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"Take a deep breath" & more advice for freshmen

Dozens of Elon alumni offered advice on Facebook this month for incoming freshmen making plans to move. Here's some of the best.


A few weeks ago we asked our alumni and returning upperclassmen on Facebook and Twitter to share advice for incoming students as they move to campus. The results were as varied as the personalities who attend Elon.

For students making last-minute packing plans, check out some of the following tips from those who have "been there, done that."

Be sure to "like" Elon University on Facebook (facebook.com/elonuniversity) and follow @elonuniversity on Twitter and Instagram.


Move in with a smile! You may be meeting your future new best friend on this day! – Lara Nicotra

Get there first! – Matthew Miller

Everything is fireproof now so there's a good chance they won't change the mascot while you're there... Be sure to pick out your favorite Cook Out shake early... you will be needing that information at 4am Thursday-Sunday. – David McClain

Move in early (ok, probably a little late for that). Let everyone help you get your stuff to your room. Pack your stuff at home, then leave half of it there because it won't fit in your room. – Tim Riddell

Hire/bribe some of the football players to help! Haha, no, really smile and don't try to just rush through it... Don't yell at your parents, and make an effort to introduce yourself to people on your hall. When you run out of toilet paper at 2am they will become your best friends. It'll be the most memorable year of your life :) – Tiffany Rudy

Go to all of the orientation events; you will meet some of your best friends there! – Annemarie Heim Gibboney

Bring rainboots!! And be yourself! Have fun! :) – Stephanie Bement

I'm getting married next weekend, and my freshmen year roommate is my best friend from Elon and is driving up from NC to CT to attend! :) So you never know what random roommate assignments can bring - be positive! – Joanna Rabiej

Try to go to Bed Bath and Beyond at HOME and not at Elon. Everyone will be there, and most things that you will need will most likely be sold out. – Joshua McGee

Consult with your roommate before lofting or de-lofting your bed; you might just be able to switch. I had chosen my bed and lofted it, only to have my roommate take her ALREADY LOFTED bed and de-loft it. Needless to say I felt like an idiot. – Molly McGowan

ASK PHYSICAL PLANT TO HELP YOU LOFT! Don't think you and your parents have to do it by yourselves! – Ali Garced

Don't stress about getting everything neat and tidy on move-in day. You're also there to meet people! As long as everything is in your room, you can do the rest in segments later on when you have free time. – Jenny Reineck

If your parents seem stressed, don't give them a hard time. It's a big day for everyone and while you get to stay and have the time of your life, they have to grasp that you're not a child anymore. Smile, be appreciative, and help your roommate if you get done first :) and ENJOY! It's the start of an incredible adventure. – Melanie Binder

Wear gym clothes to move in and THEN change into that cute/handsome outfit you want to meet everybody in. – Abigail June Baumann

You’re going to think lofting your bed is a great idea...until you realize that getting down from there at 7ish in the morning for your 8am is more dangerous than crossing a busy city intersection...don't loft your bed you. It will save you a lot of work later lol – Justine Robertson

Enjoy it....it's the only time that you will have professors to help you move in!!!! – Lee Ann Sarkisian Hibbard

This is a high-emotions day for everyone! You are nervous/excited about moving into your college dorm. Your parents, most likely your mom, is "having a moment" - she's realizing that you are actually leaving, and she isn't handling it too well. So, don't pick fights because your mom wants your room a certain way, or that your dad is bossing you around. Take a deep breath, and remember that this is the first day of a wonderful adventure! Also, don't worry about being "cool." Every single freshman is just as nervous as you are!! – Lizzie Rhye

After you've finished unpacking (don't be afraid to ask Residence Life/Orientation for help!), take some time to walk around the campus and enjoy the sights. Elon is a beautiful campus, and it will be a great chance for you to see where everything is. Also, get to know the people on your hall. You can meet some great people there. Enjoy every moment of your time at Elon! – Josh Pfeiffer

Beware of all the flower delivery guys wandering the halls looking for the girls rooms who have left their boyfriends behind somewhere... I've never seen more red roses than the day I moved into Carolina! Lots of tears, lots of roses. – Shayne Mackey

If you're in Carolina dorm or surrounding: it takes a few days, but that train you hear rolling by EVERY time, will become something you never even notice! – Michelle Collins Fry

