Freshmen moved onto the Winston-Salem State University campus Saturday.
With more than 700 students in the freshman class, move-in day was a massive undertaking.
To streamline the process, students and their families were directed to park in designated lots, where their belongings were loaded into campus vehicles and then shuttled to their dorms. Student members of sororities, fraternities, the Student Government Association and other groups were on hand at dorms to help the new Rams carry their things to their rooms.
“It’s going smooth,” Abeer Mustafa, the new director of Housing and Residence Life, said early on during move-in day. “I haven’t had a single complaint.”
Whitney Davis of Kings Mountain was one of the approximately 250 students who moved into the all female Atkins Residence Hall. She got help from her parents, grandmother and brother, who is in grad school at Appalachian State University.
Davis was drawn to WSSU by its nursing program. She weighed only a pound at birth. She wants to be a neonatal nurse to help care for and save the lives of babies. Davis won’t be alone on campus. Four of her friends from back home are also in the nursing program and live in Atkins. Still, Davis, like most freshmen, has mixed feelings about living on her own.
“(I’m) a little nervous but excited at the same time,” said Davis, who plans to regularly visit home.
Ariel Jackson’s parents and younger sister helped her settle into her room. The Roper native is the first person in her immediate family to attend college.
“It feels good,” said Jackson, who is majoring in rehabilitation studies with her sights set on a career as an occupational therapist. “I’m accomplishing something and making them proud.”
Jackson said the four-hour distance between Winston-Salem and home will make her visits few and far between.
“It’s going to be very different living away from home,” she said. “I don’t have my parents with me. No more home cooked meals, no one washing clothes for me, I have to do all that by myself.”
Jackson’s roommate, fellow freshman Sha’Keira Rooks, also plans to study occupational therapy. The Roanoke Rapids native moved in with the help of a dozen family members and friends. Rooks said she picked WSSU because of the pride she saw at the university during campus visits and its small class sizes. She’s the first among her three siblings to go to college and is looking forward “succeeding” at the university, which has as its motto, “Enter to learn, depart to serve.”
“I’m ready to go accomplish something,” said Rooks.
Her mother, Beverly Rooks, said she’s been shedding a lot of tears of joy and sadness over her daughter’s departure from the nest.
“We’re very exited and very proud,” said Beverly Rooks. “We hope she continues to excel like she has done in high school.”
The move-in was the beginning of a week of RAMDITION activities to orient freshmen to campus. The week will end with a walk through the university’s historic twin arches, a symbolic rite of passage for new students. Classes begin on Monday.