As an incoming freshman, I looked forward to move-in day all summer long. As a member of the Paladin Regimenvt Marching Band, I was excited to be able to move in a week before the rest of my class and to orient myself with the campus before it was filled by my fellow freshmen. I imagined my early arrival to be very laid back since I would be one of a few to be moving in that day. That week fulfilled my expectations in many ways, but the move-in process proved to be very frustrating.
Before arriving, I never received instructions from Housing on what to do. I was not told where to check-in, a problem which presented itself immediately when I showed up at my dorm to find it empty. Fortunately, there were volunteer band members helping the freshmen move in. They were extremely helpful and were able to answer my questions, but after they left to fulfill other responsibilities, my family and I were left alone on the hall. When my RA and FRAD arrived, they were surprised to have a resident at all. They had not finished their training, they explained, and were not fully prepared for students to arrive. I understood that the unreadiness was not their fault, but the housing department’s lack of preparation caused me to feel like an unimportant afterthought. The whole process was confusing and without the assistance of my fellow band members, moving in would have ended up being an uninformed process, a disappointing start to the next four years of my life. While I understand why Housing was not ready for students, especially with so few of us, the assistant of a few veteran hall staff members would have gone a long way to helping my first day of college be a more comfortable experience.
Things improved throughout the week as my RA and FRAD were more readily available and I did end up appreciating that I was able to move-in early. As a sophomore this year, I appreciated being left to my own devices as I moved in, which was possible because the check-in process was an exact duplicate of the last year’s events. All in all, the early arrival process had more positives than negatives, but the logistics of move-in day could have been aided by the housing department.