Tips from Director of Residence Life Kirsten Carrier

Carrier was recently featured on WXII’s The Local Vibe and provided incoming students and parents with valuable tips for Move-In Day.

As Move-In Day approaches, the experience of living in a new place with new people may seem overwhelming to the new students and their families.

But Kirsten Carrier, assistant dean of campus life and director of residence life, is here to help with some words of advice. She was recently featured on WXII The Local Vibe and offered tips to incoming students and their families on how to make the move-in process as smooth as possible.

Think ahead

Kristen Carrier, Assistant dean of campus life and director of residence life

Planning can do wonders to alleviate some of the worry and stress involved with going to college. This transition takes a lot of change and the best way to deal with that change, Carrier said, is for students to have important conversations with those closest in their life.

Setting a schedule with your family and friends about how often you’ll be in contact will go a long way in helping both parties deal with the adjustment.

Students and parents should reach out to people who’ve gone through it before for guidance. Students should speak with older siblings or friends about their first-year experience, and parents should seek counsel from parents who have gone through the move-in process before for whatever words of wisdom they might offer.

Carrier also advises families to pack properly as well. Residence hall dorms are only so big and it is a shared space, so it wouldn’t be necessary to bring a cargo trailer carrying every possession.

“Think ahead about both the logistics, but also those relationships in your life and how you will find support during that transition and your entire first year at college,” Carrier said. “It can be a lot but it’s important to use your network, use those who have made the transition to college before.”

Beware of myths

Hollywood has perpetuated several beliefs about college that students and families may still take as truth. For one, Carrier said, students shouldn’t expect to be best friends with their roommate.

Incoming students should also be OK with doing certain activities alone, such as going to the dining hall. Of course, it’s common to gather with a group of friends occasionally for a meal, but it’s just as common to grab a bite in between classes by yourself.

The notion that all students are sleepless zombies pulling constant all-nights is something Carrier dispelled during the segments. Rest and a healthy sleep schedule are paramount to a student’s success.

Words of encouragement / reassurance

Going to college is just one of many transitions students will make in their lives. While making that leap as a college student may initially seem daunting, relying on the many support systems at Elon will ease that process.

It’ll be a learning curve for students, both academically and socially, but those growing pains are a part of the journey and aren’t more challenging than anything these students have had to deal with before.

“They have great resilience,” Carrier said. “Those bumps along the way are a part of their educational process.”

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