A socially distant move-in day

Ashley Barletta, Contributing writer

Moving into college is an exciting event. For most freshmen, the transition from living at home to furthering your education on your own is thrilling.

However, due to recent protocols from the Center for Disease Control, college move-in was a very different experience for new and returning students alike this year. We at Mercyhurst had to adapt due to the pandemic.

Each Mercyhurst student signed up for a two-hour time slot to move into their dorm.

Roommates were not allowed to sign up for the same time slot, and social distancing had to be practiced throughout the entire move-in process.

Temperatures were checked, masks were worn, and hand sanitizer was used frequently, just like it is now for everyone on campus.

“I like how the students each signed up for a time. I think we should keep these time slots for the next couple of years” said Grace Evans, a junior Early Education and Special Education major. Evans is also a Resident Assistant on the first floor of Baldwin Hall.

“In past years, the key pickup for upperclassmen was at the Old Main circle, and I think it’s cool and symbolic to start your year where the school started off and grow from there.

However, it makes it a lot easier for freshmen to pick up their keys at their building so that they can go straight to unloading,” Evans added.

Signs concerning the pandemic were also hung in each residence hall as a reminder of the new rules and procedures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus on campus.

In addition there were also signs made by the Resident Assistants that gave each door and hall in their respective residence hallways a decorative touch.

“Also, something new we did this year is that we decorated the halls and put up welcome signs. We really tried to hit it home with that, and it created a welcoming environment for incoming students. It gives a feeling of community to the building, and it is more fun and decorative,” said Evans.

As students we are adapting to our new surroundings and the freshmen were welcomed to their new home in the Mercyhurst community.

In the freshman area, it was amazing to see what some may call “Mercyhurst spirit.”

Everyone was so understanding of the fact that nobody knew what was going on, and that we were all trying to adjust,” said Evans.

“I also think the way we did it was more personal, because I was able to talk to every resident since we had the time slots. It felt more like a true college experience.”

Move-in day was a success in my eyes.

As soon as my mother and I pulled up to my residence hall, an RA came up to the car window, checked my temperature and gave me the key to my room.

I thought that the two-hour window for each student was a smart decision. It ensured there were not too many people trying to move in all at once; thus making it a smooth and streamlined process.

Everything that needed to be done before move-in was done right outside the residence halls.

It was simple; I arrived, I unloaded my things and I carried them to my new home for the next few months.

All the people I met on the way to my dorm were extremely welcoming and I knew from that this moment on, this year would be great.

Not only was move-in day a transition from one home to another, but it was also my first glimpse into what college would be like.

Although it was different from previous years, I think the way move-in day was handled says a lot about Mercyhurst.

We were willing to come together and make the most of this year, no matter the circumstances.

I have seen that many other schools are doing all online classes, so I am grateful that I am able to be here, meeting new people and truly having the best authentic college experience that I can while at Mercyhurst.