Marguerite Manning, ’21, A&S
In the weeks leading up to Move-In Day for my first year at Vanderbilt, I anxiously awaited the arrival of my housing assignment in the mail. From what I had heard from older friends who were already in college, your floor can make or break your college experience. I was excited at the prospect of living in a house on Commons and whenever I described the first-year living experience at Vandy to friends and family back home I always drew comparisons to Harry Potter, joking that I was nervous to end up in Slytherin. The waiting was finally over when my housing packet came in the mail and I found out I would be living on the sixth floor of North House. Phew, not Slytherin.
A few days later, my RA sent out an email to all the girls on our floor with some information about Move-In Day. Naturally, I went right to the list of recipients, so I could find them all on social media. To my surprise, there were only 10 names. That must be a mistake, I thought to myself. There had to be more than 10 people on my floor, right? Wrong. I later found out that North 6 is actually the smallest floor on Commons and typically houses 8-13 residents. I was nervous. All my older friends had lived on floors of 40 or 50 students and made a bunch of friends. Was a small floor going to limit my social life? What if I didn’t get along with the other girls? These thoughts and apprehensions swirled around in my head in the weeks leading up to Move-In, but I soon found out that living on North 6 was one of the best experiences I could have asked for.
Yes, there were only 10 girls on my floor (including myself), but what we lacked in people we made up for in amenities. The floor was huge. In the center, there is a massive atrium with skylights that filtered in the sunlight and presented a magnificent view of the sunset over the Nashville skyline. Tables, chairs, and couches were everywhere, providing a comfortable study spot just steps away from my room. The atrium quickly became the most sought-after hangout and study spot in North, enabling me to meet so many new people and easing my fears that a small floor limited me to a small social circle. Best of all though, North 6 housed the North House kitchen. When I yearned for a home-cooked meal or was really craving some freshly-baked cookies, the kitchen was right there waiting for me. Our floor was even able to cook up all the sides for a delicious Thanksgiving feast for Floorsgiving!
Now the floor itself was great, but the people were even better. Since there were so few of us, we got to know each other very quickly. Personally, I’ve always been the type to have a few really close friends rather than many surface-level friendships. In this regard, North 6 was the perfect floor for me because I created deep and lasting friendships with amazing women who are still my best friends today. At times I found myself wishing that I lived on a bigger floor, so I could have the “normal” college experience. The more I thought about it, though, the more I realized I wouldn’t trade my floor for anything. The unique experience of living on North 6 is something that few Vanderbilt students get to take part in, so I was grateful for the opportunity to live there and to share that experience with some of my best friends.
Throughout my first year, North 6 was my refuge. The comfort of my floor provided a well-needed retreat from the craziness of Vanderbilt, a place I could escape to when the stress and busyness got to be too much. Instead of a singular room, I felt like the entire floor was mine. I had my bedroom, a large living room, a kitchen, and a bathroom that I only had to share with three other people. North 6 truly was my home away from home. This year I live in a much different environment, and although I love where I live now, I feel a wave of nostalgia every time I walk past North, longing to return to the sanctuary of the 6th floor.