Moving into a college dorm is a day that stands out in one’s life as a rite of passage. Last week, students at the University of Missouri–St. Louis began their college experience by moving into Oak Hall and discovering their home for the school year.
As students and parents loaded with boxes and belongings walked up to Oak Hall, they were greeted by the Office of Student Involvement and the Office of Residential Life and Housing, with resident assistants welcoming them to the campus and cheering them on.
Mindy Dilley, the associate director in the Office of Student Involvement, welcomes incoming students. (Photo by August Jennewein)
Resident Life and Housing staff greet incoming UMSL students. (Photo by August Jennewein)
Anderson Spencer, who has been an RA for two years and is now the resident assistant manager, wants to make certain all students feel welcomed and cared for on Move-In Day and throughout the school year.
“We always make sure we have programs available for residents here so we can have community and make sure that everyone gets to know each other,” he said. “It’s like a big ol’ family.”
Getting to know people was top of mind with a lot of students as many experienced the familiar combination of nervousness and excitement when encountering something new and unknown.
First-year political science student Grace Desjardins gives two thumbs up as she starts settling into her room at Oak Hall. (Photo by Wendy Todd)
Grace Desjardins, a first-year political science major at the Pierre Laclede Honors College from Garden City, Missouri, is looking forward to beginning her college life and meeting people of different backgrounds.
“I’m a little nervous, but I’m excited. I’m going to the yard games,” she said. “I’m really excited because it’s a new chapter for me. I really just want to kind of grow and be more independent. I’m from a really small town. So I’m really hoping to just gain independence and experience a more diverse cultural awakening.”
Jared Strickland’s father helped him move into his new space in Oak Hall. (Photo by Wendy Todd)
Jared Strickland, who participated in the UMSL Bridge program and graduated summa cum laude from Hazelwood Central High School, also looks forward to his experience at UMSL. The biology major from Florissant, Missouri, wants to become a pharmacist. And though Strickland’s home base isn’t far from campus, he opted to stay in the dorm for the full college experience.
“I can have my own space and go back home to if I need to,” he said. “It was just more beneficial for me to be here.”
Another freshman, Tanis Ramnath, and his family traveled from Albuquerque, New Mexico. He will be playing on the UMSL men’s tennis team and shares the new environment anxieties with his peers. Ramnath is ready to make his mark on the team while enrolled in the UMSL/Washington University in St. Louis Joint Undergraduate Engineering Program.
“I’ve played tennis pretty much my whole life. And I’m looking forward to meeting new people, training with the team and just experiencing college life.”