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Freshman move-in questions

minoafrauminoafrau Registered User Posts: 519 Member
edited January 2008 in Vanderbilt University
I know this is early but . . .
Can any current students who live too far to drive to Nashville share suggestions on how you got/get all your stuff to college? Is it possible to ship boxes and have them held? Or did you wait and buy the stuff for you room once you got there? And can you store any of it there over the summer?

Also, how does Vanderbilt do orientation? Is it when you get there in August or do you come earlier in the summer?
Post edited by minoafrau on

Replies to: Freshman move-in questions

  • frazzled1frazzled1 Registered User Posts: 5,568 Senior Member
    My daughter will be a senior at Vanderbilt next year. She tells me that the orientation process will be changed extensively, in part because of the new freshman commons experience. There used to be an elective (but recommended) academic orientation weekend, which was held at different times during the late spring and early summer and included some placement testing - that's apparently no longer the case. There were also some elective outdoor pre-orientation bonding experiences, which my d did not do (and didn't miss, either).

    Vanderbilt excels at how it handles the freshman experience, including move-in. If all goes right, the heavy lifting and hauling is handled by very spirited and friendly Vandy students - far better than having my 50-year-old rear dragging boxes up 4 flights of stairs in 90-plus degrees! Freshmen are broken into small groups and assigned to a VUceptor, who acts as a mentor throughout the semester. There is a full range of orientation activities, social and academic, including trips to Nashville landmarks and a formal signing of the honor code. My d thinks that everything will now be handled during the week immediately preceding classes.

    Vandy has a very responsive Parent's Office that would be glad to answer your questions. I imagine many details are still unresolved, of course. The phone helpline is 1-877-887-2736; the email is parents@vanderbilt.edu .

    We live 900 miles from Vandy (near a town named Minoa, in fact - maybe we're neighbors :)). We drove our d the first two years and kind of enjoyed it. She now has her own car and drove herself last year. It's a 15 hour drive (14 hours going and 16 returning because of the time change), which we usually break into two days and call our "vacation." There are many students who fly instead, so I'm sure there's a procedure in place to hold items. You also can hit the nearby Target or Wal-Mart when you get there, but they get crazy early and have been known to run out of things. You can store three items over the summer - my d usually stores her fridge, futon, and an enormous bin crammed with heavy stuff.
  • midmomidmo Registered User Posts: 3,720 Senior Member
    You can store three items over the summer - my d usually stores her fridge, futon, and an enormous bin crammed with heavy stuff.

    Really? That is great to know. We were going to ask a friend in Nashville to stick my son's fridge somewhere at his house for the summer.

    If it happens, I think the move to doing orientation the week before school is probably a good idea. My son went to the summer orientation last year, but many students have jobs that make it difficult to find the time. Also, as Vanderbilt attracts more and more students from distant places, the travel expenses are an additional burden.
  • VandyManiac1228VandyManiac1228 Registered User Posts: 129 Junior Member
    Another recommendation I have for far-travelers -- I flew down to school with my family. Basically the only thing I took on the plane with me was my clothes and my laptop computer (and printer). The rest of the items I purchased once I got to nashville... the best piece of advice i got regarding purchasing was to go to the nearest bed bath and beyond to your home and do their college registry purchasing. This allows you to go around the store with a scan-gun or whatever the technical name of it is and scan in every item you'd like to "purchase". Then, you have that item list sent to the Nashville store of your choice and when you get to Nashville, all of your stuff is ready at that store AND BOXED UP, which is perfect for move in day. I HIGHLY recommend taking advantage of this feature. I think we paid for it in Nashville, but they gave us the subtotal at home so I knew how much to expect to pay.

    Also, I don't know if it was mentioned above but starting next year, there will be a required week-long orientation for new freshman beginning the week before classes start, as opposed to the traditional move-in on the saturday before classes.
  • minoafrauminoafrau Registered User Posts: 519 Member
    Thanks for the Bed, Bath and Beyond suggestion. Is there a Target nearby?
  • minoafrauminoafrau Registered User Posts: 519 Member
    Vandymaniac--one more question.

    So what happened to all that stuff you bought at the end of the year? How did you get it home and then back again the following year? Or do you store it somewhere?
  • novice07novice07 Registered User Posts: 110 Junior Member
    Yes, there are 2 Target stores within 5 or so miles from the campus. BB&Beyond is a bit further away but being able to buy in advance and have the stuff boxed and waiting is great! I suggest you don't wait until move in weekend to buy important items....many of the stores get hit hard during that time and are sold out of popular items and choices are very limited.
  • BridieBridie Registered User Posts: 277 Junior Member
    my son has stored everything but his clothes for the past few summers. He gets tog. with another student and they rent a space in a storage facility nearby. After freshman year, he chose to store with one place that came to the dorms on a certain day and picked everything up, then redelivered it on move in weekend. After soph year, he had a car, so just chose the least expensive place.

    also, the summer before he started, we did ship down alot of his bulky stuff--like his bedding, cds and dvds etc.--we bought him a new tv and had that shipped directly to the school. On move-in day, there was a pick up location and that all went smoothly. We also purchased some items thru the vanderbilt bookstore (they send a mailing about this)-such as a lamp, crates, bed risers, microwave etc.--and that was also available to pick up at a central location. It was all pretty easy.
  • 2VU06092VU0609 Registered User Posts: 3,067 Senior Member
    I've done freshman move-in twice. I'm sure it will be a little different this year with the big move to The Commons. One thing that is likely to stay the same is that it will be one of the hottest days of the year! I live just a few hours away and did not stay overnight when S moved in. When D moved in, I needed to deliver some stuff to S who had moved in two days earlier than that Saturday designated for freshman move in and so D & I spent Friday night in Nashville before moving her in. If you aren't completely cleaned out in your checking account after paying tuition, etc. try to book a room close to campus so you can make a trip back to your room for a shower mid-day before the Founder's Walk and any parent activities. You'll feel so much better! Founder's Walk is supposed to be a really neat activity and I only wish it had been held on move-in Saturday for my kids, but it was on Tuesday night before classes started when S participated in the inaugural walk. The faculty dress in academic regalia and the upperclassmen also line the route and cheer for the new freshman class as they enter the gates for the beginning of their academic career. On Senior Day (the day before Commencement), the class takes the opposite walk and leaves the gates prior to hearing their guest speaker (Vanderbilt's tradition is that the Chancellor always delivers the commencement speech; a special guest speaks at Senior Day. For S's graduation, it was Laura Bush).
    You should make reservations at a nearby hotel as soon as your student gets the acceptance letter (you can always cancel if they decide on another school!) and be prepared to pay a pretty penny. Rates naturally increase at nearby hotels for move-in, commencement, and parents weekend. I have never stayed at Lowes across from Vandy/Barnard (dorms near the admissions office), but have witnessed on more than one occasion the parade of bellmen pushing their carts across the street to deliver a new student's belongings to his/her dorm! Vanderbilt does a wonderful job of welcoming freshmen and their families and I'm sure that part of move-in will stay the same.
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