Area colleges prepare months in advance for a smooth move-in day.
Streets shut down around Drexel and UPenn campuses to make way for the rush of college students heading to campus. And there is plenty of advice that gets doled out, especially for new students.
“Pack really smart,” said John Eckman, director of residential Services at Penn. “You never know what your roommate will bring.”
Penn has 500 volunteers scheduled to greet and give “smiles and support” to students who will call the University City campus home following move-in days Aug. 22-24.
New this year, Penn will have arcade-style photo booths around campus to capture roommates meeting each other for the first time. The photos will be shown on big monitors and screens and posted to social media using the hashtag #livePenn.
White tents cover the sidewalk on North Broad Street along the entrance way of Temple University's dorms, offering cover to the 4,500 students on move-in days Aug. 20-22 and 24-25. Order is achieved by moving students according to their floor and a specific time. To help students best prepare for their move-in day, Temple created a microsite with tips, details and a dorm decorating contest.
Lexi Sirkin, 18 of Drexel Hill, is getting ready for her freshman year at Temple. She’s working toward getting her bedding, clothes, kitchen supplies and books in order.
“Everything is overwhelming,” said Sirkin. “I have a checklist, but pretty much I’m just winging it.”
Group chatting with her three new suite-mates has helped figure out “who’s going to get what” but color coordination was just too hard for the quad.
Sirkin and her new friends will be living in Temple’s Morgan Hall, a new building for freshman and upper classmen.
“I’m going to meet new people and be in a new atmosphere,” said Sirkin. “It’s nerve-wracking. I’m hoping I will like the people I’m living with.”
Sean P. Killion, of Temple's Office of University Housing & Residence Life, suggests students consider property insurance or check their parents' homeowners personal property insurance policy.
Some students welcome their college experience without anxiety, and are embracing the next chapter of their life with open arms.
Asia Monet of Germantown is starting her freshman year at Penn College in Williamsport. She's been talking with her roommates for weeks and recently almost every day to get acquainted.
She found out that she has something in common with her roommate -- they both like to bake.
"We are both bringing fridges," said Monet. "But we are figuring out who's bringing cooking supplies."
For her trunk party, Monet received most of her college items, but she had to buy sheets and bedding, and is holding out but wants to get a Keurig coffee maker.
At Drexel University, students may go online and choose their exact room on campus and what hall they desire to live in. The earlier the application was completed, the higher in line for the dorm selection process. On move-in day, 3,000 students descend on campus.
"It's a very exciting day," said Rita LaRue, senior associate vice president for Drexel business services. "If the weather is good, it feels like a carnival."
What brings order to the chaos is assigned move-in times and parking passes for families. One year, Drexel did it's move-in during a hurricane.
LaRue suggests to bring immunization paperwork, car pull with another student and leave the cases of bottled water at home as there are plenty of hydration stations around campus.
To save time during move-in, Drexel students can submit in advance a passport-size photo and their Dragon identification card will be ready when they check-in Aug. 18-19.
Drexel campus also has new dorm space opening this fall. Chestnut Square is a new 869 bed private resident hall for second year students, including furnished student apartments and town homes with varying floor plans to choose from.
Adrean Turner of Reading is looking forward to her son, Jordan, 20, transferring from Montgomery County College to Indiana University of Pa. (IUP) to study criminology. IUP offers a unique service to students heading to the dorms. You may order dorm items online via On-Campus Marketing and have them delivered and waiting for you when you arrive.
Although Turner thought this was a great idea, she decided to shop with her son for his back-to-school college needs. She made sure he had specialized towels, snacks and extra sheets.
"It's going to be emotional for me because he's my baby," said Turner. "But, it's exciting and I'm so excited for him. He's done. He's achieved. It's (move-in day) an ending of the old and beginning of the new."