Freshmen find friendship among boxes, rideshares

New students miss their dogs, move in to UB for first time


Cameron Reyes, a freshman chemical and biological engineering major, spent a month on campus for UB’s Access to College Excellence program over the summer, but that didn’t make saying goodbye to his mom last week any easier.

“My mom was sad. Everybody else that came was sad,” Reyes said. “I’m the youngest [sibling] and also the last one to go to college so I guess she was proud but sad because I won’t be home with her anymore.”  

Reyes was one of the roughly 8,000 students who moved into UB’s 13 residence halls and five apartment buildings last week. Many came fully equipped with their mini fridges, fairy lights and tissues for their parents. Move-in week began Thursday, Aug. 22, at 9 a.m. for incoming freshmen, followed by sophomores and upperclassmen throughout the weekend. Over 1,500 students arrived early, according to Jim Zielinski, associate director of housing operations for Campus Living. Many freshmen were excited to reach the milestone of leaving their parents behind, meeting their new roommates and beginning their lives at UB. 

 “It’s just an exciting and happy time for everyone,” Zielinski said. “It’s an exciting new journey for the students who are arriving and we’re happy to host them here on campus.”

 To avoid the stress of move-in day, many students began their day earlier than Campus Living’s 9 a.m. opening time. Some arrived to campus as early as 7 a.m., according to Patrick Burke, a residence hall director in Campus Living.

 “I think the craziest thing is the amount of parents that come in at 7 a.m. and they just want to get here and they’re so excited to be here,” Burke said. “Sometimes it’s the parents [rather] than the students that are more excited to be here.”

 Max Sobel, a freshman aerospace mechanical engineering major, was one of the many students who wanted to avoid the mobs of incoming students and families.

 “We were there around 7:45 a.m. and [they weren’t] going to let us in until 9 a.m., but they ended up letting us move in early,” Sobel said. “They were very accommodating. Moving in before anyone else did was nice.”

 And it didn’t take long for incoming students to start feeling right at home and making new friends. Student Life put on its annual Welcome Weekend, which hosts a variety of events to connect incoming students with each other. From picnics, icebreaker events and therapy dog sessions, incoming students found themselves fully engulfed in the UB community for the first time. 

 Freshman fine art major Emma Stanton moved into UB last weekend, leaving behind her beloved dog in Corning, NY. She admitted missing her dog already, but said UB’s dog therapy and her newfound friends will help ward off the sadness.

 “It was overwhelming at first actually moving in, then once you’re settled in it’s really easy to figure out things to do. Welcome Weekend was really fun,” Stanton said. “I really want to go to the dog therapy. Oh my god, I miss my dogs so much.”

 Many students also received a warm welcome from Campus Living faculty and their new roommates and neighbors.

 Hector Sosa, a junior psychology major, never expected to receive moving help from incoming freshmen.

 “We’ve been doing a lot of back and forth [between the dorms]. We’ve just been taking Ubers all day from public storage,” said Sosa. “We took an [Uber] XL because we had all these things and a group of young men [shared] the same Uber ride so they helped us unpack. That was pretty cool.”

But some students had a tougher time getting settled into their new homes.

Freshman engineering major Jocelin Mendez knew that moving into college was going to be full of emotion, but she didn’t expect to be welcomed onto campus by the wails of a lost student.

“I was [waiting for the elevator] to go to the sixth floor,” Mendez said. “All [I heard was] screaming in the elevator.” 

When the elevator doors opened, it was a fellow freshman who had accidentally dropped all of his belongings. Once he realized he was also in the wrong building, Mendez watched as the freshman threw everything out of the elevator and left. 

Other students found themselves overwhelmed after arriving later in the afternoon. 

Ryanne McChesney, a freshman psychology major, began his move-in process around 10:30 a.m., which is over an hour after the recommended arrival time. 

“I moved in the middle of everything [going on] so it was really stressful. I had a lot of top-heavy, awkward stuff [to carry],” McChesney said.“I had a bunch of people helping me, so I had like seven people trying to cram into my room.”

But minor inconveniences didn’t stop the incoming class of 2023 from remaining hopeful for the upcoming year at UB. 

“Everyone at UB seems pretty happy and positive. It’s just a fun environment,” freshman computer science major Alexander Wong said. “It’ll take some time getting used to the bathroom, but maybe in two weeks it will be fine.”

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 Samantha Vargas is an English/ film studies double major with a minor in media study. She spends her free time finding shows around buffalo and hanging out with her cat. 


Julian Roberts-Grmela is a senior news editor for The Spectrum and an English and philosophy major. His favorite book is “White Teeth” by Zadie Smith and he hopes that one day his writing will be as good as hers.