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Tommy Openshaw-Football

Posted by on Wednesday, January 31, 2018 in Student-Athletes of the Month.

Tommy Openshaw
Graduate Student
Program: Leadership and Organizational Development

Why did you choose to attend Vanderbilt?

I chose to attend Vanderbilt because of the world-class education tied with college football in the most competitive conference in the country, the SEC. There are few better combinations for a student-athlete when choosing a college.

What are your career goals?

I still have another year of graduate school, so a lot can happen, but as of now I am leaning towards joining the military and making a go at flight school to eventually become a pilot in the US Navy.

What does it take to be academically successful at Vanderbilt?

You’re fighting an uphill battle as a student-athlete at Vanderbilt and finding success in academics is no easy task. It takes self-discipline, a willingness to ask for help, luck of the draw when enrolling for classes in the chaos that is Vanderbilt enrollment, and a commitment to priorities.

How do you manage your demanding schedule?

I set time during every day to knock out as much as I can for the most pressing assignment, then really just take advantage of whatever time pops up outside that. One of the most important things to me is getting as close to eight hours of sleep a night. If I don’t sleep well, I’m not going to perform well at football and I won’t optimize my time for studying throughout the day. There are certainly many assignments I could not spend anywhere near as much time as my classmates due to my responsibilities with football, but I would not have it any other way.

What is your ritual before taking a test?

I’m not really big into rituals for things like tests or games. I do my best to study as well as I can beforehand, then leave the rest up to God to invoke wisdom into me during the test if He deems it necessary, which I’m sure is more often than not!

What is your favorite quote?

“We are not the sum of our weaknesses and failures. We are the sum of the Father’s love for us and our real capacity to become an image of Jesus to the world.” – Pope St. John Paul II