“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.
Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You're doing things you've never done before, and more importantly, you're Doing Something.
So that's my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody's ever made before. Don't freeze, don't stop, don't worry that it isn't good enough, or it isn't perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.
Whatever it is you're scared of doing, Do it.
Make your mistakes, next year and forever.”
We seek to model curious minds, through intellectual engagements with diverse and challenging thinkers, informal interactions that protect the time and space for residents to recognize both their commonalities and differences, and curated programming that enables residents to question their beliefs in a safe and responsive community. In 2017-2018, notable opportunities to support this included our Around The World Food Tour, at which residents prepared traditional foods from their cultures, our Media and Minority dialogue, a conversation on images of race in the media, prior to a group outing to the premiere of "Black Panther," and our Crawmazing Race, through which students toured locations of historical and cultural significance on bus, bike or foot throughout Nashville.
We care for each other and contribute to a community in which residents' social and emotional lives are valued equally to their academic ones. We believe that the first year experience should be rich with opportunities to develop and change who we are and what we intend to become, and acknowledge that growth includes a loss of what we were before. We seek to support each other through this transition with shared compassion. While 2017-2018 brought unique challenges to the VU community, Crawford tried to respond to the mental health needs of our residents by hosting visits from campus partners, floor-based dialogues with the FHOH, and regular stress-management group activities, including our full-house Capture the Flag event and our participation in the Hatcher Dairy FarmStrong 5K.
We believe that authentic learning is generated from great risk: of failure, of embarrassment, of discomfort, and of loss. We believe that in order to learn, one must first feel open to what is unknown, and that learning, in that perspective, requires courage and daring. We enable courageous risk-taking by securing strong community ties, welcoming challenging perspectives into the house, modeling playfulness, and walking with each other in missteps.