Switching Scenes: A First-Year’s Transition into a New Residence Hall

By: Sophie Eng

“I like the ‘I love you to the moon and back’ sign,” says Zoe Hochberg, as she points to it from across her new dorm room. Zoe, currently a first-year at Elon, smiles thinking about the special meaning the quote has for her and her mom, who’s been one of the biggest helping hands these past couple of weeks.


Last week, Zoe, who’s been a student at Elon for almost a month and half now, moved into West Residence Hall. After having lived suite style in Barney, there’s no question that it’s going to be different living in a single in an all-girls, hall-style dorm. Zoe, however, has had no problem finding her place on the second floor of West.

“I’m really happy with [my decision to move to West],” she says, “everyone’s so nice, and I love the hall-style a lot better than Barney.” 

While the suite-style layout works well for a lot of people, Zoe needs a bit of peace and quiet due to migraines. “It’s nice to have my own space to go and relax,” Zoe says. Her current dorm room is the perfect escape, with pictures from home, a silhouette of the Manhattan skyline, and a TV that she’s totally open to sharing for hallway movie nights. 

Yet, even with her new peaceful home, Zoe does admit that the transition is a little hard, especially after already having been in school for a month. “I am late in the game and everyone in the hall has their friends already,” she says, “but everyone’s been very willing to welcome me into West, so it’s been great.”

As her family helped to move her in over Family Weekend, there were lots of heads peeking into Room 213. Up and down the hall, every girl reached out to lend a hand and let Zoe know that she’s now a part of the West family. She immediately added her handprint onto the 2016-2017 mural on the second floor, where it can now be seen among 36 others.


“Even though I’m in a single, I’m still in a hall. I just leave my door open a crack and I always hear people,” Zoe says, addressing West’s seriousness about their RA’s open-door policy, “It still feels like I’m with so many people, which makes it a lot more fun.”

There’s never a dull moment in West, due to the fact that every girl on all three floors is so welcoming. Zoe is already an essential part of the family and like it says on the second floor mural: “Behind every successful woman, is a tribe of other successful women who have her back.”


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