Hey everyone! I hope y’all are all doing well and are thawing off from one of the coldest winters ever. I know here in Nashville it’s absolutely beautiful… at least for now.
Today I wanted to write about one of my favorite things about my time here at Belmont: being a tour guide. Back in March 2011, I was hired on in Admissions as a tour guide and to be honest, I was so giddy.
(Honesty Hour: When I was a little kid, I always wanted to be a tour guide. I know that sounds so strange, but when I went to Disney World I thought that was so cool, so when I returned home, I would drive around on my little 4-wheeler with my Winnie the Pooh safari hat and act like I was leading a tour group around a safari. Adorable, right?)
So I guess I was destined to be a tour guide! Next month will mark three years of being a tour guide, and I have to say it’s been one of the most rewarding things I’ve done on campus. It’s one thing to sit down with a family at a Preview Day and explain why I love Belmont, but taking a family on a tour is just a different experience. When I take a tour group out, I try to make a point to get information about each student, and find out if they’ve been to campus before. When some of the prospective students tell me that they’re from super far away and this is finally their first time on campus, I can see the just pure joy on their faces.
Nothing beats walking out of Freeman Hall with a tour group, standing next to the Belmont Mansion, and seeing on someone’s face that they know they’ve found their home for the next four years. It’s truly an honor to be able to take y’all around on your first time walking through campus. This place has been so special for me for the past four years of my life, and I want to do nothing more than show prospective students why it’s such a beautiful place.
Now, sometimes my tours are just plain interesting! Every tour seems to be a different adventure, from trying not to trip over people, bricks, or my own two feet, it’s always different. You never know what someone is going to ask on a tour, which always is fun! Always though, families have been nothing but gracious during the tour and are always asking questions that keep me on my feet and understanding if I don’t have the answers.
I believe that taking families around for fifty minutes on a Monday morning is the least I can do for a place that has invested so much in me. There’s one spot on the tour, on the bridge in between the Massey Business Center and Inman Health Sciences Center that is one of my favorite spots.
Looking to the south, you can see straight down to the Curb Event Center. Depending on the time of day, people are walking down the sidewalk, talking with each other, or maybe sitting next to the big tree next to Patton reading a book. This always is a quiet reminder of the community here at Belmont, which has always been so special to me. It also reminds me that only a handful of students get the opportunity to be a tour guide, which always humbles me.
Looking to the north on a clear day, you can see the skyline of downtown Nashville. This sight has gotten more precious to me since graduation is coming close. Even though my post-grad plans aren’t finalized, there’s a good chance I won’t be living in Nashville once I graduate. Looking out on that skyline is a reminder of why I love this city and the quirky, diverse people you meet in it. Where else can you go for free to see OneRepublic and Dierks Bentley or casually run into Taylor Swift at a pizza joint? Not many other places.
So what’s all this rambling about? Well, every time I look north and south from that bridge, I’m reminded on how this place could impact someone as it did me. Though I may only interact with these families for fifty minutes on a Monday morning, maybe something they see on my tour will stick with them during their collegiate search. Maybe they’ll end up choosing Belmont. And maybe they’ll walk over that bridge every day for four years and remember the first tour they had and how they fell in love with this school and this city.
Will this ever happen? I’m not sure, but I like to think it will. It’s for that person and that moment that I love being a tour guide.
I hope some of y’all will come visit us soon, and maybe I can take you around campus for the very first time!