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Belmont University | Belief in Something Greater

Ashley Jackson

Name: Reena Patel
Year: Junior
Major/Minor: Honors Political Science/Sociology
Hometown: Pleasant View, TN

Why did you choose Belmont?
My sister went to Belmont before I did, so I was already familiar with the school. I knew that Belmont was academically challenging, which is what I was really looking for in a college. Not only that, I fell in love with the atmosphere at Belmont. The people here are genuine and unique. I feel as if I grow academically through my classes but also as a person from the people I interact with here at Belmont.

Why did you choose to be a Tour Guide?
I chose to be a Tour Guide because I knew I wanted to become an integral part of Belmont University. I am constantly amazed by the people at this University every day, and it is my hope that I can share my love for Belmont by being a Tour Guide. I became a Tour Guide because I want prospective students to have a college click with them, and for them to know in their hearts that a school is right for them. Belmont clicked for me, and this is my home. I hope that through being a Tour Guide, prospective students will be able to have that same moment that I did with Belmont. I’m also one of the best backward walkers you’ll ever see (not really, I’m actually really clumsy). 

What is your favorite on-campus event?
My favorite on-campus event is definitely Culture Fest! Culture Fest is when the different cultural organizations on this campus come together to highlight each culture we represent. I’m part of the South Asian Middle Eastern Association, which is a multicultural group here on campus. During Culture Fest, a group of us perform a Bollywood dance and I find so much joy in it. It’s a special thing for me to share my culture with the people here at Belmont. I’m also Vice President of HOPE Council, which is a chartered organization on campus that sponsors Culture Fest, so it is very near and dear to my heart.

What is your favorite movie?
This is always a hard question. I’ve always been one of those people who really can’t decide on a favorite movie, or color, or food. I just really love everything. If I had to pick, I would have to say She’s The Man, because that never gets old, or any Disney movie because Disney is life. I also have watched Crazy Stupid Love about 5000 times.

What is your favorite song & artist/band?
This is also a hard question because I basically love all kinds of music, except country which is a little silly since I live in Nashville. My favorite artist is Kendrick Lamar. Seriously, he is a mastermind and I have so much respect for him. I’m not kidding when I say Kendrick is life. If you love Kendrick as much as I do, let’s chat. I can’t really pick a favorite song from all of Kendrick’s albums because they all hold a different meaning, but are still so good.  I also really love Bollywood music. A lot.

What would you want to be your last meal on earth?
Wow, this is a serious question. Food is the love of my life, more specifically Nutella. I once lived without Nutella, and I don’t know how I did it. As for my last meal on earth, I would definitely say anything cooked by my grandma. Nothing beats grandma’s cooking (you can tell I’m from the south when I say that). Or pizza, because that’s the love of my life. But really, I would need some Taco Bell before I died because that’s my soulmate.

What is your favorite Nashville experience?
I actually live 30 minutes away from Nashville, so unlike most incoming freshmen, I was familiar with the city before I came to Belmont. The best thing about Nashville is the fact that you can always find something new to do. You think you’ve experienced all of Nashville, and then you find something new and exciting to do. It’s a city that never gets old. My favorite Nashville experience would have to be the tons of coffee shops that I end up in. Just when you think you found your favorite one, another one pops up. 

What is your dream career after graduating from Belmont?
Being a Political Science major, I’m intending to go to law school although I’m not sure what field of law I want to specialize in. I would love to work in D.C. for a few years, doing policy work and advocacy, which being a lawyer will help me have the tools I need in order to do so. I know that I have a drive and passion for serving others, so as long as I am doing that, I will be happy.

What is your favorite class that you have taken at Belmont and why?
My favorite class so far has been American Political Institutions. It was incredibly interesting to look at each political body and analyze their structure and function through an academic lense. The professor for that class is amazing, and I definitely felt more knowledgeable after being in his class.

If you could go back in time and give advice about college to 16-17 year old you, what would you say?
I’d tell myself to be ready to face the responsibility of college. While college is a time of truly becoming who you are, it is important to remember your purpose at college. I think it’s easy to forget your purpose at college, and quite often, your purpose becomes lost because you as a person become lost. But, that’s the beauty of college. You lose yourself, but then you find yourself again, even better than before. So I would tell my 16-17 year old self to embrace the college life as it goes on. Embrace the challenges. Embrace the difficulties. Embrace the friendships. Embrace the experiences. Embrace yourself.