So I Heard You Got Into Vandy – A Brief FAQ
First off, CONGRATULATIONS! I hope you’re as excited about Vanderbilt as I was when I found out I was accepted, that fateful day just under a year ago. But that’s a story for another post…
Whether you’re 100% sold on Vanderbilt, or still on the fence, I’m sure you have like a million questions about what your life might be like here. And the truth is, even after visiting campus, talking to current students, and reading every single blog ever posted on Inside ‘Dores, you still might not know exactly what life is like here. Life at Vanderbilt is pretty difficult to conceptualize without just living it.
And on some level, that’s okay. That’s part of the new and exciting part of college – having no idea what’s in store for you, and being excited about it anyway. Still, if you’re anything like me, a little more information might be nice. With this is mind, I’ve put together a little FAQ of information I wish I could have found when I was considering Vanderbilt last year.
Q: What will my room look like?
A: Truth is, all of the dorms are going to look different, and even within each house there is a lot of variation. You won’t find out where you’re living until early August (I know, I know. So much anticipation), so there’s not much use in trying to figure out your exact room layout. What I can tell you is that all of the houses are beautiful and I’m willing to bet you will love wherever you end up.
For reference, here’s my room in Memorial House. In comparison to other dorms on campus, it’s on the smaller side, but I’ve never really felt the need for more space.
Q: Does your room actually look like that, or did you clean it just for the sake of that picture?
A: No comment.
Q: What do people do on the weekends at Vanderbilt?
A: There isn’t enough time in the world for me to list all of the options that are available on any given weekend. Here are a list of the things that I know are going on this weekend:
-Memaroo, a Bonnaroo-inspired music festival sponsored by the best little house on Commons (that’s Memorial House if you didn’t catch that)
-Stream Cleaning service project with Vanderbilt CKI
–Commons Cup soccer tournament
–VU Concert Choir spring concert
-Memorial House hiking at Radnor Lake
-VandyMake festival, an event to showcase cool engineering and design projects
-InVUsion, a cultural festival run by the Multicultural Leadership Council
…The list goes on. And these are just the ones I know about. Moral of the story: there are a lot of things to do at Vanderbilt, both on the weekdays and on the weekends. You won’t be bored, I promise.
Q: Do I have to do my own laundry?
A: Maybe. There is a laundry service you can pay for, called VanLaundry, where you can drop off your laundry at a van located conveniently outside your dorm, and have it returned to you all fresh and clean. If you don’t want to do that, you get to go to the laundry room! Good times. It’s actually not hard at all – there are laundry rooms in almost all of the dorms. Even if you live in a dorm without a laundry room (trust me, I live in one), the walk is very, very short.
Q: Wait, but I’ve never done laundry before.
A: The first time I did laundry this year, I tried to put my clothes in the drier before putting them in the washer. And now I am fairly competent. True story. You’ll learn.
Q: What classes should I take at Vanderbilt?
A: Here comes the fun part. I am going to give you a link, but I must warn you that you may not want to click on it if you have a lot of homework you should be doing right now. Okay? Okay good. Here it is. This link will take you to a magical land called YES, where you can plan out your schedule for hours, only to realize that there are like 20 more classes you want to take, scrap the entire thing, and start from scratch. Or maybe that’s just me. Regardless, it might be fun to take a look at all of your options for next year.
Q: I thought you said this FAQ was going to be brief?
A: Yeah, I lied. I’m not very good at being brief.
A: Yes, lots of it. As a first year, you get 21 meals a week, aka 3 meals a day. Which is very important because you are going to want to take advantage of breakfast at Commons while you still can. Basically what happens is you get a (wonderful, beautiful) ID card called a Commodore Card when you arrive on Move-In Day. This card is used to get into buildings, sign into events, and most importantly, get delicious food at one of many diverse campus dining options. With each “meal swipe,” you get one thing labeled an “entrée” (pizza, burger, large salad, quesadillas, SMOOTHIES), and 2-3 sides, depending on where you are. It’s a pretty good deal.
Q: What do I have to do to fit in at Vanderbilt?
A: Be passionate and willing to try new things. That’s literally all I have for you. Social life has never been my strong suit and I will admit that I was a little bit terrified about coming to Vanderbilt. In the time leading up to sending in my deposit, I probably read every article on the entire Internet about social life at Vanderbilt, trying to figure out if I would be able to find my place here. My advice: trust the admissions counselors when they say that they would not have admitted you if they didn’t believe that you were a good fit for this campus. I don’t just feel this “fit” with my friends, either. I feel it with the people I meet in class, or at my tutoring jobs, or while waiting in line for a sandwich at Rand. If you decide to come to Vanderbilt, you will be just fine.
That might be it for now. BUT if you have a question you didn’t see answered here, send me ALL THE QUESTIONS at firstname.lastname@example.org. If it’s a really good question, I might even answer it on the blog.