A Successful Trip to Fort Sanders: 5 Tips from an Experienced UT Student

Anybody who has ever been a student at the University of Tennessee knows there are really three main parts to Knoxville: campus, the strip, and The Fort. The last one being where only a minority of students dare to go, as any trip into this land can turn into a terrible journey very quickly if you’re not careful with planning it out. This has happened to me many times before, and I wish I would have had some help my first couple of times going into it, but that’s why I’m here to give you my Top 5 tips to survive a night in The Fort.

1)— Have a reason -

First of all, the Fort is not for everyone, as it can be a very strenuous and stressful experience. If it was, I wouldn’t be giving you tips on how to have a successful night there. Next, think about why you want to go to the Fort. Are you just going because all the cool kids are talking about going tonight? Or maybe you’re just trying to go have a good time with some friends? Well whatever your reason may be, think about it hard, because the Fort is a very unforgiving place not meant for just anyone. It has a set of unexplained rules you must follow for a successful trip, but I’m here to help you through it.

2)— Make a plan -

So you’ve decided to venture into the Fort for whatever reason. That’s good, you’re about to embark on an experience you won’t soon forget, but what now? Do you just march up there and look for parties on the street? Maybe you can, later in life, but not right now. For your first time, you’re going to want to have a plan. Decide where you want to go, and what you want to do. Maybe a friend lives in the Fort and you want to start from there and let them be your guide. Also deciding what you want to do is a key part of the whole experience, because there will be multiple things offered to you during your trip, and it’s good to plan ahead and base your plan on things you know you’re doing.

3)— Bring a friend -

Like most experiences in life, they are usually better, more enjoyable, and easier with a friend. A night in the Fort may be a very unique task to handle, but it is still much easier with a friend. They can be your sidekick of some sorts. You and your friend will always travel together and be within each other’s reach all night. This can be a comforting factor into the whole process, as you will never be alone, and will always have at least two heads on any problems that arise. Be very careful in selecting your partner for the night though, because just as some friends can be very helpful, others can mean a disaster for the night. It is up to you to select your sidekick for this journey though. An ideal partner would be a very caring and responsible person who can stick to a plan when it is made no matter what comes up.

4)— Utilize your resources -

The Fort may seem scary at first but UT wouldn’t leave you and its other wonderful, curious students completely in the dark when wondering about this dreadful place. UT has made many informational and safety apps for all devices just for reasons like going to the Fort. UT has its own app which shows you a complete map of the Fort, with road names, bus routes, bus times, and even live bus feeds to know where any bus is at anytime. Along with this app, UT also has its own emergency/safety app offered to all people for free. This app has many features including the ability to instantly call the UT Police, and to set a reminder for a friend to call and look for you if you don’t show up back home on the time you had planned. There are many other safety features in the app but these are just a few of them. Be sure to use both of these apps as you plan for your night, and as you go through your night to ensure the best possible outcomes for the evening.

5)— Have fun -

This may sound like a very cliché conclusion to all guides and stories, but it is true in this case. Over and above all, just have fun in the Fort. That’s probably the main reason why you’re going anyway. The Fort, as I have said before, is a very big and scary place, but it shouldn’t be feared, or it cannot be enjoyed. Rather, it should be respected. As long as you respect the Fort, have a plan, and follow all of these tips, it will be an enjoyable and fun experience for you and your friends to remember, and maybe do again next weekend.