Monday, August 19, 2013

Some thoughts on college move-in day

Last weekend was “move–in” time for all Clemson students, as the 2013-14 academic year is about to start.  My little college town of 13,000 suddenly became a bustling community of 30,000 over a two-day period.  In a couple of weeks, the first home football game will temporarily swell the total to more than 80,000.

On my daily walk, I passed through the quaint downtown area and picturesque campus that adjoins it, soaking up the sights on Move-In Day 2013.

I made a few mental notes:

Clemson (and I suspect most other colleges) has really figured out this move-in thing.  What looked like chaos at first was actually very well organized, with signs and attendants cheerfully greeting the long line of cars and directing all to the appropriate areas for unloading at campus residence halls.  Everyone seemed very patient and in good spirits.  There was definitely excitement in the air.

It wasn’t hard to spot the incoming freshmen.  They were the ones with parents helping.

The parents are looking younger and younger each year.

Some students have really nice cars.

They came from all over. I spotted license plates from California, Nevada, Wyoming, New Hampshire, and other distant states. There were lots of international students too.

There was nowhere to park in the downtown area or campus.

Almost everyone was wearing orange. College sports and school spirit really do draw people together.

There could be a few parties in the works, since classes don’t start for a few days.

Somewhere in the mass of new and returning students is a future leader who may change everything in his/her chosen field of study.

The freshmen seem excited, confident, and not intimidated at all. (As a male freshman in 1966, my head was shaved and I was required to wear a “rat hat” for six weeks, performing menial tasks for upperclassmen.)

Times have changed.

It’s all good.

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