These last few months have not always been easy. As we approach the last challenge of our first semester at Vanderbilt – finals week – let’s take a moment to remember all the things that made the transition to college life a bit more difficult. So here are the Top 5 Worst Parts of the Fall Semester: may we leave them in the past where they belong.
5. Campus Dining
You knew this was going to make the list. We were told Vanderbilt had some of the best dinging in the country, but our experience during the first semester did not live up to the hype. Between long lines and limited options, this is a part of my experience I would rather move on from.
4. The T-Shirt Line
I am going all the way back to our first weekend here for this one but, I think it is still worth noting. Waiting in line in the hot, humid air for over an hour on a weekend when we were all extremely busy was not the best use of time. The worst part was that after standing there for that long period of time, all we did was pull some ink across a shirt and watch it dry. Yes, we stood in the heat for hours just so we could literally watch paint dry. It is no wonder why this activity made it on this list.
3. The Squirrels
I do not care how cute you think the squirrels are, they are little monsters. At first I thought they were adorable and harmless, but I was wrong. They are aggressive and vicious and arrogant. Just the other day, one of them looked me dead in the eyes and started yelling at me from inside a recycling bin. They have no fear, and I am confident they are plotting something terrible.
2. Laundry Wars
No matter what side of this conflict you were on, you suffered. Whether someone removed your laundry from the dryer while it was still wet, or you had to wait a half hour to put your clothes in the wash because someone else had not taken them out yet, we all paid the price for a limited number of washers and dryers. Even those of us who washed our clothes at non-peak times still dealt with the weekly passive-aggressive laundry-related messages in the house group chats that defined Sunday afternoons. None of us came out clean on the other side of this one.
Many of us grew up in a very different climate than that of Tennessee. Combine that with Nashville’s constant oscillation between 40 and 70 degree days and you have a perfect storm for a lot of bad allergies. Many of us spent much of the semester feeling under the weather which detracted from our school and social lives. If feeling a little bit sick is not enough, thanks to COVID there was always an extra moment of panic every time you sneezed with the thought crossing your mind: “Will I be locked in quarantine for two weeks?” It is sad enough when someone gets sick; they should not have to worry about their academic and social lives too.
So here’s to a healthier semester, a semester with more choices and less lines in our dining halls, and a semester without aggressive laundry messages and even more aggressive rodents. So let us celebrate the end of the Fall Semester and the beginning of something better. I look forward to seeing y’all in the new year.