A hot and muggy summer day couldn’t damper the spirits of Eunique Foreman as she and members of her family hoisted, books, backpacks, kitchen utensils and other living essentials up the stairs to her apartment in University Housing during Freshman Move-In Day 2015 at California State University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH).
Foreman, an 18-year-old Lancaster resident who attended Eastside High School, has two roommates in her apartment. She was one of 201 freshmen to move into University Housing this fall, joining a total of 309 new campus residents.
“I look forward to having a lot of fun, to having a lot of new experiences in the dorms, and to becoming more social. I’m so used to being at home, so it’s going to be a huge change,” said Foreman, who plans to study business management and theatre at CSUDH. “I’ll also be doing a lot more things at Cal State Dominguez Hills then I did in high school, like joining clubs and becoming part of the community. I may even get into a sport like volleyball or basketball–maybe tennis. I’m not sure yet.”
Foreman’s aunt and little sister lent a hand during the move in, as did her mother Gwendolyn Peel.
“This will be a great experience for my daughter. I’ve prepared myself for her to leave our home, but once you prepare yourself there’s always something else that comes up,” said Peel. “She’s a very responsible girl so I’m not too worried. Besides, she will always have her mom.”
New freshmen receive added assistance before and after they start living on campus to help them acclimate to college life and be on their own for the first time.
Some of the programs and extra attention University Housing provides for them is a new resident orientation, resident orientation interest fairs, and the opportunity to participate in community building activities designed just for them. They are also only paired with other freshmen as roommates, and with resident assistants who are assigned to each apartment and who meet with them early to provide advice and address their concerns.
Jillian Demagno, a CSUDH senior majoring in clinical laboratory science and a returning housing student, worked the sign-in station during Freshman Move-In Day, helping the new students check in, giving them keys to their apartments and information about how the laundry and mailbox systems works, and other useful tips about residing in University Housing.
“The new freshmen are really excited. It’s a big day for them. It’s the first time living away from home for many of them,” said Demagno. “I tell them to just have fun but keep in mind that there are still rules. We don’t want them to get in trouble their first year. But all that changes as they get into their second or third year because they get to know each other a little bit more. We work to build a community here that is positive.”
Freshman Ariana Velez, who attended East Los Angeles Performing Arts Academy and would like to major in criminal justice at CSUDH, moved in with the help of her parents Jilberto and Rosa Velez.
“I’m moving into the dorms because I want to get into cheer and get very involved in school. The dorms are like their own little community, and living in them is the college experience you think about when in high school,” said Velez, a Los Angeles resident. “I really look forward to meeting new people and finding others who have the same interests as me.”
Before coming to CSUDH, Velez opened her first bank account and took a class at her bank to learn how to manage her money. She will also look for ways to save money while living on campus.
“I like to cook, but I don’t think I’m that good–I just cook basic stuff. But I will cook to save money,” she said. “It will be weird living alone for the first time because I’m an only child and I’m really attached to my family, who have helped me out so much.”
New freshman Dominique Moses, who wants to study psychology, attended Troy High School in her hometown of Fullerton. She was also assisted by her mother during move-in.
“My daughter is ready to leave home, but I’m not completely ready for her to leave. I don’t want to let her go,” said Dominique’s mother, Jennifer Moses. ”It’s going to be a lot different at home because I have two younger boys who she helps me with. So we’re all going to miss her.”
Moses will “miss” her brothers, but looks forward to starting her college education and working on campus or possibly in a retail store nearby.
“Along with class, I’m going to pursue some fun activities on campus that I’ve looked in to,” said Moses, whose family lives in Buena Park. “I’ve been to a bunch of [University Housing] seminars to help me prepare. So I think I’m ready. I’m excited to see how dynamic my classes will be. I also look forward to going to games. I hear basketball is really good here.”