STEPHENVILLE — Texan Move-in starts soon, that weekend when new students descend with boxes, totes and suitcases stuffed with all the residence hall essentials for a robust academic year.
Close to 4,000 students — half of them first-time college students — will move into the 11 Tarleton State residence halls Aug. 17-20. Some 1,200 volunteers are set to help them unload and transport their belongings, then steer them in the right directions.
All of these extra hands smooth what otherwise could be a stressful and chaotic transition, agree residential leaders who have successfully navigated the experience and now help others do the same.
“My move-in day was effortless and so exciting! Everything was so well-planned and very efficient,” said Chelsea McDonald, a senior communications major and residential leader. “I love being able to help with move-in. This experience for first-year students is a milestone, and being able to make their move-in day as effortless and enjoyable as mine was is the best part.”
The energy during move-in radiates happy, said Juana Moncada, Director of University Housing and Residence Life. “We encourage students to relax and let the well-oiled machine of the volunteers and staff take care of them so they can just enjoy their day.”
Moncada knows the experience firsthand, both as a first-generation college student and now a director. She said the family-like support she felt from the residence life team her first day on campus influenced her to pursue a career in higher education.
“To have once been in the shoes of the incoming students is a huge milestone for me. I was so nervous during the drive to campus, but that all vanished when I met the friendly on-campus staff,” Moncada said. Now she enjoys the planning side of move-in, coordinating with campus partners who work behind the scenes to create a welcoming environment.
Incoming student residents can learn their assigned move-in day and schedule, along with what items they should and should not bring, how to pack so their things can be easily moved and don’t break, what to expect when they drive up, and more, in the Texan Move-in Guide on the housing website: https://www.tarleton.edu/housing/move-in-guide/. Information about dining, shopping, the Texan card, laundry and maintenance requests also is listed.
As a residential leader, Chelsea said she especially appreciates that a maintenance team is available to solve issues right away. Little things can turn into big problems when there’s no one to help.
“When I moved into Legacy my first year, I could not figure out how to work the door!” she said. “I had to go down to the lobby multiple times to figure out you had to swipe your Texan card and then push in your PIN. I was pretty embarrassed at the time but never forgot after that.”
Charis Miles, a senior kinesiology major, remembers being stressed out about moving to campus and grateful that volunteers and residence life staff quickly made him feel at home.
“The best part of my move-in day was after I was finished unpacking and was all moved into my room,” he said. “Something about being officially moved into your college residence hall leaves you with so much excitement and anticipation for the next four years.”
Now a senior, Charis is returning the favor by helping newcomers embrace residence hall life. “I love meeting new students and their families and being able to help ease their nerves and provide them with the same sense of comfort I felt on move-in day.”
Meeting people was the highlight of move-in day for Isaiah Washington, a criminal justice and kinesiology major on track to graduate in May 2025. As a returning student and residential leader, he’s excited to greet newcomers to campus.
“I feel great helping the incoming students and getting to know them and their plan for the future as Tarleton students,” Washington said.
A few tips from the Move-in Guide:
- Prepare for the day by packing snacks and beverages, especially plenty of water to combat the heat.
- Take a bathroom break before arriving.
- Bring moving supplies.
- Pack to ensure your belongings quickly land in the right room.
- Avoid loose items (all items should be folded or toted).
- Carefully pack all items in secure containers (boxes, plastic totes, suitcases).
- Pack tightly to prevent breakage.
- Load as much as possible into, at most, two vehicles.
- Trailers and moving vans will not be allowed in the moving line and will not be unloaded by the moving team.
- The moving team also will not unload additional furniture, like an armchair or couch.
- Label every container with your name, residence hall, room number and cellphone number.
- Once you’ve reached the unloading zone in front of your residence hall, you will receive a Welcome Packet.
- A driver should remain with your vehicle until it is parked in a parking lot.
- Volunteers will unload the vehicle and carry items to your room.
- Vehicles will need to be moved immediately to a designated lot away from the unloading zone.
- All vehicles must remain out of designated loading zones until after 3 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 20.
- Someone should remain with your belongings until all items are secure in your room.