By this time in the semester, you have probably gotten used to your roommate’s little “habits” and survive, fire drills and the late night noise.
As exciting as the approaching holidays are, Christmas break poses many problems for students living on campus.
For in-state students this move is not too much of a problem, especially if a ride is available. Clothes can be packed into garbage bags and then easily thrown in the trunk.
However, out of state and international students face a completely different set of problems when moving.
Packing everything into suitcases, getting a flight that fits your schedule and getting to and from the airport are extremely frustrating steps that must be taken.
Xu Yun, a 26-year-old student from China experienced all of these hassles her freshman year. “I could only bring three bags on the plane over here, everything else I had to buy.”
Liu Shu, 23, also from China, ran into the same problems. “My parents had no idea where I lived and what stuff I needed to buy.”
Both Yun and Shu voiced concerns over exam schedules, as did Yamit Haba, 23, an international student from Israel. “Last year I had to move out the same day as my last final.”
The upcoming exam schedule states that the last Temple exam is Dec. 19. Dorms close for Christmas the following afternoon. Finding time to pack and study becomes an extreme challenge for any student who must travel.
According to Jack Niven, Director of University Housing, the academic calendar determines when residence halls close for the summer and holidays. Keeping a building open during breaks is very expensive, security being the most costly factor.
“Housing has consistently worked closely with the academic schedule so that there are no additional costs to students by remaining open,” Niven said.
As indicated by Temple’s Undergraduate Admissions Web site, “Some campus housing remains open during the Thanksgiving break, winter and spring recesses.” The residence halls that apply to this are Presidential City, Kardon, Elmira Jeffries, Podiatry Apartments and Triangle Apartments. Unfortunately, it is only these listed that allow their residents to stay.
Though limited space on holiday plane rides is a major problem, nothing compares to the stresses of summer break, which is the next big vacation. Unlike many colleges and universities across the country, Temple offers no summer storage options for students.
Haba was forced to get creative her freshman year. “My friends and I decided to store our stuff together and when we came back to get it at the end of the summer, it had been broken into.
A lot of stuff was gone. Storage is so expensive, you have to find people you can trust who are willing to keep your stuff.”
“Temple housing has made a commitment to utilize as many common spaces for student’s use – such as computer labs and fitness centers – instead of setting space aside for storage,” Niven said.
When asked what might be the best way to avoid these obstacles, Yun quickly answered, “Make friends.”
By making friends and connections here in the city, packing and moving in and out is made much easier.
“We had a friend with a car, and that made a big difference,” Shu added.
With bigger classes every year, the growth rate of the Temple Community is extraordinary. Niven added that all students can and should bring up any concerns with their hall staff (Resident Assistants) or hall senate.
As Director of University Housing, he takes the time to meet with Resident Assistants every other week during the year and strives to meet all students’ needs and concerns.
Michelle Nicoletto can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org