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Campus & Community

17 Ways to Know the Academic Year Is About to Start

Move-In Begins Thursday. Already, the Season on Campus Has Changed

By Maryland Today Staff

collage of yellow move-in cart, IKEA sign, Chick-fil-A sign, red backpack, marching band practice and dining hall spread

As summer's end draws nigh, the signs of a new academic year are converging on campus.

Collage by Maryland Today staff

As kids, we heralded the start of the school year with sharpened pencils, fresh notebooks and new sneakers. Here at the University of Maryland, signs that the school year is approaching are as subtle as the neon yellow beacon of IKEA down the street.

Terps started moving into apartments on and off campus last weekend, and overloaded family SUVs will be backed up on the ramp from the Beltway onto Baltimore Avenue starting Thursday, when move-in to the residence halls begins.

Facilities Management workers have been sprucing up the grounds (yes, around the state’s Purple Line construction), Dining Services staff are stocking the shelves and faculty are putting the final touches on their syllabi.

In these last days before the Fall 2023 semester officially begins on Monday, we paused to look around the increasingly bustling scene and note what’s changing:

  1. The line at the Stamp’s Chik-fil-A has returned.
  2. The hottest vehicles on campus are yellow carts.
  3. Most of the library books are on the shelves.
  4. Your days of showing up whenever and getting a prime spot in Lot 1 are numbered.
  5. A caravan of 18-wheelers is parked at the dining halls’ loading docks.
  6. The floors of residence hall rooms are shiny.
  7. Forlorn bike racks are getting fresh tenants.
  8. The prospects of clearing your inbox before noon are fading.
  9. A space shortage looms on campus bulletin boards.
  10. Business casual is waning; leggings and Testudo T’s are surging.
  11. It’s getting dicier to walk across campus with your eyes on your phone. (Just don’t.)
  12. The picture-perfect McKeldin Mall lawn is bending to students’ feet and tushes.
  13. IKEA is sold out of multicolored desk lamps and laundry baskets.
  14. You can guess the temperature by how wilted the Mighty Sound of Maryland members look while practicing on Chapel Field.
  15. The Adirondack chairs at The Clarice are occupied.
  16. You have to set an alarm to snag a spot in a group fitness class.
  17. Trader Joe’s has crowds rivaling those at Looney’s.

Maryland Today is produced by the Office of Marketing and Communications for the University of Maryland community on weekdays during the academic year, except for university holidays.