The Director of Residence Life and Director of New Student Programs offer incoming students valuable tips ahead of Move-in Day.
With Move-in Day approaching, incoming students in the Class of 2027, transfer students and their families might have questions on how to best navigate the stressful experience that is moving into college.
To help mitigate some of the stress and help point families and students in the right direction, Assistant Dean of Campus Life and Director of Residence Life Kirsten Carrier and Director of New Student Programs Emily Krechel offer incoming students with the best practices for moving in and getting acclimated during the first year of college.
What should students expect when moving into a dorm?
Carrier: You’ll get a chance to meet your RA and roommate/suitmates, complete your door decoration with your preferred name, complete your Room Condition Report about the conditions of your room and then move in your items!
Plan to have things in plastic totes (preferred in case of rain) or boxes labeled with your name and room number. Dress comfortably, bring water and snacks, and enjoy the process. It’s OK if you don’t have everything you need right away. In fact, less is more. Residence hall rooms are small and you won’t need to bring a trailer full of stuff with you. You can always have items sent to the mailroom or grab an Elon Express bus to local area shopping.
Krechel: Each new student (that includes first-years and transfers, living on- or off-campus) received a move-in time on their Acorn Account. This is the time they are expected to check in at the Schar Center. Our Schar Center check-in is the one-stop shop for all things check-in related. New students will receive their new student packet, which contains their orientation materials, name tag, parking pass, room key, Phoenix Card (if they submitted a photo in advance), pre-ordered wristband, and New Student Convocation wristbands.
When you arrive, you’ll be greeted by amazing volunteers who will walk you through the whole check-in process — you won’t even have to get out of your car! After you check in, you’ll be given a hangtag. The hangtag corresponds with your move-in location and it will get you access to that specific area. It is important to have that hanging in your rearview mirror during move-in. Once you get to your move-in area, you’ll be greeted by a team of Orientation Leaders, Resident Assistants, upper-class Move-in Team members and Elon staff who will help you unload your car and get moved into your room! From there, you’ll move your car to a long-term parking location for the rest of the day.
Best ways to make connections and get involved on campus as a first-year?
Carrier: Put yourself out there and ask a new classmate, roommate, floormate, someone in a club or organization to grab coffee, study or get lunch together. Start building your Elon networks from day one!
Krechel: Get involved, try something new, go to the Student Organization Fair and don’t be afraid to introduce yourself to people. Everyone is trying to build their new friend group — lean into your newness and reach out.
How can incoming students discover and utilize the resources available to them?
Carrier: Talk to your student leaders! Orientation Leaders, Resident Assistants, Elon 1010 peer educators and more are student leaders who have been there before and can help you navigate where to find information, how to get involved and how to take advantage of all that Elon has to offer. Get on Phoenix Connect to join clubs, learn about upcoming events and more.
Krechel: The Student Involvement Office also has Involvement Ambassadors who are here to help you explore the multitude of opportunities to connect. Visit the second floor of the Moseley Center to check out all the amazing Student Life offices and meet new people.
Any myths about college and dorm life that should be debunked?
Carrier: Your roommate or suitemates may not be your best friends, but hopefully, they are folks you can live with successfully and have open communication with. Your community is what you make it!
Be active, attend meetings and programs, give your staff input and consider what kind of residential experience you want to have next year too.
Krechel: So many students expect to meet their best friends in the first few weeks. It is normal for students to not find their “people” into they start getting more involved in things that interest them. I know so many students who didn’t find their group of friends until the spring semester. It is OK. College is an adjustment.
Also, not everyone parties — such a myth! Late Night Elon offers lots of fun options Thursday through Saturday nights and it is a great way to meet new people.
What should families plan on packing? What should they not bring?
Carrier: The suggested package list is available on the “Your Summer Checklist” webpage through New Student Programs. There is also a Residence Life webpage that details the residential policies on what not to bring.
Krechel: While we have lots of helpers on Move-in Day, we do encourage families to arrive ready to help move their student in. Wear sneakers, bring a dolly if you have one and pack as if you’ll be carrying things yourself. Label all belongings with the student’s name, building and room number just in case.
What should first-year students do to adjust to college life?
Carrier: College is a marathon, not a sprint. Take time to try new things, join a club, study abroad, take a class outside of your major. And the next year, be open to trying it all again!
Krechel: Give yourself and others grace. it is an adjustment. It takes time for it to feel normal and like home.