A K Week survival kit


A UK student pushes a cart into Woodland Glen III during move in on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021, in Lexington, Kentucky. Photo by Jack Weaver | Staff

Emily Girard, Features Editor

UK has approximately 30,000 students. Six thousand of those will be incoming freshmen. Finding a place for yourself at such a large school is daunting, to say the least. The following is a list of things you should probably know in your transition to this campus.

Plus, I’ve gone through this experience myself, so I’ll be sharing what I learned, as well — things that none of the “welcome to campus” brochures told me.

First, logistics. If you have a car, you need a place to park it. If you have a bike, you need a place to park that, too. If you have a ton of personal belongings that you bought at Target or Ikea and transported in said car to a dorm building that took you 20 minutes to find because the road Google Maps told you to take was closed for move in, you need a way to get those belongings to your room. (By the way, to avoid routing mix-ups like these, UK has route maps available online to guide you to your hall.)

As you may have guessed, the move-in process is going to be chaotic. There’s really no way around it, not when you have so many people hauling so many cabinets and Keurigs into dorm rooms at the same time. My advice? Minimize the number of trips you have to make from your car to your dorm. The quicker you get in and out, the better.

Also, most dorms have shopping carts available for you to transport your belongings in. Use them. I’ve lived on the third floor every year I’ve lived in a dorm, and shopping carts have been involved in every single move-in and move-out process. Another perk: most dorm elevators can fit multiple carts.

Once your car is successfully unloaded, you need a place to put it. If you have a parking permit, where you can park depends on what permit you have. All of this information (as well as convenient parking maps) can be found here. I recommend printing out the maps before you arrive on campus, as trying to use UK’s less-than-stellar campus WiFi to load and look at very complicated maps in the sun is not a very fun experience.

Bikes, thankfully, are much easier. Bike racks are located outside pretty much all UK buildings. In my experience, though, parking bikes is a much easier process than trying to navigate them through campus traffic.

Speaking of navigating, after move-in ends and your parents leave, your next step is K Week, and there’s a pretty good chance you’ll be doing it alone. Maybe you don’t know anyone at UK. Maybe everyone you know is in a different major or attending different events. Maybe your best friend of a roommate is so tired from band camp that they don’t want to attend anything. 

Whatever the case, my advice is to meet as many people as possible, especially at events associated with your major. Don’t bank on every person you meet being your new best friend, because you may not ever cross paths again. However, you may also run into them on the first day of classes, taking the same introductory course, and go, “Hey, didn’t I play Family Feud with you in the student center?” 

I also recommend downloading the UK Guides app. Not only does the app come preloaded with a full list of K Week events so you can easily organize your schedule, but it is equipped with a map feature that can guide you to any building or plaza on campus, even obscure places that don’t show up on Apple or Google Maps.

Lastly, and most importantly, do what makes you happy. At the end of the day, you may realize that going to every single event you possibly can is no fun, and you’d much rather show your brand new dorm to your high school friend over FaceTime. At such a large school, you need to find happiness somewhere, and campus-wide marketing campaigns can’t tell you what’s best for you.

Oh, and don’t take the Nicholasville Road bus at 5 p.m. while carrying two giant bottles of laundry detergent and your bike. I will not be making that mistake again.