OT: University of Michigan Move-In Day

Submitted by profitgoblue on August 15th, 2011 at 9:47 PM

I was just reading that incoming freshman were recently notified about their on-campus housing and roommate assignments.  That got me to thinking about my move-in experience and wondering about my fellow MGoMembers' experiences.  Here's a few of my memories from that day way back in 1993:

Driving up to the entrance to Markley and seeing all the kids and their family members carrying in their belongings and the sense of excitement I felt.  Meeting my roommate (who would soon become my best friend) for the first time and the awkwardness that comes along with all that.  Unloading our cars and lugging all of our sh-t up to the 5th floor (5115 Van Tyne), getting soaked in the process when a thunderstorm popped up out of nowhere.  Picking out pre-cut carpeting in a parking lot by South Quad while some student builders put up lofts in our room.  Watching my parents drive away that first night and feeling that my life has just changed forever.  Hanging out in the hall of 5VT talking to neighbors into the wee hours of the night. Sleeping in until noon the next day.  Good times!

What do your memories hold?  I'm very interested, and it might make for a fun late-night thread . . .




August 15th, 2011 at 10:27 PM ^

The friends you make the first few weeks will likely be among the strongest bonds you have (they were my core group) so try to be sociable even when you're tired. And try to look for people to fall in with that make you feel like you're a becoming a better person (rather than just a conforming person).



August 16th, 2011 at 1:11 AM ^

To add on to this, you're going to meet a ton of people who are as eager to make friends as you are.  Even when you make your first group friends, keep being sociable to other people and be active in making more friends.  Freshmen (myself included when I was one) tend to play it safe when they get their first friend group and may eventually find that the group they are hanging with is not as fun in April as they were in August.  Keep an open mind and always be yourself.


August 16th, 2011 at 12:55 PM ^

My best high school friend was a year ahead of me, and already at Michigan, over in Mojo.  And I met some guys on my hall that were fun sports buddies, but not real party with guys.  I don't really remember move in day....other than one of the days someone took a garbage bag of clothes I had from the loading dock (I miss my Bad Boys Sweat Shirt...).  Probably was a bit sad, leaving home.  But there's usually so much going on so fast, and so much to experience.

But the point to this reply is that it wasn't till my second year i Couzens Hall that I met the guys a year behind me, who are still all my best friends to this day. Any of those high school classmates?  Couldn't tell you what they're doing. But my best friend and future campus apartment roommate? Saw him 2 weeks ago, and he lives in Denver  so yeah, try and meet as many people as possible.  Because you never know who you may click with best.

I'd say girls too, because they really don't bite...but they may nowadays. That was all AIDS/group dates era.  The girls seem more aggressive than the guys today. (And that's not a knock...that's a jealous observation).

Bando Calrissian

August 15th, 2011 at 9:57 PM ^

I don't remember much of move-in, nor much of my room at East Quad in the week that followed.  Freshman Band Week was a brutal introduction to dorm life.

What I do remember is the following Friday after move-in, the day of chair auditions, which was the first day I had (mostly) off all week as a freshman.  I spent most of the day after my audition sleeping and watching old Michigan Replay highlight tapes in bed.  

After lunch, a knock came at the door and I staggered out of bed to answer it.  On the other side of the doorway were my rather chipper and excitable RA's (I had two for some reason), really eager to meet me and talk about how great the year was going to be and such...  I just remember leaning against the wall in the doorway kind of nodding my head and being generally unresponsive, being that I could barely think, much less stand up, and them being pretty much confused at the whole thing until I said I was in band and had been sleeping for the entire morning.  That ended that.

My roommate was an international student and didn't move in for another week.   We didn't get along very well, and it didn't help that for the entire first half of the semester, I was around so little that everyone on my hall mostly knew me as "Phil's roommate," this mythical creature roughly akin to Bigfoot.  Rumors of my existence were many, yet sightings were few.  Whatever.  I had my band friends anyway.

Thinking back, though, the dorms were pretty damn awesome.  I could totally go for that excitement all over again.

MMB 82

August 16th, 2011 at 12:10 AM ^

got you started early, and most of my best friends in school were in the MMB. A guy just down the hall from me in S Quad played the same instrument, and I was a bit intimidated by how well he played. My freshman year roomates (I had a new one each semester) were both smokers, a major problem back in that decade.....I had as little contact with them as possible.


August 15th, 2011 at 10:04 PM ^

I'm also a former 5th Van Tyne resident, 5437 to be exact. But I lived there just last year. It was exciting, especially since I went in blind. Many a great time was had in Markley. I don't know what I would have done without my $300 dining dollars to blow at the Hideaway. And once I figured out they served breakfast it was the best thing ever.

OMG Shirtless

August 15th, 2011 at 10:06 PM ^

I remember volunteering to "help" freshmen move in to Markley through the Greek system. It was just a chance to hit on freshman girls before other people got their shot.  I distinctly remember ignoring the parents of any and all guys trying to move in.

Chi Go Blue

August 15th, 2011 at 11:31 PM ^

I did the same thing my sophomore year. It was always a fun challenge to try to get the parents out of the room, tell the girl that we were having a party. Give her my number and to call me once she got to the line and I'd get her and whatever friends in. Worked like a charm multiple times. That and trying to get tips. Nothing like getting a wad of cash from a grateful dad who didn't want to lift anything. Provided booze money for all of welcome week.

