Catching up with new students following their first college move-in

The day finally arrives–choosing an outfit from your bare closet, eating the last home-cooked meal your mom made you, and frantically packing the car is just the start of a day you will never forget: your first college move-in day.

For freshmen, college is a pool of emotions. They have done everything possible to prepare for this day yet they still feel excited, scared, nervous, happy and confused. According to admission counselor Hope Parente, the University of Rhode Island works diligently all summer to accommodate approximately 2,003 freshmen who will now call college their second home.

At first, these first year students don’t know what to expect but after the first week, some freshmen believe it starts getting easier. What makes the transition from home and the sense of doubt and/or worry subside? We asked Emma McCarthy and her two roommates for some feedback on how she became more accustomed to the campus, dorms, professors, schedules, independence and social experiences.

Dorm life is one example of a huge transition. Three people cramped in one room is tight, uncomfortable and especially hot. McCarthy, who lives in Butterfield said, “the struggle of no AC is real.” She learned that bringing fans are a necessity in these early months of the semester. Sharing bathroom is also an adjustment for McCarthy’s roommate, Madelyn Green.

“The one thing I feared about college is communal bathrooms,” Green said.

Living on your own definitely molds you into a more responsible individual. However, some students want the best of both worlds.

“I like that I can go out and have my own independent schedule, but when it comes to laundry… I need my mom,” said Green.

As a freshman, general education courses are the bulk of their school work. Class sizes are huge, and it’s important to establish a good relationship with professors.

“I was extremely nervous the first day of classes,” McCarthy said.  “I hoped that my professors were nice and enthusiastic.” As for class times, McCarthy realized quickly that 8 a.m. is the devil when it comes to getting up early.

“My ideal schedule is to start at 11 a.m. and end at 3 p.m.,” McCarthy said. And for finding classes, printing out a map of campus is useful. “I thought it was going to be hard to find my classes, but what was hard was the hill going up to the union,” Green said. “I get a great leg workout every morning!”

Outside of classes, there are many resources to help students get involved in clubs, sports, and organizations. First night is a great opportunity to be introduced to specific organizations you are interested in.

“I think I signed up for as many as 10 clubs,” said McCarthy’s roommate Sophie Rippner. “The beach is so close to campus, so why not sign up for surf club.” Of course, students feel homesick at one point or another. Whether the initial goodbye to your family stirs up emotions, or later in the month, it is completely normal to feel homesick.

“I miss my dog the most,” Green said.

Ultimately, what students miss the most is home-cooked meals. The University of Rhode Island tries to accommodate to the most picky eaters. McCarthy said, “I really like Hope, the stir fry section is amazing.” Student do like the wide variety of meals, but like every college, it gets old. You will forever treasure and look forward to mom’s home-cooked meals.

By the end of a student’s day, getting Dunkin Donuts is what gets them through the night of studying.  

“Dunkin Donuts on campus is a true blessing for college students,” Rippner said. “Coffee is what keeps me going.”