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Move-In Moments

It’s so odd how I’m already almost halfway through my time at college, and yet it sometimes feels like I moved in yesterday. I remember how new things felt back then, how uncertain it all was. (It’s also a little odd writing this post about my first move-in day, which was in the middle of a hot August, while there’s snow outside my dorm room window.)

I would say I’m a fairly nostalgic person, so when I saw the writing assignment about your first move-in day (hilariously called “I like to move it move it”) in the ds106 Assignment Bank, I thought that I’d enjoy reminiscing. This is the description:

Share a moment or memory from your freshman move in day. What was your favorite part? Least favorite? Was it hard saying goodbye? The possibilites are endless!

Stars: 2

It’s hard to pick one moment, since I have several memories from that day. These are the ones I remember most clearly:

I remember waking up, knowing that this is it, the day I leave for college. Running around getting everything into the car, saying goodbye to my pets, taking a deep breath and locking the front door. Feeling slightly grouchy in the car because I was tired and a little nervous, talking with my parents and sister on the way down, anticipating our arrival.

I remember getting my key at Eagle Landing, hopping out of the car into the hot sunlight behind Russell Hall, excitedly bringing the first load of stuff up to the fourth floor in the elevator with my sister, stepping out and seeing my room, 405, directly in front of us.

I remember going to get lunch in the UC, talking with my family, stopping in Lee Hall to get my folder and other Honors-themed things, meeting Kelli Slunt (the Honors program director), student coordinators, and other students and their families in the Honors program, checking out the new Honors Commons (I didn’t realize back then that having a commons area was a big deal).

I remember going back to Russell Hall, starting to unpack all my stuff that we’d brought up earlier, my mom and sister helping me make my bed, my dad working on getting my computer set up with the wifi and everything, feeling overwhelmed by how much there was to do, knowing we only had a couple hours for them to help me unpack before I had to go off to my first session of “City as Text” (the Honors Orientation).

I remember running out the door, hugging each of my family members goodbye up at the bell tower, giving my my dad my dorm key to get into my room because he realized he left his keys back there, telling my mom and sister that I’ll miss them, I’ll be fine, I’ve got this, and I love them.

I remember walking up to the group of students I was supposed to be with for our first session, all of us gathering at the benches in front of Farmer Hall (formerly Trinkle Hall), going up to a room on the fourth floor of Lee Hall, our leader starting us off with some icebreakers, then Dad coming up to give me back my keys, saying a rushed goodbye to him and giving him a quick hug.

I remember coming out of Lee Hall with that same group of students, walking to the UC for dinner, glancing at and then listening to the Eagle Pipe Band practicing on Ball Circle as I walked, snapping a couple pics, thinking that I recognized some of the drumming patterns, tentatively wondering if maybe I could someday play in that band.

I remember eating dinner with the other students, starting to feel a connection to them, adding my number to the new group chat, going back to Russell with a few of them to one of the girls’ rooms to hang out and chat, feeling like even if I didn’t really keep these new friends all the way through college, it was at least a start.

I remember going into my room and closing the door behind me, looking at my room, my bed, and the piles of yet-unpacked stuff, putting up my string lights and photos and a few other pieces of decor, texting some pictures to my family, feeling a little more at home in my room, and then finally going to sleep.

My first move-in day felt very long. I’m now used to the feeling of a long day whenever I move in! The date of my first-move in was August 18, 2019. These are my answers to the specific questions from the assignment:

Q: What was your favorite part [of the day]?

A: It would have to be seeing my room for the first time. I was so excited to bring my things in and start making my room my own. It didn’t feel at all like “my” room at first, but it was still so fun to be in my first college dorm room, knowing that it would be my “home base” for the semester.

Q: Least favorite?

A: I don’t know if there was a “least favorite”…saying goodbye would probably count, but that doesn’t stand out as a particularly bad part.

Q: Was it hard saying goodbye?

A: Yes. It was kind of a surreal moment, and although I didn’t know it at the time, that bittersweet feeling would be one that returned over and over whenever I would say goodbye to my family at the start of a semester (or after seeing them during the semester). The first time was the most different, however; I had no idea what I was walking into or what it would really be like. I definitely did miss my family—that started the second we parted—but it didn’t hit me as hard until later. As I mentioned before, that bittersweet feeling would come around again; I think the best way to describe it would be the anticipation of knowing I won’t see them again for months. Then, the loneliness of being without them sets in immediately after I’m alone/they leave. In the case of my first semester, I was lucky enough to not go without seeing them for more than a month and a half, but that wouldn’t last. (Of course, my second semester was far different…2020 surprised us all, lol.)

This post, along with “Future Experiences…”, is the one that I consider most related to our theme “What’s Your Story?”. It’s literally all about a part of my life; it’s about a time in my past. I think that these types of posts (where the writer explores part of their life, particularly their own past) are critical to connecting with the theme. I also think that posts that are not quite as author-centric (like my posts Monologue of an Erasable Pen and “Oh, THAT’S what it is?”) are important in balancing out the amount of life story-esque posts. It takes more time and energy to reflect upon parts of my life, and these kind of posts tend to be deeper. I find it interesting how different styles require different things from us, and I’m looking forward to seeing how this translates into media forms other than writing.

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