Packing for Vandy 101
There are a lot of things to check-off from your to-do list before arriving on campus, and packing for college was definitely on top of the list. Living in a dorm room is not quite the same as living in your own house. While you do want to make sure that you buy and pack all the essential things, you don’t want to over-shop and over-pack (like I did!).
Here are some tips I have about shopping and packing for your wardrobe and dorm room:
- Nashville’s weather is quite unpredictable. An extreme case: one week in the spring semester, I wore shorts on Monday and a North Face jacket on Thursday. So you will need a good mix of summer and winter clothes.
- Invest in rain gear. It rains frequently in Nashville, so keep an umbrella in your backpack always. I also got a good pair of rain boots which proved to be very useful, even in the winter when the pathways were covered in ice.
- Although you will wear casual clothes most days, there are some events for which you will have to dress up (the Commons Ball, some House mix-ups, Greek events), so bring a couple of formal clothes and shoes.
- I ended up bringing more pairs of shoes (read heels) than I needed, so don’t go overboard in packing those. Remember, you will have to walk most of the time: focus on comfort first.
- Don’t underestimate Nashville’s winters. Although we’re in the south and it’s much warmer here, we do experience some bouts of extremely cold weather, so be prepared for that.
- The majority of the students do their own laundry, so make sure you have enough clean clothes to last you for a week at least.
- Not really a tip but during the first few weeks (and then in some events around the year) you get to collect many free T-shirts. I literally had 10 of them after my first year!
- You will be provided with basic furniture, and to be honest, you won’t really have space to keep additional things like a futon/ extra table etc.
- I recommend buying desk and closet organizers to be efficient and create extra space. I also used scented desk liners that lasted me the whole year and made my desks smell fresh every time I opened them.
- You will absolutely need a table lamp (all nighters are an unpleasant reality in desperate times). Sometimes, portable lamps can also be useful if you want to stay in bed and read something (for lazy people like me!). As for lighting, I am used to a lot of light when I’m studying (my eyesight isn’t my strongest feature), and I found my room to be a bit dim for my taste. So I also bought one of these lamps. They were a 100% worth it. I also troubled my parents with hanging pretty string lights that look great on Pinterest. I hardly ever lit them (sorry dad!)
- Definitely buy/rent a fridge. It’s useful for storing leftovers, takeaways and most importantly, frozen food from Munchie Mart. I also used my roommate’s microwave a lot, and many people had one too. Although there are microwaves in your House kitchen, it’s so much more convenient to buy a $50-$60 microwave from Target. I would recommend sharing appliances with your roommate (I bought the fridge and my roommate bought the microwave).While most students use laptops to watch shows and movies, sometimes it’s nice to have a small TV. While I didn’t watch TV a lot (websites such as Netflix and Xfinity Comcast had everything I wanted), my roommate watched a lot of TV shows. So it depends on your preferences completely.
- Candles are not allowed, so it’s nice to buy some air fresheners ( I had these) that keep your room smelling nice and fresh. Sometimes, a simple Febreze isn’t enough.
- The walls are very bare, so it’s nice to get some posters and wall hangings that brighten up your room. There is a poster sale on campus that happens in the first few weeks.
- Bring lots of 3M command strips. They are lifesavers for hanging a variety of things.
- Get a couple of extension boards. There are not enough power outlets in the room.
- Stock up on nutrition bars and snacks. Buy one of those mega packs that will last you for a long time. I always became hungry between meal periods, and studying only exacerbated the situation. It’s always good to have some food in your room at all times.