To try to sum up the “Move In Day” experience in a few short words is nearly impossible. There are so many words that come to mind thinking back on my “Move In Day” back in August of 2009. If I tried to describe it all to you, you would probably think I was a crazy person. But if you know me, then you know that I am. In fact, I’m that crazy person that participated in “Move In Day” every year I was at Meredith.
Picture this: it’s 8:00am, and lets face it, you got up, got yourself all beautified and ready to have your very first Meredith experience. You probably woke up way earlier than you wanted, showered, fixed your hair, dolled yourself up with make-up, because as everyone knows, you only get one shot at a first impression, and your first impression at Meredith needs to be perfect. You’re all excited, driving up to the front gates, in a line of cars that’s being directed to wait in the random field next to the soccer field. You’re probably lost in the thoughts racing through your mind and the anticipation of the big day…your first day in college. Suddenly, you hear a ridiculous assortment of noises coming from line of traffic. You look up, only to see girls decked out in their Meredith College gear, banging on pots and pans, blowing whistles, screaming at the top of their lungs, waving all sorts of signs at you. Cars are honking and the screams of excitement only grow louder. Everywhere you turn, people are cheering for you! Balloon arches line the main drag into campus. Its like nothing you’ve ever seen before…consider this a foreshadowing of the next for years of your life. The Meredith experience is like nothing you’ve ever seen before.
It’s finally your turn to park and unload the mounds of unnecessary things you brought with you as you start the next chapter in your life. I mean let’s face it, you never know what the day is going to have in store, so you better have every outfit you ever owned available in your closet, regardless of the fact that it’s the smallest closet you’ll probably ever have. As you’re making the trip back up the stairs to your dorm room, arms full of décor and accessories, you’re greeted by a woman who looks to be about your mom’s age, sporting her white Ked’s tennis shoes and Meredith College polo. She introduces herself by saying “Hi there. I’m Jo. Can I help you carry something to your room?” Without thinking twice you let her pick up that Vera Bradley suitcase, jam packed with every pair of shoes you own, probably weighing way too much. It’s not until after she helps you lug your things up three flights of stairs, and then continues to carry on conversations with you and your family, that you realize Jo is in fact Dr. Allen, president of Meredith College. I mean why would you ever think that the president of the college you’re now attending would be willing to dedicate her Saturday to helping hundreds of girls unpack their lives and organize every piece of home they could bring into their tiny dorm room? Well, that’s the way we do things at Mere-Co. Dr. Allen is no ordinary president. She’s indeed that person that makes herself visible at every event possible. In fact, she’s probably the only college president that can look at you as you cross the stage for graduation and congratulate you by name before the announcer has the chance to say your name. From day one- Move In Day – she goes out of her way to get to know her MCGs.
And lets not forget that hesitation you had about going to an all girls school because you wouldn’t have a chance to meet prince charming? Well need not worry, because just after you encounter Jo Allen for the first time, you’re approached by a group of guys rockin’ t-shirts that read “NCSU ❤ MC”. That’s right, NC State boys. They’re everywhere. Trust me, you’ll learn.
“Chapel Hill girls are pretty, Duke girls are smart, but it takes a Meredith girl to win a fella’s heart. UNCW girls are tan, Wake Forest girls got flow, but when you want the best looking girl… Meredith College is where you go. NC State girls are wild, Peace girls are fun, but a Meredith gal is always the best one! Girls will be girls, north, south, east, and west, but MC girls is infinitely rate the best. To any man who reads this and truly wants to know… if you have a Meredith Angel you should never let her go!”
“Move In Day”, is truly the perfect kick off to the best four years you could ever imagine. But amidst all the excitement in the hustle and bustle of “Move In Day”, don’t forget, it’s okay to be sad. While “Move In Day” was so much more than I ever thought it would be, I was so sad to say goodbye to my parents. I’m pretty sure that’s one of the few times I’ve ever seen my dad cry. And while sometimes I pretend I’m not, I’ll always be my daddy’s girl. As I hugged my parents one last time and watched them walk away, tears filled my eyes. Was I really ready to take on the life of being a grown up college student? I mean who was going to remind me to vacuum my bathroom daily…oh don’t worry, that’s what cell phones were invented for. My mother would surely call to tell me tell me, more often than I would like, ha! But really, was I ready to live on my own? I had spent the last 18 years of my life with my parents. As much as I wanted that long awaited freedom, was I really ready for it? I guess only time would tell, but in that moment, watching my parents drive away, I thought to myself “This is it. This is the start of the next chapter of my life. This is what I’ve been waiting for.”
It wasn’t until a week or so later that the honeymoon phase was over. The excitement of “Move In Day”, the President’s Dinner, and the Honor Code Ceremony, the first traditions in my Meredith Career, were over. That’s when it hit me. Had I made the right choice? I was just a small town girl, diving into life in the big city, surrounded by strangers, and not a sole knew who I was. After days of secretly crying, questioning myself, stressed out about homework, thinking there’s no way I’ll ever survive this, I realized, this is my fresh start. No one knows me. No one knows my past. Do I even know me? Maybe this is where I’m supposed to find myself. Maybe this is my chance to figure out who I am, and realize that it’s okay to be different, because let’s face it, we’re all different. That’s the first lesson that Meredith taught me. Accept who you are and know that this is your chance to become who you’ve always wanted to be. This place is your home for the next four years, so go ahead and make the best of it, because in the blink of an eye, you’ll be reminiscing back on “Move In Day” wishing you could do it all over again. So for now, sit back and enjoy the ride, because if you thought “Move In Day” was crazy, you have no idea what lies ahead…the fun is just beginning. You just have to experience it!