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Earlier this month, New Dawn interviewed and conducted games to 7 couples and best friend pairs to celebrate different forms of love on campus. Each couple or best friend pair volunteered to play the match game and the shoe game. Check out some of the videos below!

Meet the Couples & Best Friends



Alaysha and CJ are juniors who have been together for 2 years. They met officially on the first night at Vanderbilt outside of Memorial Hall. Since then, they have built their relationship on communication, loyalty, trust, honesty, consistency, and love. They enjoy visiting haunted houses, going to amusement parks, watching games shows and comedy, and playing games. Alaysha loves that CJ is very caring and goes above and beyond to support her, surprise her, and keep her grounded. She loves that he is always willing to have meaningful conversation and challenge her to think deeper. CJ makes Alaysha feel loved by taking care of her when her health condition makes her ill, showing support through managing her condition, and supporting all of her big ideas and lifestyle aspirations, such as minimalism. She was surprised to discover the traits she loves and recognizes in her father that CJ carries as well, such as always being willing to learn new things and help with things like her hair and art.

CJ loves that Alaysha is loving and caring all the time. He loves that they can talk about anything, make each other laugh, and have serious conversations without arguments or backlash. Alaysha makes CJ feel loved by always taking time to talk to him when he is stressed or upset, surprising him with gifts, looking out for his best interests, and watching sports with him. He was surprised to find out that she was very adaptable to committing to him and all of his interests. Their favorite memory is the time they spent together last summer when Alaysha was stationed to work in Atlanta; they enjoyed going to Six Flags, going out on dates, and spending time with his family. 

One thing that they think is unique to their relationship is that they became best friends before dating giving themselves months to learn about each other before choosing a relationship start date. Because of this, CJ and Alaysha do not argue, but instead are able to have open and honest conversations where their feelings, perspectives, and beliefs are respected and honored. 

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“He understands and loves me for who I am. He aims to make be better, not different”- Alaysha

“She is always there for me, no matter what is happening”- CJ

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Maia and Simon are seniors who have been best friends for 4 years. They met at Founder’s walk because they both lived in Gillette House. Since then, they have built their friendship on laughter, trust, loyalty, sincerity, honestly, and the occasional play fights. Maia loves that Simon is able to make her laugh no matter what mood she is in. Their favorite memory was when they were driving back to Nashville from Indianapolis and Simon started playing Weak by SWV (one of Maia’s favorite songs) and they both sang their hearts out as if they were auditioning for The Voice. Although they have faced difficulties in their friendship involving being upfront when they are upset, they have been able to remain best friends so much so that even a small glance at one another can trigger a laughing fit. 

“Simon Hart took my Aerie leggings in August 2018 and to this day (Feb. 8, 2020 @3:55pm), I have still not gotten them back. If you see him, please harass him until he gives them back. Thank you :) “- Maia 



Miquéla and Jadyn are both sophomores who have been together for 1.5 years. They met at Vanderbilt and have built their relationship on trust, understanding, loyalty, and communication. They love each other’s ambition towards life and planning out how they will both fulfill their dreams. They show each other love by being attentive to each other’s interests, surprise dates, and being invested in their future. One of their favorite things to do together is for Miquéla to write while Jadyn plays the piano for her. When they're not out, they also love staying in to binge their shows: The Good Place, The Good Doctor and Grown-ish (of course with an order of personal pizzas). Although they have faced difficulties with communicating their emotions, they have learned to open up to one another. 

Their advice to other couples? “Always listen. Communication is key, and understanding each other from a non-accusatory standpoint will go a long way.”

"I like how Miquéla's creative perspectives shape her understanding of the world and how it shapes her interactions with people. Her perspectives help everyone around her broaden their horizons." -Jadyn



Taylor and Danny are seniors who have been dating for 3 years and 2 months. They met at the 2016 Chicken and Waffles event in the Black Cultural Center when Danny approached to say hello. Since then, they have built their relationship on open communication and honesty; their relationship is unique in this way. They do not have immature fights or seek revenge; Above all, they seek to have open and honest conversations to understand one another with “open minds and hearts”. They are also more private with their relationship. They do not seek outside opinions or influences that encourage all relationships to resemble relationships in popular culture.

