Finding Your Creative Freak on Campus

Finding Your Creative Freak on Campus

As I walked back to Commons on a fine fall afternoon, there it was, a strip of trees! However this was not just any couplet of trees, it showered —no, dare I say… tinkled—on its unsuspecting passersby with leaves (imagine a firehose dunking on a building but much less violent). It was then that it dawned on me. If I walked through this cascade, would I look like those glorified Beyoncé shots where the wind is constantly billowing in my hair? So of course I turned on my Lady Gaga playlist and started to catwalk through the 2 meter stretch of sidewalk, turning my head left and right to pose for an invisible camera. It was a fleeting feeling, but that main character moment was perhaps one of my most spontaneous, yet enjoyable, experiences of the season. In a bout of creative fervor, I hustled my way back to my dorm, eager to embody Spongebob when he famously said “Write that down! Write that down!” 

In my dorm, I created something. I can not say I know what it was that I made, but it sure was *creative* (stick with me here). Now, the question I never asked,—but let us all assume I did— where might I ever submit this dandy piece of creative work? Not a discreet plug, but The Vanderbilt Review accepts submissions for its blog and website year-round. In the spirit of unironic freshman giving advice, I have compiled a list of a few locations on campus where you can get your creative freak on when you get back to campus!

  • Your dorm, perhaps the quietest place (or the loudest) to work. If you can get comfortable, writing will feel much more enjoyable
  • Suzies, coffeeshop vibes. I prefer the quieter bustle of MRB Suzies, but Central Suzies is there for the louder background noise. I am not sure why, but every time I sit down and write something at a Suzies I write about crystals and winter
  • Central, the go-to study hub for students who love tighter spaces. Those 8 floors make my claustrophobia skyrocket, but perhaps you might find inspiration surrounded by books?
  • Rand, on some hours it feels like a slightly louder Central, on others, like the bird exhibit in a zoo. It gives off coffee shop vibes but with booths and nice cushions if you can nab spots. One of my favorite spots for writing about materialistic things (and zoos for some odd reason)
  • Sarratt, conjoined with Rand, is the hub of many student organizations. Sometimes a little quiet, you may find yourself falling asleep. This is a great spot for freewriting if you find yourself stuck
  • Buttrick, great for stealing a seminar room. Make sure you go before 5 pm as they lock the inner doors past 5. I think of it as the language hub, but the pretty architecture is sure to give some people inspiration for writing about places
  • Commons, where the freshman and villagers are located (‘villagers’ is a nod to those that live in the “Villages at Vanderbilt”). If you are coming to Commons, grab yourself a seat in the corners of the second-floor cafeteria. Due to the darker ambiance, you might surprise yourself with what you write
  • Mayborn, underrated gem. Located behind Commons in the Magnolia Circle, Mayborn is perfect for vibing in a more modern setting. The lighter tone of the building is great for writing about something refreshing or joyous
  • Cohen, another underrated gem. Located on the Peabody strip next to the administration building, it is the art museum of the campus. However, behind the art museum portion of the building lie quainter regions where you may find yourself enjoying the secluded ambiance. I find this place perfect for just about any occasion
  • Anywhere outside, nature. That is about it. Go touch grass. I like sitting outside of Wilson, but anywhere where you are closer to foliage works wonders for writing from different perspectives

Honorable mention:

  •  Stevenson 4309, where the tears of anguished Gen Chem students rest under your a**—censored for my freshmen minors out there (the representation you never knew you did not need)

My list is not comprehensive, but it gives you a general starting point for places you could consider when writing in the future. I understand that some crazy professors sometimes assign work thinking that you only have that one class, but if you can, jot down words or write a small haiku if anything to get your brain going. Of course, I was jesting about some professors being crazy(?). Anyways, I hope that the upcoming weeks treat you well. Perhaps you can find some time to go explore your creative boundaries!

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