Nearly 6,100 students will move into Illinois State’s residence halls and the new Cardinal Court apartment complex beginning on Wednesday and Thursday.

We thought it’d be a good time to reflect on our own move in memories – the joy of finding out your first-year roommate had your same taste in music, the emotional stress of that final Sunday before your parents leave, the feeling of finally being settled in the night before the semester begins.

Post your own memories below in our Comments section. Here are some of our memories:

Susan Marquardt Blystone ’84, M.S. ’03

Chief editor, Illinois State magazine

“My first memories of true independence are forever linked to the day I settled into ‘Colby Penthouse.’ The room I shared with my high school friend on the 10th and top floor of the dorm quickly became a space filled with moments that defined my college experience. The specific details of shifting my belongings to the campus in 1980 are now a mental blur, however, I still vividly recall knowing each box I unloaded was a visual representation of my shifting into a new world. The physical effort ended with an emotional wallop, as I watched my parents settle into the now empty family car and drive away without me. I was literally going in a new and different direction.”

Steven Barcus ’06, M.S. ’09

Copy editor/writer, University Marketing and Communications

“Watterson Towers may be intimidating to some, towering over the rest of campus, but for a while it was home. I was assigned to VanBuren 5, a floor we all fondly referred to as ‘The Penthouse.’ Move in was a trick, with two extra flights of stairs to climb, but the view was worth it. While I lived there I never had to guess what was going on on campus. I could look out the window and see everything. Climbing a few extra flights of stairs definitely had its rewards.”

Ryan Denham

STATEside editor

“I grew up in Chicago but went to college in Los Angeles by myself, so ‘going away to school’ was even more intimidating. To save money, my mom came up with a way to ship carefully weighted packages of my junk via UPS to a distant relative’s cousin in California, which was our first stop after landing at LAX. It was tough standing in the dorm parking lot as my uber-helpful parents headed back to the airport; Thanksgiving was my next trip home. But my anxiousness was lessened when I got back to my room, saw how fast the high-speed Internet really was (it was a big deal in 2002), and that my new roommate, Sean, liked Michael Mann movies as much as I did. Welcome home, indeed.”

Ryan Denham can be reached at

Post your own memories below in our Comments section below!