Although that have faced some difficulties with balancing personal time and relationship desires, their use of open communication has put those difficulties at ease. Danny continues to make Taylor feel loved by showering her with compliments, affection, and his feelings for her. Similarly, Taylor makes Danny feel loved by taking care of him and supporting him. The two love to explore new things together such as restaurants and tv shows. They also love quiet time, soft chill music, and indoor dates, which were all things Taylor was surprised to learn about Danny in addition to him being funny, outgoing, and introverted. On the other hand, Danny was surprised to learn how wise Taylor is. 

When asked what their favorite memory is, they answered:

Taylor: “I took Danny out to eat sushi and then to see the Commodore Orchestra as a surprise. He always talks about how much he loved being in the band in high school. He was so happy, so I was happy that I made him flash his famous Danny smile, as I like to call it. “

Danny: “Last time I was in Montgomery, Taylor’s hometown, was this past summer. I took her to see a Biscuit’s baseball game (their little league team), I got to meet her best friend, and I took her to the best restaurant in town, Central. I had fun talking with her family, and I even took her to the art museum. Taylor loves art museums. It was all around a great time.”

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“I love that Danny is fun-loving and spontaneous. His energy is amazing. Everyone has a good time with Danny." -Taylor

“I love that Taylor has a beautiful soul. She’s the sweetest person and her wisdom about life is beautiful." -Danny

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Erin and Isaiah are juniors who have been together for 2.5 years. They met before their freshman year at Vanderbilt through a mutual friend. They have built their relationship on honesty, open communication, and humor. They enjoy going to the movies, watching TV, playing with their dog-Pepper, and going out to eat. Erin’s favorite memory was deciding to adopt Pepper with Isaiah. They show their love for one another by helping each other with doing various daily tasks and celebrating each other's accomplishments. Erin loves that Isaiah can make her laugh at anytime. Isaiah loves that Erin is someone he can depend on and that they can maintain their individuality and relationship. Although they may face difficulties making their schedules compatible, they make time for one another. 

A fun fact about Erin and Isaiah: Isaiah's aunt was Erin’s 7th grade math teacher!         




Allyson and Jonathan are juniors who have been best friends since a couple weeks into Freshman year. They enjoy binge watching movies and TV shows, going to events on campus, and going out to eat. Although Chili's is Allyson’s favorite restaurant, Jonathan enjoys trying different restaurants and getting Allyson to try new foods.  

The most rewarding thing in their friendship is the consistency of having a best friend to experience college with and having the support system. Jonathan is grateful that Allyson and other close friends are willing to learn about football, learn what it's like to be a student athlete, and show up on game days to be a familiar face in the crowd. Allyson loves that her best friend dedicates time and effort to hang out with her and that he cares about her. Jonathan, in turn, loves that Allyson is personable, a great conversationalist, and that she supports him through difficult times in life. Jonathan’s favorite memory from their friendship so far was when they went to Devil’s Dungeon, a haunted house here in Nashville, freshman year with some of Allyson’s friends from LSU. Allyson’s favorite memory is when her and Jonathan went to the mall of Georgia and the Hawks versus Lakers game in Atlanta over Christmas break. 

Although Allyson and Jonathan have always been platonic and best friends, they highlight how people automatically assume that they are in a romantic relationship. In the beginning, there were a lot of jokes and assumptions aimed at their friendship. Even now, Allyson believes that people are understanding once they realize that their friendship is platonic, but Jonathan believes that it may still be hard for peers to accept platonic friendships.  Outside of college, both of their families understand the nature of their friendship and appreciate that they have someone on campus that cares about them. 

Allyson and Jonathan’s friendship highlights the importance of having platonic friendships and support systems in life across genders. If we automatically assume that they are together, then we are apart of the problem.


“It would be nice if there were never any jokes in the first place...Even if they just asked, instead of just making assumptions, I would've liked the opportunity to at least speak our truth in the beginning, but I feel like people were just so quick to judge.”


