What I love about Nashville is that (prior to this unusual fall semester) you could recognize those open-top party buses bustling with LED lights and cowboy boots from miles away. This city is exciting for that reason—a celebration is always welcome. But even as Nashville’s guidelines loosen up, our university’s shared mission to “Anchor Down, Step Up!” is as important as ever. These times serve as a reminder to celebrate the smaller moments that hold greater sentiments with our friends.
Whether it is the nostalgia for pumpkin carving or the cravings for apple cider donuts, here are a few ways my friend and I cozied into all that Vanderbilt or the Nashville area has to offer in the fall:
- Picnic on Alumni Lawn: fall weather is the perfect time to grab blankets and spread out before the sun sets and the evening cools. Bring along a few snacks, and the mood is set for good conversation and laughter.
- Gardens of Babylon Landscapes: located near Nashville Farmers’ Market, there are a plethora of plants you can admire and purchase here to care for in your dorm or apartment. Anything from Bonsai trees to Venus flytraps, the greenery is a breath of fresh air.
- Decorate cupcakes: even though shared kitchen spaces are closed for now, you can spread out in the tents (on Peabody or Library lawn) or across open tables and frost cupcakes! It’s a great way to be creative or silly and you get a delicious treat out of it.
- Go on a hike: there are several parks close to campus, including Percy Priest Lake or Radnor Lake State Park, which are perfect for getting outside with a group of friends. It is so revitalizing to take the time to enjoy nature, especially now as we spend most of our time inside to attend classes.
- Stick with your hobbies: once coming to college, it may be more difficult to find time for sports or creative arts if you are not a student athlete or majoring in something related. But especially with online classes this semester, I noticed how people were itching to get outside or release their energy. A friend of mine continues to horseback ride here in Nashville, others find new running trails each weekend, some developed a newfound interest in cooking, another took up pottery, and I also went to the driving range a few times to hit a bucket of balls. So stay active and do what you love.
- Eat your way through Nashville: there are dozens of restaurants within walking distance, and hundreds in close proximity, so this is an obvious one. Find a new place to go every week and you still won’t run out of new places to try!
Even if time is breezing past us this semester, each day is reason enough to find something to celebrate. This city needs no warrant to find fun on the trails or along the streets, so in this unprecedented and socially distant climate, if you want to break out your boots and go on a walk, so be it.