It is move-in time! We are one week away from the beginning of the Fall 2020 semester and UNM Housing’s move-in started last Friday. For the last two years, I packed all my stuff up and moved into the dorms. This year, at this time, is much less exciting. In March, I moved off-campus to a place I plan on staying in until I graduate. This is not the same for a lot of my peers though. Many people are moving either on or off-campus and even a little early due to COVID-19. Here are some of their experiences!
Shane is a junior majoring in music with a concentration in vocal performance. He has lived the last two years on campus in a traditional style dorm. This year, he has moved off-campus. He moved in around the same time as ResLife started their move-in process to allow for the standard 14 days of self-quarantine before his in-person course starts.
How has the move-in process changed from living on campus to living off campus?
Shane told me that the main difference is how many more things there are to consider with his own place. He has had to think about things such as getting furniture and researching wireless plans. A lot of the resources that are explained to you by a resident advisor (RA) are aspects of living that Shane has had to figure out by himself. It is not necessarily bad though. He talked about how it is helping him be more independent like a “final exam for being an adult.”
Larissa is a senior majoring in child studies and minoring in psychology. This will be her fourth year living on campus and third year as an RA. She was previously living on campus during the summer, so she described her moving process as a little weird. Since she never really left campus, she told me it was more like she was switching rooms instead.
How has the move-in process changed due to COVID-19?
For me, coronavirus was the main reason I moved out of the dorms. I had short notice and I moved quickly. But I was able to have three people help me which is different from what current on-campus movers are experiencing. Larissa talked to me about how residents now only are allowed one extra person to help them move in. Everyone must wear masks and once move-in dies down, residents are only allowed one guest in their room all semester. Shane has experienced that same, slower process of move-in but when it comes to waiting in lines to get into stores to buy apartment necessities and groceries.
What will you miss most about a traditional on-campus move-in experience?
Shane immediately told me he would miss “all the free things.” When I moved in with ResLife, I normally got a free swag back. If you participate in some of the events leading up to and during the first week of school, you can get so many free things. Larissa talked about missing these events such as the Olympiad, Friday Night Live, and Red Rally. During the Student Activity Center’s Welcome Back Days, student orgs. table and give candy and stickers to students walking by, UNM T-shirts are constantly being handed out, and you could probably get enough free food to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner for the whole month of August.
I agree with them. I will miss all of the events and all of the free stuff at those events. There is something really fun about moving in at the same time as all my friends and catching up with them about their summer. Even though things are different, I feel fortunate that I can just stay put this August. I moved about six times in the last two years to different places on campus and there is something relaxing about finally recycling my go-to moving boxes.
Safe travels back to ABQ and good luck moving in!