For the first time in over a year, campus is returning to a semblance of normal. Sidewalks fill between classes, professors dust off their projectors and a new freshman class finds their homes in the dorms.

This month we’re taking you inside freshman move-in. From tearful parents to packed minivans, let’s experience the moment a new generation of college students starts their journey. Bring water and sunscreen; it’s a hot one out there.

Plus, later in the show, Offbeat’s Kimi Fleming shares campus resources for health, academics and safety.

Campus Resources

University of Maryland Police Department
Shuttle UM
TransLoc App
Blue Light Emergency Phones
Undergraduate Student Legal Aid Office
McKeldin Library Study Rooms
Huddle Rooms
Tutoring and Academic Success
Guided Study Sessions
University Career Center
Writing Center
Regents Drive Studios
UMD Counseling Center
CARE to Stop Violence

You can also find us on Spotify and Apple Podcasts. A full transcript of this month’s episode is below.

Offbeat: Moving In

Sasha Sha: We went to Target and…

Jiayi Zhang: Bed Bath and Beyond and Walmart and Best Buy…

Sasha: We also bought off Amazon. We bought a lot of things.


Allison Mollenkamp: Welcome to Offbeat, a podcast about all the nooks and crannies of life at the University of Maryland. I’m your host, Allison Mollenkamp.

For the first time in over a year, campus is returning to a semblance of normal. Sidewalks fill between classes, professors dust off their projectors and a new freshman class finds their homes in the dorms.

This month we’re taking you inside freshman move-in. From tearful parents to packed minivans, let’s experience the moment a new generation of college students starts their journey. Bring water and sunscreen; it’s a hot one out there.


Allison: Plus, later in the show, Offbeat’s Kimi Fleming shares campus resources for health, academics and safety.


[Ambient sound from Xfinity Center]

Allison: On a swelteringly hot Friday afternoon, the move-in process starts at the Xfinity Center. Students venture in alone to pick up keys and student IDs, while their parents wait in the arena or leaning up against the walls of the parking garage.

Jen Klepesch: We’re… I’m gonna cry [laughter].

Allison: It’s an emotional day for some parents. After more than a year of pandemic school, kids are off to in-person classes and life away from home.

Here’s Jen Klepesch. Her daughter Sarah is a freshman.

Jen: We’re good, we’re good. We’re a little excited and a little nervous and a little overwhelmed, but mostly excited.

Allison: Of course this school year starts during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. But Jen is happy to think about Sarah being back in a classroom after a year and a half. And she thinks her daughter is excited too.

Jen: I think that Sarah is just very very excited to be here. I think whether she’s in a building or online, she’s just happy to be here. I think it’s exciting that she will be able to go back into a classroom; she’s looking forward to it. But, whatever, however the year plays out, I think she’s just excited to be at the University of Maryland starting this new adventure.

Allison: Michael Oyekola brought his parents and younger siblings to help get him started on the new adventure. He’s feeling good about the year.

Michael Oyekola: A little nervous, not really. I have a lot of friends that go here, so should be fun.

Allison: That positive outlook is shared by Michael’s mom, Regina.

Regina Oyekola: Confident. He’s going to strive. That’s just his personality.”

Allison: The question of independence, of how much students are ready to do on their own, is a tough one, and each family answers differently.

Lata Nadella moved to Maryland from India to be near her daughter Priyanka during college.

Lata Nadella: It’s too many things going. So I am relocating and getting all this setting up for the banks and the visa ‘cause I still have to do phone and get a router and data plan. All those I am doing at the same time she is joining here. So my plan is to stay here with her because she is too young.

Allison: Meanwhile, some students feel a disconnect between their parents’ worries and their own confidence.

Jiayi Zhang came to UMD from Shanghai, China where her parents live.

Jiayi: Sometimes they are very worried about me because they think I cannot take care of myself very well, yes.

Sasha: We are more independent than parents think, I think [laugh].

Allison: That’s Sasha Sha. She also made the 20-hour flight from Shanghai. She shares a little bit of her parents’ worry, but is feeling better now.

Sasha: At first like a little bit nervous about like leaving my home and like leaving my parents, leaving my relatives. But when I arrived in the U.S., I feel like it’s just a new place to live, it’s a great place, and just experience a new life.

Allison: That new life comes with logistical challenges. Jiayi is assigned to a dorm without air conditioning.

Jiayi: So I think I live in the third floor, it’s too hot for me. Because when I was in too hot and I will have … I will feel itchy on my face and my eyes I cannot open it. So I think I really need to move to another dorm.

Allison: Logistics are a big part of the job for staff members assisting with move-in.

[Sound of cart rolling]

Allison: Jamil Perry is a sophomore who worked during move-in. He says on a busy move-in day on North Campus, carts to carry dorm supplies were in short supply.

