Jalen Dansby, ’18, College of Arts and Science
I loved Vandy even before coming here because of the phenomenal academics and opportunity to play football, but I quickly realized it has so much more to offer.
After only a week of living in Gillette House, my peers encouraged me to run for house president. I embraced the idea, constructed a campaign—and won. Keep in mind, this happened during the hectic fall football season. Only four weeks in, I was already extremely busy. I was a member of the football team, president of my house, and taking pre-med classes in pursuit of my ultimate goal of becoming a doctor. Then I was elected as P.R. Chair of MAPS, became a member of BSA, VSVS, and a tour guide.
Being a part of these organizations and keeping up with classes was far from easy. My parents raised me to have balance in my life, but this year really challenged that concept. We all get the same amount of time in a day; it is up to us to decide how we spend it. In order to keep my sanity and remain successful in all of my commitments, I had to manage my time well.
A regular week consisted of workouts on Tuesday–Friday at 5:30 a.m.–8:00 a.m., going to class, returning to the athletic facility at 2:00 p.m., having meetings, practice, more meetings, then physical therapy until about 7:00 p.m. Which left just enough time to cram down some dinner, host my weekly house meeting, get changed into a suit and tie for senate, and then do some homework. Nights before a big test or assignment, it was simply more convenient to sleep in the locker room to save time.
Sometimes you have to sacrifice minor things you want now for major things you want down the road. That is the biggest lesson I learned this year. Don’t throw away tomorrow’s dreams for today’s desires. Most importantly, stay optimistic and positive; don’t count the days, make the days count. As Vanderbilt students we are all blessed with a great opportunity and must take advantage every day!