On Thursday morning, packed cars began flooding Binghamton University’s campus, bringing around 2,550 members of the class of 2018. It quickly became clear that they all had one thing in common: They brought too much stuff.
“You see people come with moving companies,” said Matt McAuliffe, an RA in College-in-the-Woods, as he helped freshmen move in for the second year in a row.
“I saw an entire cart full of hangers,” he added, laughing. “It was ridiculous.”
As senior double-majoring in classical studies and neuroscience, McAuliffe’s assessment of the stress of freshmen move-in day may have been accurate.
“I wish I brought less stuff,” said Rachel Levin, an undeclared freshman from Great Neck, Long Island.
“Yeah, my parents went home with full suitcases,” added her roommate Shira Peretz, an undeclared freshman from Hewlitt, Long Island.
Lesa Kaercher, a custodian at the Chenango Champlain Collegiate Center (C4) dining hall has been part of the move-in crew helping freshmen get their things up to their dorms for 15 years. She said that she wished incoming freshmen could see pictures or measurements of their future dorms before they packed their cars up to the point they had to sent their extra things home. Yet, she said that freshmen move-in day isn’t all about too much stress and too many shoes.
“I like seeing all the freshman come,” Kaercher said. “It’s exciting because they’re all excited too, and we are so glad that they’re here.”
When the rest of campus moved in the following day, returning students brought with them their Command hooks and at least one move-in day of experience under their belts.
“After you’ve done it once or twice you know what you need and how much help you need,” said Dan Cleveland, a senior majoring in chemistry, who moved into Hinman College this week. “You know how long it takes and you can do it yourself.”
Getting assistance from parents may separate the veterans, like Cleveland, from the freshmen, like Kristen Monti.
“I’m a family person,” Monti said as her father hammered together a shelving unit in her CIW dorm. “It’s a little hard to say goodbye.”
Tom Brady, a sophomore majoring industrial engineering said he got his parents out of his dorm as soon as he could.
“They helped me bring my stuff up, but I didn’t let them set anything up,” he said.
As Dawn Ofer helped unpack her sophomore daughter Alexandra’s bedding in her double in Newing College, she said that move-in day freshman year was an entirely different experience.
“Last time I stayed overnight, and took her to Target and Bed Bath & Beyond, but now I know that anything she needs she can get for herself,” Ofer said. “She has friends with cars and can take buses and cabs.”
Alexandra Ofer, a neuroscience major, agreed with her mother.
“I’m more self-sufficient now,” she said. “I don’t need my mom to go buy me my books.”
Alexandra’s confidence with both packing and returning helped put her mom’s nerves at ease.
“I don’t have those anxieties about leaving her here,” Dawn Ofer said. “She’s just so happy to be back.”