For incoming college freshmen, moving away from home and starting one's college career doesn't have to be excessively stressful. This transition will be much smoother with some pre-planning and by following the following ideas, tips, and suggestions. 

What are the on-campus residence halls like?

For starters, Virginia Tech residence halls have laundry rooms, and if something gets broken, a work order form can facilitate the repair. And some residence halls have fitness rooms and premium sports channels available to residents.

Residence hall life is enriched by the support and mentoring of staff members who live there. They include:

  • resident advisors, house supervisors, and graduate fellows;
  • graduate assistants (who are pursing a master's degree or doctoral degree), such as assistant residential learning coordinators;
  • live-in professional faculty, such as residential learning coordinators.

Housing and Residence Life organizes events and programs for students throughout the year. Though some events are exclusive to on-campus residents, most are open to all Virginia Tech students.

When can I move in?

Fall 2014 residence hall check-in begins on Wednesday, Aug. 20 (between 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.) and ends on Saturday, Aug. 23 at 5 p.m. Although Wednesday and Thursday are considered "early arrival," no special permission is required to move in on those days.

Visit the parking and unloading section of the Housing and Residence Life website to determine where best to park upon arriving.  

Because the average new student tends to bring a little bit more to school than the average returning student, Hokie Helpers will be on hand to help unpack cars and carry all the gear to each student's room.

Just who are Hokie Helpers?

Hokie Helpers are Virginia Tech students, faculty, and staff who volunteer their time to help on move-in days. (Ut Prosim (That I May Serve) is more than just a slogan around here.) They will help empty vehicles, move items from the street to the rooms, and provide information all in an effort to reduce stress on students and their families as they arrive at Virginia Tech.

Hokie Helpers will be available Wednesday, Aug. 20 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Saturday, Aug. 23 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

What is the best way to meet new people and discover what there is to do?

Gobblerfest is the annual campus festival that gives students the opportunity to meet one other, explore common interests, discover the wide range of campus activities available to them, and become a part of the Virginia Tech community. Gobblerfest 2014 will be held Sept. 5 from 4 to 8 p.m on the Drillfield.

Other ways to prepare for life at Virginia Tech

  • The Housing and Residence Life website has a list of seven things to take care of before the school year starts. Completing all seven items on this list will make for a less stressful transition to campus.
  • Many professors use the Scholar Course Management System to post syllabi and required course materials. During the semester, students often submit assignments and view grades on Scholar. Before arriving on campus, take the time to log in to Scholar, using your PID and password, to view tutorials on how to take full advantage of what it offers.
Written by Brooke Williams of Christiansburg, Va., a junior double-majoring in English and communication in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences.
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