On soggy day, students movin’ in the rain



By K. Lamorris Waller

On a rainy, muggy and all too humid Thursday, thousands of returning students and incoming freshmen descended upon the University and made their way to their respective dorms and rooms.

With their clothes soaked in water from the on and off rain, new students began the process of getting accustomed to their new home.

However, the deep puddles and damp atmosphere at the Gregory and Peabody Drive Residence Halls, more commonly known as the Six-Pack, did not stop incoming students from being involved in the entire move-in process. Although the weather combined with heavy traffic and check-in confusion made the process a little slower than normal for students and parents alike, the transition to college life was welcomed.

Stan Richards from Flossmoor, Ill., is an incoming freshman in LAS and will be staying in Hopkins Hall. He said he could not be more ready for the college experience.

“I’m ready for class and I think my parents will get over missing me,” Richards said. “I really don’t have any expectations other than a lot of school work. I want to eventually pursue work in law and public policy.”

For many students like Richards, college is the next step in education. While college life away from home can be trying for some, most students learn to adjust by focusing on the positive and staying committed to classes.

Furthermore, many I-Guides and resident advisers that were spread throughout campus guiding students to their rightful destinations said early involvement with groups and organizations will help make the transition process much easier.

Nia Garrett, a senior in LAS and a resident adviser for Carr Hall at Pennsylvania Avenue Residence halls, said that the longer students stay with organizations, such as the mentor program Creating Opportunities Recognizing Excellence and Hall Council, the better off they will be.

“I know from experience that the initial separation from parents can be surprisingly hard even though most people won’t expect it to be,” she said. “So joining different University organizations really helps students to meet their peers and network. It helps to take their mind off home until they can better deal with it and focus on their environment.”

For parents, however, forgetting is not so easy. Kim Vassar of Bensenville, Ill., has grown a bit worried about her son Keon. An incoming freshman in Engineering, Keon said he has been looking forward to the University life. However, as he moved into PAR, he admitted that he may get a bit homesick.

“I’m very nervous because he’s my only son and I want him to do well; I know he wants to do well,” she said. “As an alum from Illinois State University, I thought I would be able to handle this a lot better because I’ve been through it, but I guess not.”

As the day winded down and parents made their way to hotels or back home, students were ready to begin exploring campus events and the first day of classes. Incoming freshman Roby Mitchell of Chicago also believes that he will not miss home and is ready to pursue a degree in Business.

“I’m ready for class basically,” he said. “It’s what I came here for and I know it will all be a challenge.”