Jamil Perry: Yesterday, I had one extra cart and I was trying to bring it over to Cambridge ‘cause I knew they needed some at Cambridge. And once I got there, there was like this parent and he came out and he was like, ‘Yes, come to Papa,’ and he was like… it was pretty weird. I was like, ‘Um, here you go, you’re welcome,” and then he took the cart and yeah yesterday they were like scouring for carts, but today it’s been the occasional, ‘Do you guys have any carts?’

Allison: Nadula Kadawedduwa moved in with the help of his parents Kumara and Ganga. He likes his new dorm, but even a slower day of move-in came with challenges.

Nadula Kadawedduwa: The elevators are kind of crowded.

Kumara Kadawedduwa: I haven’t seen it yet because we’re still outside.

Nadula: “It took like 30 minutes to get up and down.”

Allison: The Kadawedduwa family lives in Gaithersburg, which made Nadula’s move pretty smooth. But for Kumara, there’s still something bittersweet about seeing his oldest son go off to college.

Kumara: Both side: happy and sad. Right? I mean like, the happy because we are happy about his future. But the sad thing, you know, we’re leaving, I mean, he’s leaving us for even some time.

Allison: All those feelings mix on move-in day, but also in the hours before.

Joe Francomano helped his son move in to start the school year. The night before was emotional for the family.

Joe Francomano: We tried having dinner last night and we tried toasting and we couldn’t do it. We were all like, ‘Ah, OK nothing to say.’ But it was great. He’s been prepared for this for a long time.


Kimi Fleming: Welcome back, Terps! For this week’s Remix segment, we’re taking you through some helpful resources on campus.


Kimi: First, we’ll break down some important safety information to take note of.

The city of College Park does not have its own police department, so UMPD helps to patrol campus and part of the surrounding areas. It has both an emergency and non-emergency phone line.

UMD Alerts notify students of crime and emergencies around campus. Alerts are sent to students automatically.

To get around the campus easier, Shuttle-UM has stops all around College Park and UMD. You can find bus maps and times at and a live bus schedule using the NextBus app, website and text line, but take note: later this semester, NextBus will transition into Umo, another real-time bus updating app. Face coverings are required on public transportation.

If you’re ever stuck without a ride home late at night, UMD DOTS offers NITE Ride. It’s a service you can call or request through an app to get you home safely. You will need to log in with your university ID and password.

You’ve also probably seen the blue light emergency phones scattered around the campus. These phones connect you directly to UMPD if dialed. Many of the blue lights are also equipped with video cameras monitored by the Department of Public Safety.

If you find yourself in a situation where you need legal assistance, the Undergraduate Student Legal Aid Office is located on the third floor of South Campus Dining Hall. It provides legal advice, university charge assistance — which is if the university charges you with violating academic integrity policies — and notary services.

If it’s your first time on campus or you’re looking for new places to study, rooms in McKeldin Library and the Edward St. John Learning and Teaching Center Huddle Rooms are available for reservations online.

For class tutoring, you can visit The website breaks down tutoring services by program or department.

Some classes also have Guided Study Sessions led by previous students of the course. Check with your professor or on the Teaching and Learning Transformation Center’s website to find out if your class has GSS.

The Career Center offers a variety of services to students, including help with resumes, internship guidance, career opportunities and more! Its office is located in Hornbake Library, but many services are being offered virtually.

Hornbake Library is also home to the Writing Center, which offers virtual online tutoring and 24-hour feedback on students’ writing.

As we transition back into the classroom in person, it’s important to continue taking care of your mental and physical health. Here are some helpful resources available to UMD students:

The largest gym is Eppley Recreation Center on North Campus, which includes an indoor track, cardio equipment, a weight room, basketball courts, two pools and more. Regents Drive Studios, located in the Regents Drive parking garage, hosts daily group fitness classes throughout the year. The public health school also has cardio machines and a weight room open to everyone with a RecWell membership. Ritchie Coliseum, located on Route 1 near The Hotel, is available to students as well. Finally, the Reckord Armory had four full basketball courts where many intramural sports practice and compete.

On the topic of mental health resources, the University of Maryland Counseling Center offers therapy sessions, psychological evaluations and consultations.

The CARE to Stop Violence Office is a confidential resource that offers counseling, advice and educational workshops to teach students about domestic and sexual violence, while also working with victims.

The transcript for this episode contains links to all of the resources we’ve mentioned.

For more helpful tips, check out The Diamondback’s Welcome Back Guide at, and be sure to rub Testudo’s nose for good luck this semester.


Allison: Thanks for listening to Offbeat. I’m your host Allison Mollenkamp. This episode was created by: Rosa Pyo and Kimi Fleming. Thanks to the whole Offbeat team for their hard work.

Our music this month is Warm Up by Marco Sesay. You can find him on Soundcloud.

Follow Offbeat on Twitter @DBKOffbeat. And follow The Diamondback on Twitter and Instagram @thedbk.

You can find a transcript of this episode at If you like the show, make sure to tell your friends and leave us a rating and review.

Thanks for listening. We’ll be back in October with a brand new episode.