Nerves and excitement at UMass Dartmouth move-in day

Sep 3, 2023

The most common worry among new UMass Dartmouth residents moving into dorms on Sept. 3 was not the rigor of classes or the feeling of leaving home, but the prospect of a shared bathroom. 

“Not having my own shower will be a challenge,” said animation and game arts student Alexandros Stathatos. 

“Honestly, just the bathroom, I feel like I’m gonna have to adjust to sharing the space,” said undeclared arts and sciences student Meredith Peterson.

The Class of 2027 moved into Spruce and Balsam halls Sunday morning and afternoon, fighting through crowds of slow-moving cars to get there. 

The move-in process itself went smoothly, largely due to teams of student volunteers helping to unload and direct families. Several students and parents commented on how easy the process was compared to college move-ins with other family members. 

“It hasn’t been hectic at all, it was very directed,” Peterson said. “I just hope I find a place for everything, I have a lot of stuff.”

Most freshmen checking into their new room said they were feeling nervous about the change to dorm living, and starting at a new school. 

“This is going to be the first time living away from my parents,” said graphic design student Ivy Szabo. 

Undeclared student Jonathan Szilagyi said he’s both “nervous and excited,” mostly about interacting with other students. Still, he’s “here for anything at this point,” meaning he’s open to the new experiences college will present. 

“It’s a little nerve wracking,” said Natalia Beach. “I don’t know these people.”

Helping to reassure and guide the students on move-in day were resident assistants and student athletes. The older students handed out school t-shirts to residents, checked them in, pushed their belongings in carts and talked to them about the new year. 

RA Carlos Rosado said he felt “nostalgic” welcoming freshman to their new dorms because he was in that position just two years ago. 

“Last year, I had the RAs helping me and this year, I get to help someone — it’s really fun,” said RA Anne Jerome. 

“They’re in the same position [we were], so it’s kind of interesting to move them in,” said RA Marshall MacDonald. 

Classes are set to begin Sept. 6, meaning freshmen have just three days to settle it before hitting the books. The class of 2027 will celebrate Labor Day with a kickoff event and class picture, then meet the entire school at an all-campus BBQ on Tuesday. 

“To be honest, it’s a little terrifying,” Stathatos said. “It’s a line between terrifying and exciting … it’s like a rollercoaster.”