Parents’ Weekend is an exciting time for parents and students alike. For students, it’s an opportunity to show their parents the resources and possibilities that Vanderbilt offers. For parents, it’s an opportunity to see the resources and possibilities that Vanderbilt’s tuition covers. Of course, some places are less savory than others, and there are seven spots in particular that you should avoid this weekend.
Greek Row During a Tailgate
Your parents probably think you spend the majority of your weekends in the library. It’s probably best to preserve that impression by avoiding Greek Row altogether on game day so that your parents don’t see what you really do on the weekends. You don’t want to spend the weekend trying to convince your mom that you’ve never participated in the SEC tradition of getting drunk on Natural Ice at 10 a.m. on a Saturday. Even if your parents really want to see the tailgates, it’s probably best to stay away. That is, unless you want to see your 50 year-old dad reliving his college days and your mom chatting up a frat guy 20 years her junior.
Towers are some of Vanderbilt’s oldest and most beloved dorms. Your parents will surely appreciate the sparse amenities and aging rooms. However, they probably won’t appreciate the pervasive smell or the sight of Towers residents drunkenly wandering to and from pregames and tailgates. If you don’t live in Towers, dodge the experience. If you do live in Towers, tell your parents you live on the 14th floor and the elevator is broken.
Rite Aid may be a convenient stop for all your basic needs, but if your family needs to pick up anything, take them elsewhere. You really don’t want to weave through the mob of frat guys stocking up on beer for the weekend. Also, you run the risk of your mom starting a friendly conversation with the clerk, and he doesn’t need to know that you’re actually a freshman from the suburbs of Chicago and not a fifth-year senior from Florida.
Hattie B’s is undeniably a Nashville classic. Many of us ate Hattie B’s on our first visit to Nashville, and it holds a special place in our hearts. Your family probably wants to eat at Hattie B’s at least once during their visit. Unfortunately, every other family visiting Vanderbilt has the exact same idea. One would be best served to avoid waiting for hours in line by just picking another one of Nashville’s fine dining establishments. Besides, your little sister is just going to order plain chicken and then only eat the fries.
Nashville, or as it’s often called, “Nashvegas,” is famous for its nightlife and especially its bar scene. But you don’t know anything about that, because you’re not 21. You’ve never heard of Piranha’s, and when your parents suggest it, you play dumb and suggest somewhere else. Not only for your parents’ sake, but also for the sake of preserving one of the few college bars in Nashville.
Vanderbilt’s meal plan offers a wide variety of fresh and tasty food, but sometimes you just want to go out for food and get off campus. Even if “off campus” is just across the street and “going out” is a night out at Chili’s. It does have cheap appetizers and drinks, and, being on the card, it’s not “real” money. But your parents came a long way to see you and Chili’s is about as bad as it gets in Nashville’s food scene. You’d be better served taking them to Hattie B’s.
If your family gets hungry while wandering on campus, grab food from one of the various free events that Vanderbilt is hosting or grab a snack from a vending machine. Avoid taking your parents to the Munchie Marts, lest they find out how far your Meal Money actually goes. Yes Mom, that Chobani yogurt really is $3.99. And no, you can’t use a coupon.
Photos by Claire Barnett // The Vanderbilt Hustler