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For many college students across the country, today marks the beginning of a new chapter as they get situated in their new living quarters, meet their roommate for the first time, and prepare to be away from home. KSMU’s Scott Harvey has reaction from the Missouri State University campus.
“Well I just got here, and it’s really busy and I’m really nervous.”
This is Shannon, who at this point had yet to meet her new roommate or see the inside of her bedroom.
“I wanna meet new friends. I have to try and get myself out there,” Shannon says.
We’re standing along the curb of E. Madison St, in front of Freudenberger House. Cars line the roadway, with doors and trunks ajar as students and their parents unload items; everything from clothes, food, electronics, plus other essentials and those nonessential items you just have to have freshmen year.
Scott: “Is this your first child you’re moving off?”
Mother: “Yes, yes, my baby.”
This is Shannon’s mother, who says it’s going to be quiet inside their Springfield home now that her daughter has moved out. But she’s hoping for some frequent visits.
It was a longer drive this morning for Dave and his daughter Leah, who came from the Kansas City suburb of Lee’s Summit. This is the first of two daughters to leave the nest.
“It was easy at first but now that I got her down here, it’s totally different. It’s like, ‘Oh wow, my child is gonna be on her own,’” Dave says.
Scott: “Beginning to set in a little?”
Dave: “Yeah, it’s starting to hit. Starting to hit.”
The two say that with the help of the university officials and current students, the move-in process has been rather smooth.
“The experience so far has been really great. Everyone has been really helpful. It’s a little nerve racking, but I’m excited. So it should be fun,” Leah said.
Zach Heiser knows what it’s like to be in this unfamiliar position. Now a senior, Heiser is helping students like Leah as a member of the Bear Crew, who are easy to spot in their bright orange shirts.
“It’s really nice coming out here and helping them. Because it’s just feel like giving back to the community and helping the freshmen move in. Because I know that experience for me was kind of nerve racking.”
Heiser feels the help these incoming students receive from their peers can go a long way in their adjustment to campus life.
“You can tell em the ins and outs of campus. What to do, what not to do, and how to be safe around here.”
Guidance will also come from resident assistants like Kelly Mantle, who says she has a lot of ice breakers planned for the 40 some girls she’ll be in charge of. Plus, an assortment of university activities is planned in the coming days, including the New Student Convocation on Sunday, where MSU alumnus and actor John Goodman will receive an honorary doctorate.
Missouri State President Clif Smart is expecting enrollment throughout the system this year to top last fall’s figure of just under 23,100. More than 20,000 students will attend the Springfield campus alone.