With a little help from their friends, thousands of students make Northeastern their new home

A student loads personal household items into an oversized moving bin on the sidewalk outside a dorm building
Lizbeth Dominguez, who studies business administration, unloads her car during move-in. Photo by Matthew Modoono/Northeastern University

Whether you’re a first-year college student, upper-classman or have been on campus all summer, move-in week gives thousands of Northeastern students a new perspective.

Similar scenes are playing out this week in Boston, London and Oakland, California. Soon after, classes will begin at all 13 of the university’s global campuses.

On Sunday, cars began lining up outside dorms as parents who made the trek to Boston with their children helped them settle into their temporary homes. Then, there were the goodbyes. Parents, siblings and friends made the day special—and, at times, emotional. 

Four students line up outside a Northeastern dorm building with large hampers on wheels full of belongings to move into their rooms
Northeastern student Camille Clement, who studies speech pathology, moves into LightView with help from her mom, Carolyn. Photo by Matthew Modoono/Northeastern University

First-year student Ellen White’s mother was there to help her daughter embark on her new adventure. “My mom’s never been here before,” Ellen said, as she gave her a tour of the Boston campus. 

White, who traveled from Wisconsin, brought plenty of photos to decorate her East Village dorm, and couldn’t wait to see her roommates for the first time. “I’m excited to meet people,” she said, continuing her walk down Leon Street. 

Move-in continues this week in Boston with about 500 students arriving each day. Black and white paw prints lead first-years from the Columbus Garage to their dorms, and cardboard cutouts of Paws greet them along the way. Students will move into residential campuses in Oakland on Wednesday, and in London over the weekend.

Thanks to Northeastern residential staff, moving is easy and seamless. Movers help unload cars—from fans, to clothes, to posters, to everything else—into bins and roll them into dorms. It was even easier for students who showed up early, like second-year student Lindsay Nardone, who left West Village with an empty bin on Sunday morning. 

“It’s not really busy right now, which is nice,” she said. “Last year with all the COVID-19 protocols, it was very different.” When asked how she would decorate her dorm, her face lit up. 

“I’ve been planning that all summer,” she said; and Etsy was her favorite place to get dorm decor.

For Lizbeth Dominguez, who is starting her second year this fall, the move was less of a life transition than for a first-year like White, though it did give her a big shift in perspective—now living in Lightview, she is on the 19th floor, with a full view of the city.

“You will never get a view like this,” she says. “I really enjoy it just because I can take it all in from just a higher perspective, and see how beautiful the city is.”

Dominguez grew up in Boston and was already on campus for summer courses when she moved in. There were no emotional goodbyes—she lives 30 minutes away and says “I pretty much go home whenever I want to”—but she still appreciated the help from a trusted friend.

“It went pretty well,” she says. “I got help from my best friend of seven years, which was really nice of her. I really appreciated it; it made the whole process way better.”

She looks forward to decorating her room over the next few days, with a focus on neutral colors—and figuring out what to do with a big empty wall. “I decided I wanted a tapestry just to kind of pull it together,” she says. She’ll add LED string lights and Polaroids, too.

More than anything, she looks forward to seeing her friends, and now roommates, after four long months apart. “I think I’m really going to enjoy living here, especially with them,” she says.

Like Dominguez, second-year roommates Caden Henrich and Taksin Mann found themselves having to adapt to a new space, one in West Village that includes a kitchen.

“I definitely brought a lot more this year,” such as cooking supplies, Henrich said. After unloading everything in the new room, there was still much to do. 

“I have a lot of organizing ahead of me,” said Mann.

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