Only loft your bed halfway, and buy a bunch of 3-drawer plastic shelves to go under there ... It's so much more storage that way and you'll have much more room! Also make sure you hug your parents ... you're going to want them to leave so you can start your college life, but don't rush them out of there because you'll miss them in a few weeks! – Sam Baranowski

The best advice I would give is not possible anymore as they tore down Jordan Center. Best dorm ever. – Mark Trinder

Eat Sunset Strips "chicken" tenders at least twice daily. – Charlie Loeser

My advice is GET THERE BEFORE YOUR ROOMMATE!! – Trishelle Byrd

Get ready for the best 4 years of your life! Many of my best friends are from my freshman hall. Enjoy this time with your family/parents and be open to meeting new people. You will love Elon! – Anna Glodowski

It is the start of something wonderful! They don't have Staley anymore either :( or Coclough. But enjoy where you are and remember the best way to be singled out as a freshman is to go everywhere in groups of 5 or more girls. And don't worry - you don't have to find your 'new best friend' on the first day - you have 4 amazing years to figure it all out! Just enjoy the journey - you will miss it terribly when it's all over! Elon COLLEGE c/o '01!! – Caroline Ross

Duct tape and a hammer. – Theo Hall

CLEAN EVERYTHING before you move your stuff in :) – Sophie Nielsen-Kolding

Only bring your 5 favorite t-shirts. You'll be getting so many more in the coming months & you won't want to wear those old high school t-shirts anyway! – Dana Boundy Cart

Gentleman, help the ladies out. Does this even need to be posted? – Jafar Blount

Freshman year is the only year you get help moving in. Be prepared to carry everything from the parking lot and up the stairs. Don't rush and stress out about it, but the sooner you "decorate" with personal items the faster your room will feel like home. And go to all the orientation events (yes, even the "mixers"). At no other point will it be so easy to meet people. – Dana Heatherly Padgett

Elon has freshman move in down to quite a science (and throughout your four years you will realize they have most everything else down to a science too...Elon cultivates amazing planners...soak all that up. It will take you far in life. Let your parents help you organize your stuff, even if you change it all after they leave, it helps them cope with leaving you to go back home. Last, but certainly not least, get your Phoenix card photo taken before and NOT after moving all your stuff in on what is bound to be the hottest day of the summer! (And be thankful for the AC you have in your dorm....it wasn't always that way!) – Lexi Swinimer

If you live in West 320, you have one of 4 rooms on campus with a HUGE walk in closet and shared bath (with a tub) instead of the hall bath that the rest of the floor shares! Oh, and insanely high ceilings so you can loft your bed to bunk bed height, stand on the bed, and still not hit your head on the ceiling =) I agree with the t-shirt advice above, too! – Megan Daly

Leave your door open for the first 24 hours (and then for the rest of the semester!) It's a great way to meet everyone and get good ideas for what to do with your room. Also, don't feel the need to unpack EVERYTHING while your parents are still there. It's really nice to have something to do to distract yourself once they leave and it gives you a real feeling of starting this journey off your own way! – Ashley Meerbergen

Take a deep breath and enjoy what is about to happen the next four years. It goes by too fast and truly is the best time of your life. – Amy Keeler

Don't be afraid to ask for help. Take pictures of your family because you will get homesick even if you feel you won't. Find out who on your floor has a car just in case you need a ride to Target, Walmart, or Kmart for things you forgot. Savor these memories of your move in. When it is said and done you survived and next year you can help others too. – Ruby Thornton

Milk crates can be made into GREAT shelves....lol – Zakia Custalow Gilchrist

You'll need more money than you think to set up and get going... but always take the time to hang out with your dorm/hall/suite mates. Try to find "your personal spot" on campus - one where you can go to just relax, unwind, be by yourself. I used to like that little nook behind that glass wall in moseley lounge 1st floor. There was a couch there where i crashed for half-hour between classes. – Cal Stanley

From what I remember, 1.Take as little as possible, less stuff = more room and less to move out in the spring. 2. Get to know your RA, they're a great resource. 3. Remember that you are there to learn, partying is the reward for hard work. You're not spending $30,000+ a year to waste the most valuable years of your life. – Earl James Pope


Eric Townsend,
8/21/2012 12:05 PM