Chester Cheetah

August 15th, 2011 at 10:10 PM ^

For anyone moving into Baits you can take a door of the closet and set it up in the bathroom counter supported by the desk chairs given and two phone books to make a pong table.  My suitemates and I played plenty of pong there.


August 15th, 2011 at 10:15 PM ^

I didn't move until the Winter semester of my sophomore year ('96), due to bad grades in high school. Really, I think U of M let me in with the greatest reluctance: In desperation I did really well at the university I was forced to go to because of my grades (not State!) and wrote desperate essays and exploited the fact that I came from a family of alums.

So I was stuck going to school in the middle of the state as a frosh, and for someone from the Metro Detroit area.... well, it was not what I envisioned in terms of collegiate culture.

This experience heightened the tremendous exhilaration I felt as I walked through Ann Arbor that winter, knowing that now this was my place. I remember loving the used bookstores and the way girls dressed: Yes, these were the types of girls I should be surrounded by, this was the type of literary culture I should be immersed in!

I also remember coming up to the dorms on move-in day and feeling pretty lonely because everyone had friends already. But I still felt at home almost right away.


August 15th, 2011 at 10:27 PM ^

I remember rolling in to West Quad Chicago House and immediately finding out that several of the freshman basketball players lived there.  This was back in the days of Frieder.  They had a lot of fun!  I became friends with a couple of the fellas which was a key move for meeting women and getting to play at Crisler during their road trips.  Great times at WQ.


August 16th, 2011 at 1:55 AM ^

We thought we were cooler because we knew all the football players, and they took us to Dooleys so we didn't have to wait in line. 

West Quad Progressive parties were pretty awesome.  I doubt they get away with that shit now.

Best time of my life. Don't get me started. 


True Blue in CO

August 15th, 2011 at 10:51 PM ^

First day was getting to Band Camp and MMB tryouts. First dinner was a Cottage Inn pizza. First Breakfast was leftover Cottage Inn pizza. Roommate was a great guy who was a sophomore that actually tried out for the football team the prior spring to possibly backup Lynn Dickey. He did not make it but he took his best shot. Always park across the street from West Quad on game days to reminisce and take advantage of the restrooms in the Union.

I Miss Bursley

August 15th, 2011 at 10:54 PM ^

I was in (surprise) Bursley my freshman year. Amazing memories of my first day moving in. I was completely unprepared and couldn't care less. My awesome roommate happened to know a bunch of girls and a few of them came down and helped us set up. I felt like such a baller.



August 16th, 2011 at 2:57 AM ^

This may be the best advice.  I kind of forgot about that the first year and had to dig out of a pretty big hole.  Coming from a conservative high school with little diversity, I really got side tracked with all of the new experiences and interacting with people who thought different than anything I was exposed to. 

I learned more from the diverse group of people I met than in any class but it is very important to remember to go to class.  As soon as I actually started to simply go to class, my grades actually improved dramatically (imagine that).  I didn't really study more but showing up makes a big difference.  That is the advice I will give my kids.


August 16th, 2011 at 4:49 AM ^

Yes, I am going to be a senior this upcoming year and I cannot believe how fast the time has flown by. It sounds cheesy and cliche, but really try to enjoy every day you are a student there, because it will most likely be the best four years of your life, provided you make a slight effort to get out and meet new people. I guess that's the best advice I can share. Enjoy every day and make a concerted effort to get out of your comfort zone and join a group and meet new people; you won't regret it. 

And if you are a basketball fan even in the slightest, join the Maize Rage. Best decision of my life.


August 15th, 2011 at 11:20 PM ^

in to Bursley in a large triple. 1014 Rotvig House to be exact. Can anyone tell me what those rooms are like? I was given measurements but it's hard to envision the room with just dimensions.


August 15th, 2011 at 11:45 PM ^

I remember walking through my hall (the top floor in Congress Baits 2 unfortenatley) recognizing the voice of one of my classmates from high school.  It turned out he was living right across from me and had a deluxe room with airconditioning.  Although there were only about 12 people on our floor.  It was an amazing experience that consisted of watching movies, playing video games, and consistently making trips to the blue apple.  I am a senior now and I can't believe that was already three years ago.   Just the idea of graduating in about 8 months gets me really sad.  

South Bend Wolverine

August 16th, 2011 at 12:05 AM ^

Moved into Thieme House (2104) in Baits II 7 long years ago.  Left my key in my room the very first time I left it, and locked myself out.  I was more than a little scared, but I had spent 18 years dreaming of being a UM student, and was determined to live it to the full.  4 great years, they sure do fly by, though!


August 16th, 2011 at 12:38 AM ^

My Dad walks me back to the car, grabs my hand for a firm shake, and slides an allowance into the side pocket of my wolverine jacket while whispering "good luck with John Lennon"...referring to my new roommate and his extraordinary resemblance to a young Lennon on that day. (hair, pony, glasses, the works...)
<br>That roommate has been one of my dearest friends since. Enjoy your stay in Ann Arbor! It remains the best of times.


August 16th, 2011 at 3:54 AM ^

Do I have a story...

Lived in West Quad back during my freshman year in '94.  One day, when returning from class, a buddy and I noticed an empty Subway cup sitting on the floor of the stairwell to Adams House.  As we approached the stairwell, we noticed that the cup was not empty, but rather filled with what appeared to be human excrement.

At that moment, Jon Ritchie peeks his head around the corner, sees us looking at the cup in disgust, and giggles like a schoolgirl before running off.  We later wondered how many fellow students had discovered this "present" he left for passersby.