Moving in the wrong direction: UK’s post-winter break move-in was unnecessarily stressful


Jewell Hall at the University of Kentucky on Friday, Jan. 29, 2021, in Lexington, Kentucky. Photo by Jack Weaver | Staff

Abbey Cutrer, Reporter

A line of residents with full shopping carts snaked through the lobby of Jewell Hall on Sunday afternoon. The eight-floor residence hall was filled with families helping their students hurry to move into their dorms after winter break, given less than 24 hours to move in before UK’s first day of classes for the spring semester on Monday. Students and families alike were less than pleased.

As usual, UK closed most of its residence halls over this year’s winter break; however, students were not allowed to begin the move-in process until noon the day before the semester began. Comparatively, during last winter break, move-in started on the Friday prior to classes starting and extended over the weekend.

As a result, theoretically, all of the more than 7,800 students who live on campus had to move in on the same day.

In general, the move-in process is chaotic, to say the least. For me, the process started with parking a car full of Ikea bags and suitcases of clothes on the street next to the halls.

After walking into the hall, I checked in at the desk and got a large shopping cart. After pushing the cart to whatever street parking spot was closest, I loaded up the cart for the first trip.

Arriving as early as possible was wise, as the peak time for move-in was insanely crowded. Some families had to wait up to 30 minutes in line just to get on an elevator to get their cart to their room. Residents that live on the first few floors sometimes took the stairs, but even those got congested on move-in day.

After a few trips up to my floor and back down to my car, I returned the cart and drove my car to the South Limestone parking garage, since students couldn’t leave their car parked on the street.

This move-in process is stressful in itself, but so is moving away from home, moving to a new place and getting settled with new neighbors and roommates. Then, trying to attend a class the next morning when your room is likely still in shambles from moving in is not the ideal scenario.

This schedule gives students an extremely poor amount of time to prepare for classes the next day. Some students are in their first semester of school and have to fully move into residence halls and then attend an 8 a.m. class the next morning.

Parents are also worried that there may be a struggle with academics for students without the chance to settle into their dorm.

There are plenty of complaints on the UK Wildcat Families Facebook page. One parent, Jamie Ross, commented, “There is not enough travel wiggle room for out-of-state students.”

With students traveling from out of state or even out of the country, this short window of turnaround time to move puts strains on university students that live on campus, and it makes an already busy and hectic time more stressful.