OTTAWA COUNTY, Mich. — As a college freshman, moving into your freshman dorm is an experience you'll never forget.
Students at Grand Valley State University began moving into their campus dorms Sunday following the release of the university's COVID-19 fall semester plan.
"I'm kind of indifferent if I'm being completely honest, because there's been like cases on the rise from other campuses," said Brenden Bloucha, incoming freshman at Grand Valley State University.
Brendan Bloucha was the first of 1,000 freshman to arrive on the Allendale campus Sunday to begin moving into the dorms.
An experience that has been drastically changed due to COVID-19.
Now, the move in process means masking up, social distancing, and following a move in schedule provided by the university.
"I think there's a little bit of nervousness, of course about what this is going to look like and how it's going to flow," said Brandi Tenney, assistant director of housing at Grand Valley State University. "This is the first time we've had to take some of these measures. And so, I think there's a certain amount of both excitement and a little bit of anxiety."
Tenney has been helping freshman students move into their dorms for more than nine years, but says this year comes with changes she's never experienced.
"Ordinarily, we would have people come on a certain day and the entire building would show up," said Tenney. "Now we've extended it from maybe a three day process to a seven day process so that you and your roommate are maybe coming on different days, or different times of the day and staggering that."
In addition to an expanded move in period, every student will receives a mask at move-in check-in, which they are asked to wear.
Hand sanitizer is also readily available across campus and cleaning is being increased, according to Teeney.
Incoming freshman Ellie Kerber and her family arrived at the Allendale campus early Sunday to kick-start the move-in process, an experience Ellie's parents weren't sure she would get.
"Well I just feel like the class of 2020 kind of took the brunt of the pandemic and I just feel like, you know, it was such a loss. All of their graduation and it was really sad, so we're just looking for something positive," said Bonnie Kerber, Ellie's mom.
University staff echoed a similar message to keep positive during move-in week.
"Keep yourself healthy. Take it easy. It's a long day and it takes a while to get everything unpacked and ready to go," said Tenney. "Just enjoy this experience with their supporters that are here."
Once students are moved in and classes begin, students are asked to complete a self assessment everyday provided by the university.
Students are also asked to take a pledge and participate in random testing throughout the semester, but it's not required.
For more information on Grand Valley State University's fall semester plan, click here.