But whenever I do force myself to try, I either understand that's a) freaking awesome and I'm glad I did it or b) well, it's not for me, but that's ok!

    Your dress is so cute, btw. I seem to get so into your posts that I forget to actually comment on your outfit. BUT THAT'S HOW I LIKE IT (manly chest bumps you)

  3. Nice dress!


  4. Adore that dress. You look lovely!!


  5. Vanderbilt University was one time voted the most beautiful university in America (or one of them). Speaking of beautiful- your outfit and looks are certainly charming. The dress is as beautiful as your smile and hair. The pink Converses are an extra cute touch to your already sweet looks.

    Your philisophical content is surely true and amazing. The terminology I use more is more about fear of failing rather than fear of falling (sometimes "fear of defeat" is what I use as well). Your words are still very true.


  6. Vanderbilt has such a gorgeous campus, and you look just right standing on the quad! I'm glad you enjoyed your visit and I love the dress you chose for your tour! I definitely agree that being brave and conquering our fears is an important asset to have in life.

    Xo, Hannah


  7. What a pretty floral dress! I agree that the only way to really pick a college is to get on the campus and see how you feel once you're there. Vanderbily certainly has a gorgeous campus!

    The Tiny Heart
    PayPal Giveaway!

  8. Good luck with Uni =) Gosh I love your smile =)

  9. I love this floral dress, you look so cute! Beautiful campus and great school!

    xo, Yi-chia
    Always Maylee

  10. The campus looks so gorgeous and so does your dress.

    I really wanted to go to an out-of-state school the south for college but ended up staying in California and going to a UC to save money. I severely regret my decision to not go out and see something new! Good luck with choosing school!

  11. your dress is totally cute, i love it!!


  12. PreVU...hehe, oh it's making me laugh now too, I love it!
    Sounds like a solid campus and offers a lot of programs you're interested in. :)
    Love this floral dress too, its perfect for lounging around, er, I mean working. ;)
    Hehe, and oh Lily, you know I love reading your philosophical tidbits! You're such a deep person. You definitely made a great connection about fear holding us back. I'm often such a shy, inhibited person, but I've felt myself growing through the experiences I'm putting myself through.

    The Dragonfruit Diaries

  13. you do look extremely happy there and that's definitely an important point when it comes to actual deciding. though good food is important too, haha. +you look lovely in your floral dress in front of all those massive buildings.
    oh and I'm sure your brother will learn how to swim. everything just has to come in right time. it's one of the principles I believe in.

    Maikeni blogi - part of me

  14. I love how you teamed up the converses with the dress, it brings edginess to the whole cute look!

    Check out my blog :)


  15. That's so funny because I am the same way! I dress up even if I just sit around, it makes me feel better!

    That dress is gorgeous, it looks so pretty on you! And that's awesome that it's comfortable!

    That campus looks so scenic and pretty, it makes such a nice setting!

    That is an inspiring story, especially rings true since I don't know how to swim! Haha


  16. Hi there, cute dress!

    I would like to invite you to join my GIVEAWAY!


  17. I love your blog! This post is awesome!
    Check out my blog, write your opinion and maybe...follow?
    Where are you from?

  18. Nice floral dress! Love the background. Very academic :)

  19. love your dress :) you look super adorable in it !

  20. I feel you mama. I dress up without leaving the house ALL the time. The only difference is if I sit around long enough I will force myself to run some sort of errand...just so the world can see my adorable outfit. :)
    LOVE your bow!

  21. I'm a Vandy grad student, so I know all those place on campus! You looked so pretty for your visit!
    Enter my $50 J.Crew giftcard giveaway!

  22. Love the dress on you, you look beautiful! You post such vulnerable, inspiring posts on your blog that I've really enjoyed being on it!


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