Five Things No One Told Me About Move-In Day
No amount of college “move-in day” videos can prepare you for what it is like moving into your dorm room for the first time. After watching so many of those videos and having been through the actual move-in process, I can provide some insight.
“The tip I would recommend to anyone starting their first semester as a Knight is to always be true to yourself and do what fuels you.”
Most people in those videos lived close to their very large campus, had loads of family to help them move in, and brought an entire suitcase full of decorations. Arcadia has a more personal, intimate feel than the schools in these videos. Because of this, moving in looks a little different. Here are five things that no one told me before moving in.
1. Pack lightly – focus on the necessities
You don’t need that much stuff. As much fun as back-to-school shopping is, especially when shopping for your first dorm, you can save a surprising amount of money by buying only necessities. I flew from Oregon, so I could only bring two carry-ons and two checked bags. I had more than enough. This was proven even more when I only took one checked bag to London for my semester of the First-Year Study Abroad Experience (FYSAE). You don’t need a lot, just the things you use daily.
Insider Tip: Be sure to reach out to your roommate(s) and connect with them about shared items that you may want for your dorm room. This will ensure you don’t both wind up bringing the same things. You don’t need two mini fridges in your room…trust me.
2. Food at the dining hall gets better during the school year
The food gets better. The food served during orientation, specifically when your family is there with you, is NOT the same as the food the Dining Hall serves during the academic year. The food they serve during the school year from both the Dining Hall and The Chat is way, way better. So don’t get discouraged by the food choices offered during Orientation Week.
Insider Tip: Don’t hesitate to venture out into the local community too! There are a ton of great, delicious options in Glenside and Cheltenham that are beloved by the Arcadia community!
3. Plan your classes early for a successful first semester
It’s never too early to start planning your classes. The first week you move in is very exciting and probably busier than your first couple of weeks of school. During orientation week, you will get emails from your professors. You could also get added to many Canvas pages, some of which have access to your coursework for the entire semester. During this time, it is an excellent idea to look over syllabi and add any important exam or paper dates to your calendar, planner, or spreadsheet. This will help you prepare for your first semester so you can focus on your coursework instead of worrying about due dates when class starts.
Insider Tip: An abundance of resources are in place to ensure you’re ready to go academically from the second you step on campus. Check out the Academic Advising and Resources page on our website before you get to campus so you can get a jumpstart on forming relationships with the staff members in those offices!
4. College is a fresh start with many new opportunities
Moving in isn’t all about orientation and decorating your dorm. It also represents the start of college and the start of a new chapter in your life. With this new start, you can build new habits, take care of yourself, and work not only toward the career you want, but also the life you want. There are many opportunities on campus to reserve spaces to study, workout, or even swim. You can ask your RA or any upperclassmen on campus and they will definitely be able to help you with this. Just be sure to reserve study rooms in the library ahead of time. Especially during exam season, they can fill up very quickly.
Insider Tip: One way to ensure your success during your first semester is to familiarize yourself with campus as soon as possible! Knowing the ins and outs of the Kuch Recreation and Athletics Center and the library will make your transition to your new home much easier. You might even find that secret study spot you’ll frequent for your time here!
5. Stay active with opportunities on campus
Even if you don’t think you love exercise, it is always a good idea to get your body moving, and consistent exercise can help you focus and feel more energized. You can also reserve time slots at the gym or sign up to take yoga classes or even Zumba classes on campus. Taking advantage of these resources is one of the best ways to get your money’s worth when living on campus. Through the Arcadia website, you reserve time slots for the gym the same way you would for a study room.
Insider Tip: If you’re new to hitting the gym, the busiest times to go are going to be after classes or after 5:00 p.m. If you’re an early riser, get over and get your workout in for the day before classes. As the saying goes: the early bird gets the worm!
There is a lot to take in when moving into college, and sometimes it can be overwhelming. There are countless opportunities, and almost anyone you talk to will have different tips and tricks for navigating college life. The tip I would recommend to anyone starting their first semester as a Knight is to always be true to yourself and do what fuels you. I would recommend not waiting on anyone to accomplish your goals. In college, you don’t have to, so why would you?