Students began moving into MUN residences Sunday morning. (Elizabeth Whitten/CBC)
Memorial University came back to life on Sunday morning as vans, trucks and taxis pulled up to the St. John's campus, packed with boxes and duffel bags belonging to students moving into campus housing.
Students and their families were met with a carnival-like atmosphere with music, dancing mascots and a festival tent where students filled out forms.
Megan Walsh of Grand Falls-Windsor was parked in front of Macpherson College, helping unload bags from a vehicle. She said she woke up at 5 a.m. to make the drive into the city, in part because of excitement for the day but also to get a jump on the over 400 kilometre drive.
It's her second year living on campus and she said it makes university life easier.
Megan Walsh is a second year student studying commerce. (Elizabeth Whitten/CBC)
"It's really easy getting to and from class because there's only like a five minute walk. You don't have to worry about traffic or anything like that. And that's my favourite part of it," Walsh told CBC News.
She's aware of the hardships other students have faced in finding lodgings and knows people who were having trouble. She added her and a group of friends are interested in living together off of campus next year and are already worried it won't come together due to the issue around housing availability.
Right now though, she's excited to start the semester in residence.
"It's a really great experience. I would definitely recommend it to first years in the future," she said.
Bridgit Tooker and Holly Morgan are both second year students moving back into residence. (Elizabeth Whitten/CBC)
Bridgit Tooker from Truro, N.S. and Holly Morgan from Irishtown-Summerside are also living on campus for a second year.
Tooker said they were able to reclaim the room the pair shared last year, so they didn't have to worry about finding a place to live when the semester started.
"It wasn't too nerve wracking because we did already have our room so we could reclaim it," said Morgan.
Tooker also shared her tips on moving into a dorm, explaining you need to be organized when packing because unpacking can be stressful.
There were plenty of people on hand to help students moving into campus on Sunday. (Elizabeth Whitten/CBC)
"But don't over pack. I've come to realize that packing the night before is better because it gives you less time to stuff in things you don't need," Morgan added.
"The longer you pack, the more you take time to look at and go 'oh, I need this,' when you don't."
Tooker said if you do that, you won't use half the items you bring.
Morgan said what you need depends on what residence you're in.
Macpherson College students need to bring toilet paper, whereas toiletries are included in the older residences.
Paulene de Does is a student from HAN University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands where she is studying human kinetics.
She said she's taking a semester abroad for her minor in psychology.
Paulene de Does is an international student from the Netherlands who is spending a semester at Memorial University. (Elizabeth Whitten/CBC)
"I wanted to do an exchange somewhere where they actually speak English," she said of her decision to come to Newfoundland and Labrador.
She was a bit worried about finding a place to live but said she applied early and was able to secure a double-room on campus.
As an international student she also had to pack light and limit what she brought with her.
"I'm flying internationally. I didn't have that much space, so I brought a big suitcase and then a small suitcase," she said.
She's also heard about how quickly the weather can change, and was able to bring her winter coat but still needs to find a duvet.
Get the news you need without restrictions. Download our free CBC News app.