In fall semester 2022, Taylor Bilderback had been living only a few weeks in housing at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga when she noticed something indispensable was missing.
“I realized how crucially I needed my hair dryer,” she said.
A freshman majoring in criminal justice and graduate of Fairview High School southwest of Nashville, she couldn’t just hop in the car, drive home in a few minutes, grab her hair dryer and scoot back to UTC.
Eventually, she made the two-hour drive. The hair dryer is now close at hand in her unit at Boling Apartments.
With spring semester 2023 officially starting Monday, Jan. 9, about 500 UTC students were scheduled Friday, Jan. 6, for Operation Move In. As they toted their belongings into their homes away from home, several freshmen said the fall semester taught them what they needed and what they didn’t.
“Typically, students take home their essential items and, for each student, that may look a little different,” said Carling Wilson, associate director of administrative services in Housing and Residence Life.
Whether the student was female or male, clothing was the main item that changed from fall to spring semester. In August, winter clothing is useless; in January, summer clothes become equally useless. New clothes were common Christmas presents.
Halle Barton, a freshman in nursing who lives in Stagmaier Hall, took her summer clothes back home to Knoxville and returned with winter ones. She had somewhat of a focus on one particular style.
“I brought a lot more hoodies,” said Barton, who graduated from Bearden High School.
Jack Johnson, a freshman in environmental science from Murfreesboro, Tennessee, said he didn’t make a lot of changes from fall semester to spring when returning to his unit in West Campus Housing.
“My mom helped me out a lot with that kind of stuff in the fall. She brought everything that I pretty much needed,” said Johnson, who graduated from Siegel High School in Murfreesboro.
Chello Gardner, a sophomore in communication from Memphis, spent her first year on campus in Boling before becoming a resident assistant in West Campus Housing this year.
With a solid academic year under her belt, Gardner, a graduate of Arlington High School, had a list of items that students need if they’re living on campus: Trash cans, a vacuum cleaner, laundry detergent, dish soap and other cleaning supplies.
On Friday, Thomas Becker, a senior in mechanical engineering, was unloading a healthy amount of stuff from his car to carry into his unit in Johnson Obear Apartments. His housing philosophy is: “It’s always better to have more than you need.”
A “well-decorated room,” though, needs “extra gimmicky stuff,” said Becker, who attended high school in Clarksville, Tennessee. Gimmicks include video-gaming electronics like the flight simulator for Xbox he has in his room for when “you just want to have fun and stuff with your roommates.”