The Magic of Move-in

I absolutely love move-in weekend. Not because I enjoy 15 hour days and perspiring in 100-degree heat, but because move-in is one of those events that I feel truly validates my choice in profession. Whether it’s encouraging families to take that Ikea love seat home instead of jamming it into their daughter’s room, making a frantic mother feel a little better about the visitation policy, or simply smiling and telling a new first-year student we’re glad they’re here, it’s one of those rare days where I totally set aside my ego and the day-to-day grind to sell out for students.

This year I was able to spend part of move-in weekend assisting students and their families navigate parking and unloading in one of our most densely populated residential areas. They were nervous, excited, and in some cases already in tears. Being that first person with a nametag that they interacted with was such a rewarding experience. I bonded with parents over our upgraded facilities, answered questions about ID’s and financial aid, and yes, even facilitated a minor roommate conflict in the parking lot. In general, people just seemed so appreciative that we were there for them with smiles on our faces. And no matter how tired I was at the end of the day, move-in day wasn’t about me, or any of my colleagues working tirelessly across campus. It was about the students who packed their entire lives into a car and drove off to begin this exciting but frightening next phase of their lives.

It’s reminders like these that energize me to be the best I can be for my students every day. Move-in is an especially emotional day where the stress is palpable, so we put on our Housing polos and happy faces and bend over backwards to assist in any way we can. But day-to-day, it’s harder to spot students who are in crisis and need us to be at our very best. The energy level and excitement I exuded during move-in should be the same attitude I have with students on a daily basis. You just never know when the simplest interaction could make all the difference.

Dillon Kimmel

Student Affairs - the First Years

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