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Nia and Lloyd are juniors who have been together for 1 year. They met through mutual friends freshman year and have built their relationship on communication and trust. In their free time, they enjoy getting food together and watching game shows. They love shows like Jeopardy, Family Feud and America Says. Nia loves how supportive Lloyd is with her and how he has helped her open up more. He shows her he loves her through surprise gifts and dates, reassurance, encouraging her when she is stressed, and making sure his actions embody his words. Nia’s favorite memory is when Lloyd surprised her with a helicopter ride of Nashville at night. Lloyd loves Nia’s personality and how encouraging she is as well. His favorite memory is when he was able to meet her mother, grandmother, and dog for the first time. Although they have faced difficulties with communicating, both have been able to open up more and allow each other to offer support and understanding. 


Play the Games at Home!

Shoe Game Questions: Participants will decide who is more likely to do something to see if their answers match. 

  1. What’s your partner’s favorite food?

  2. If your partner can travel anywhere in the world, where would they go?

  3. What’s your partner’s favorite color?

  4. What was your partner’s first job?

  5. What’s something on your partner’s bucket list?

  6. How do you know your partner is upset?

  7. What’s the last 4 digits of your partner’s phone number?

  8. What’s your partner’s all time favorite artist?

  9. What’s your partner’s favorite tv of all time?

  10. What’s your partner’s favorite movie of all time?

  11. How long does your partner take to get ready?

  12. What is your partner’s favorite fast food?

  13. What’s your partner’s worst fear?

  14. What would make your partner feel like a failure?

  15. Who is your partner’s celebrity crush?

  16. What makes your partner’s flesh crawl?

  17. What is something your partner will not eat under any circumstances?

  18. What’s your partner’s favorite store?

  19. What’s one thing your partner would have to have on a stranded island (besides you)?

  20. What is your partner’s favorite thing to do?

  21. What is your partner’s favorite child-like game?

  22. What was your partner’s favorite game as a child?

  23. What’s your partner’s worst injury?

  24. What is your partner’s worst habit?

  25. What is your partner’s spirit animal?

  26. What is your partner’s pet peeve?

  27. What is your partner’s guilty pleasure?

Match Game: Participant A will answer the question for themselves and Participant B will answer the question for Participant A to see if their answers match.


  1. Who is more likely to be dramatic?

  2. Who is more likely to be happy all the time?

  3. Who is more likely to be confrontational?

  4. Who is more likely to spend their last dollar on the other person?

  5. Who is more likely to get a tattoo?

  6. Who is more likely to embarrass themselves?

  7. Who takes more risks?

  8. Who is more likely to admit they were wrong?

  9. Who is more likely to be afraid of heights?

  10. Who is more sensitive?

  11. Who takes more time in the shower?

  12. Who is more competitive?

  13. Who is the boss in the relationship?

  14. Who holds liquor better?

  15. Who is the pickier eater?

  16. Who is the better tipper?

  17. Who is more clumsy?

  18. Who is funnier?

  19. Who is more likely to arrive on time?

  20. Who procrastinates more?

  21. Who takes up more of the bed?

  22. Who is more likely to get lost?

  23. Who is the better dancer?

  24. Who lies the most?

  25. Who is more indecisive?

  26. Who falls asleep faster?

  27. Who uses their phone the most?

  28. Who’s more likely to have a dirtier mind?

  29. Who has more twisted thoughts?

  30. Who is more impulsive?

  31. Who gets offended easier?

  32. Who is more likely to clean up for the other person?

  33. Who is more likely to dress up for a picture?

  34. Who is more likely to play a prank?

  35. Who is more introverted?

  36. Who is more likely to debate?

  37. Who is more distracting?

  38. Who gets frustrated quicker?

  39. Who is more forgetful?

  40. Who is more aware of their surroundings?

  41. Who is more likely to laugh at a bad time?

  42. Who is more likely to laugh at corny jokes

  43. Who is more likely to get gifts at the last minute?