The sound of loaded hand carts rolling through campus and the murmur of shy introductions rang through campus last Thursday as hundreds of incoming students prepared to move into their dorms during Move-In Day.
Move-In Day marked the beginning of the six day event known as Welcome Days, which is designed to welcome new students to the SF State community and campus.
Among the new students was Kristy Soto, an incoming freshman from North L.A. who was drawn to San Francisco by the idea of living in a new city.
“It’s amazing.” Soto said. “I’m excited but sad because I’m moving away from my friends and family. I’m just trying to adjust to it all.”
Soto and her mother, Ana Soto, waited patiently in the winding lines of incoming students to check in and receive what would soon be the keys to Soto’s home for the upcoming months.
Even after a six hour drive, the scarce SF State parking and the long lines of students waiting to check-in, Ana Soto remained patient and supportive of her daughter’s move to SF State.
“It’s her dream to go here,” Ana Soto said. “Moving here is the big thing. It’s the big transition.”
Soto said applying for housing early and filling out all the necessary forms right away was what helped secure her spot for on-campus housing.“I wanted to do it (on-campus housing) my first year instead of trying to look around,” Soto said.
For John Agcaoili, a freshman from West Covina, leaving home was difficult. Like many incoming freshman, the process of moving into his dorm reminded him of the hundreds of miles that separated him and his family while going off to college. “I was super anxious about it,”Agcaoili said.
Although he didn’t get to stay in the dorm he originally wanted, Agcaoili was ultimately happy to be living on-campus.
“I just feel that as an incoming freshman, it’s just easier to live on-campus and getting to know the campus with other people that are new to this school,” Agcaoili said.
Kevin Kinney, Interim Director of Residential Life, said the university tries to ease the stress of moving for new students.
“The first priority is for them to get settled in their new home,” Kinney said.
According to Kinney, the university focused on preparing staff and dorms for more than 2,500 students who will be living on-campus. This includes everything from cleaning rooms and having each student assigned to a room, to training the staff and resident assistants who work with students throughout the year.
Reaching out to families before the start of summer and making information and resources immediately available to new students upon arrival was also a priority for SF State.
“We really want to make sure that they get connected to the school and they are ready when school starts on Monday,” said Kinney.
Incoming freshman were not the only students moving into the dorms at SF State for the first time. According to the SF State’s 2014 Data Book, 3,766 of the students enrolled at SF State in 2013 were new undergraduate transfer students.
Some transfer students choose to live on-campus their first year, like junior Steven Bosby who came from Sierra College to SF State to study Environmental Sciences.
“I have friends that live in San Francisco who talk about how difficult it is to find somewhere to live in the city,” Bosby said. “Living on-campus and having that taken care of avoids a lot of problems.”
Bosby also said the convenience of living at school was another factor that played into his decision. “ It keeps you grounded I think,” Bosby said. “Being right here, there’s no excuse for not going to class or not doing homework.”
On-campus housing wasn’t everyone’s first choice. Jennifer Moser, an incoming freshman from Anaheim tried finding a place to live off-campus in order to save costs. She was also waitlisted for on-campus housing until 3 weeks prior to moving to San Francisco.
“There was like 11 of us and we were all think about sharing a house,” Moser said. “It actually seemed like it would have been more affordable for all of us to share a big house than getting a room here.”
Unable to find a place to live with the other students, Moser was relieved when she found out she had received on-campus housing. “It was really stressful not knowing where I was going to live or if I was even going to come out here,” Moser said.
Moser said she’ll be paying roughly $1,200 a month to share a room and cover food costs and while staying at SF State. “It’s kind of a relief to be here but I’m also kind of apprehensive because I don’t know what’s coming,” Moser said.