WIU changed things up this fall. Freshmen move in took place on a Friday instead of the usual Saturday move in day. Incoming freshmen and their families descended on the WIU campus starting at 8 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 22nd. Mother Nature was not on their side this year; rain soaked Macomb during most of the day. I was actually outside, handing out six packs of soda while encouraging the freshmen to check out Greek life, in Q Lot, the large parking lot by Western Hall. So I had to endure the rain as well.
A junior law enforcement student, former Resident Assistant (R.A.), and current Welcome Week Leader Lydia Quiñones explained that move in was moved up a day to give freshmen an extra day to get settled into Western and become more familiar with the campus. As a Welcome Week Leader, Quiñones took new students to all their scheduled activities during opening weekend, answered questions, showed them their classes, and was another familiar face on campus.
“I think moving in earlier is a huge help! I wish I could’ve moved in earlier as a freshman. I also think all the activities that were planned gave them a better opportunity to network with upper class-men and ask questions so they could feel more comfortable,” Quiñones said.
A junior psychology student, former R.A., and current Welcome Week Leader, Anyssa Hining also thought that early move in for the freshmen was a great change. “I thought the new system was better for freshmen because they had longer to adjust to Macomb versus previous years. Freshmen and upperclassmen moving in on the same day made it more hectic possibly, but I would keep the move in (for freshmen) on Friday. They learned a ton more about Macomb and campus before classes even started with the activities this year,” said Hining.
As a freshman, moving to a new place and starting college is definitely a scary matter that most of us can relate to or remember. A few years ago when I was a freshman, my mom cried when she moved me in at college! Leaving home was definitely a bittersweet feeling; I was both nervous and excited to be moving into the residence hall. I can fully understand how an extra day of getting comfortable before classes begin can really benefit freshmen! WIU definitely got a jumpstart on helping new students adapt to their new lives at Western.