Move-in day will feel different than in previous years

Jordan Radloff, Opinion Editor

This school year’s move-in day will definitely look different than it has in previous years. The excitement of lugging your possessions up to your new home for the next few months and meeting your neighbors will most likely be a strange experience this time around with the new safety precautions set by the university.

In Fall 2019, I got to move into my room in Neptune East Residence Hall a week before school started for marching band training camp. As I arrived at the drop off lane and began removing my belongings from my mom’s car, I was greeted by marching band section leaders and upperclassmen who were eagerly waiting to help me move my stuff into the building. I could instantly feel a sense of community the moment I was on campus because of the many people who were there to greet me.

This fall, move-in days will be staggered to not have too many students outside of residence halls at the same time to ensure social distancing, according to the safety guidelines of the university’s Protecting the Pack plan. The sense of community that is normally portrayed well at move-in day will most likely seem more lonely as myself and other students move our belongings into our residence halls on our own with just our families. Despite this, there will still be the special feeling of living on your own on a college campus.

Last year, my roommate and I showed up at about the same time to our move-in day. We were friends in high school, so making decisions like what side of the room each of us wanted and how to organize the mini-fridge was easy. Both of our mothers were in the room helping us organize our clothes and bedsheets as our fathers continued to bring in heavy items from our cars. It was fun to be able to experience living on my own for the first time with a friend I already knew, and it also made going to sleep that first night easier as well.

This year, the university has removed the option to have a roommate in residence halls to limit the spread of COVID-19. First-year students moving into single rooms may have the feeling of independence, but it will be unfortunate to have to experience it without another student going through the same thing. There still will be neighbors in the hallways to socialize with, but with the many recommended safety precautions, that may also be a strange experience this year.

Having to comply with COVID-19 related restrictions may seem like a pain, especially for move-in day. The many changes will seem extreme on the first day back to campus, but we will get used to it eventually.