OPINION: New on campus? Tips to help you survive
Welcome to Belmont! Whether you are a new freshman or a sophomore who has never stepped foot on our campus before, here are some important hacks about life at Belmont you might not know. From the quietest bathrooms on campus to the tourist spots in Nashville you may want to avoid, here are a few fast facts to help kick off the semester.
Learn where the Nashville tourists go: And then don’t go there on the weekends. Don’t let the glamorous-looking Instagram posts fool you, many popular tourist spots in Nashville aren’t worth the hype. A night on Broadway will cost about half of your tuition for the semester, and the crowds are intense and rowdy no matter the day of the week. There are a number of great destinations on 12th Avenue South, just beware of bachelorette parties crowding the sidewalks on Saturday mornings. Everyone and their mother will tell you to go get breakfast in Hillsboro Village (or queue up in front of Pancake Pantry at 6:00 a.m.), but trust us, you are much better off stopping by Bongo Java or Portland Brew for a coffee and a pastry in the mornings. Nashville has so many underrated local spots, so toss the tour guide and try someplace off the beaten path.
We’re a basketball school: There’s no football at Belmont, but we do have Division I basketball, and we take our hoops very seriously. Both the men’s and the women’s teams are perennial contenders for March Madness, so if you’re ever in need of a boost of school spirit, head over to the Curb Event Center to catch a game. When the bear statue next to the Foutch Alumni House is decked out in its Bruins jersey, you’ll know there’s a home game that day!
Hit WELL Core hard this year: As you may know, you need up to 60 WELL Core hours (you may also hear them called “Convos” by older students) to graduate. Check those off ASAP — by sophomore year if you can. Do your service hours first, since those are often the trickiest and most time-consuming to get. After that, BruinLink is a great place to look for upcoming WELL Core events in whichever categories you need.
Don’t park in the “Visitor” parking spots: Belmont Security moves fast, and you might find yourself saddled with a $100 parking ticket before you can say “it was only five minutes.” If you have a student parking pass on your car, make sure you don’t accidentally park in any of the reserved spaces on campus. Little known fact: you can actually appeal several types of Belmont parking violations to avoid a fine, but this isn’t one of them. Speaking of parking advice, keep an ear out for bands practicing in the depths of Belmont’s garages. You never know — you might run into the next big underground act.
Make use of the campus lawns: On a sunny afternoon, a picnic blanket is your best friend. Get out and enjoy the nice weather while it lasts; snack, study, play Spikeball or listen to the dulcet sounds of 37 people playing acoustic guitar at any given moment.
Corner Court is the best place to eat on campus: This is simply a universal truth, like gravity.
The best bathrooms on campus: Is nature calling? Two words — Johnson or Gabhart. These glorious halls of porcelain thrones are clean, spacious and generally empty.
We hope these handy hacks will help your semester start off on the right foot!
Your friends at the Belmont Vision
This article was written by Anna Jackson and Sarah Maninger. Photo by Sarah Maninger.