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Packing it In


Jae Maeng

In a little over one month, you’ll be moving into the great city of Nashville, Tennessee. For the next four years, you’ll call Vanderbilt home for the next year, the Commons will be your home. Like every good home, you’ll need things to make your stay as comfortable as possible. From my past 2 years as a Vanderbilt student, I will go over a couple items that you’ll want to bring with you to campus.

Core Items
These are your essential items that you will most definitely want to bring to campus.

  1. Clothes
    No brainer, right? Wrong. Apart from your standard clothing that you’ll wear to class you will definitely want to bring some kind of formal wear since you’ll want to look nice for some events such as interviews/formals/orientation events. Its always good to have formal wear just in case. Also, I recommend either an umbrella or rain jacket (I prefer a rain jacket), Nashville weather is unpredictable.
  2. Posters
    The walls of your room will look extremely bland if you have nothing hanging up. Go buy some posters or flags so you can lighten up your room and show that you have interests and hobbies.
  3. Mattress Foam
    Trust me on this, there’s no better feeling then coming home from a long night out (at the library) and lying down to sleep… on a cloud. It’s like being in heaven without the dying part. Everyone will be jealous of you
  4. Coffee Machine
    Sooner or later, you’ll discover black gold in coffee. It’s the one thing that will make 8am classes bearable and once you become dependent on it, you’ll be thanking me for suggesting you buy a coffee machine. They’re fairly cheap (I bought mine for around $20) and they’ll save you plenty of money in the long-run.
  5. Laundry Hamper
    If you’re like me, you’ll soon realize that doing laundry is the second worst thing in the world (the first being mosquitoes), having a pop-up hamper where you can put all your dirty clothes will save a lot of hassle when it comes time to do the dreaded deed.
  6. Black and Gold
    Make James Franklin, our savior, proud by representing Vandy as much as possible
  7. Sperrys
    Once you step onto Vanderbilt’s campus, you will soon find out that sperrys are a staple part of one’s wardrobe. I think they’re called also called boat shoes? Almost everyone has a pair and you can wear them with almost anything. Plus, they’re pretty comfy.

Situational Items
These items depend on certain situations and is different for each person

  1. Appliances/Electronics
    The most necessary is the fridge. You WILL want a fridge in your room, this part is not circumstantial. Rather, who brings a fridge is. You don’t want nor need two fridges in your dorm room. As long as you get a decent sized fridge, you and your roommate should be able to share the space. To make things fair, you’ll want to delegate who buys what such as one buys the fridge, the other buys a microwave. Televisions are always a nice addition to a room.
  2. Furniture
    Each room comes with a desk and a chair for each student. Whether you want a small couch/futon to go in your room is completely up to you. However, if you plan on lowering your beds to ground level, you will most likely not have space for furniture. This is completely optional, talk with your roommate.
  3. Bike
    Since Freshmen year, I have had a bike on campus. There are plenty of places to lock up a bike (thou I do recommend a U-lock rather than a chain lock) so you’ll feel pretty safe about it. It is a nice commodity to have especially if you’re running late to class. However, I have found that it is not necessary. I’ve had classes that are on opposite ends of campus and have still managed to make the trek within the 10 minutes allocated for back to back classes. It is a manageable walk as long as you don’t get side-tracked. Although, I cannot speak for Blair majors as their campus is a bit further away.
  4. Sporting Equipment
    Vanderbilt Freshmen compete in the Commons Cup during their year competing in various activities, many of them being sports such as soccer, flag football, volleyball, dodgeball etc. Also, intramural sports are a fun way to meet people while getting your daily exercise. If you play soccer, bring your cleats.
  5. Headphones
    It can get loud even during the late hours of the night. If you want to work, but don’t want to go to the library, invest in a good pair of headphones to drown out any distractions
  6. Boots
    Contrary to popular belief, not everyone wears boots in Nashville.

That’s all I can think of for now, if I remember anything else that is crucial, I’ll be sure to let you all know. In the meantime, get ready for the best four years of your life. Also, some of the items I mentioned, you don’t have to bring it from home you can buy it online and have it sent to your Vanderbilt address once you are on campus. That will save the hassle from having to carry it with you if you’re coming from afar. Amazon lets students use their Vanderbilt.edu emails to sign up for Amazon Prime which I’ve found to be super useful to get stuff sent very quickly. Instead of waiting a week for that Taylor Swift poster, you can get it in 2 days. Oh joy.


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