A rainy morning couldn’t dampen the spirits of the incoming freshmen who descended upon The University of Southern Mississippi’s Hattiesburg campus Friday, Aug. 17 to make it their new home for the fall 2012 semester and beyond.
A vast crew of volunteers, from upperclassmen to faculty and staff, maintained a smile between downpours while helping new members of the Southern Miss family move into their residence halls.
Incoming freshman Brandon Helmke of St. Bernard, La. was eager to move in and start his first year of college. “Living in the residence halls just seems smart, it’s a very accommodating campus and everything’s right here,” said Helmke, a graduate of Pearl River Central High School and recipient of an academic excellence scholarship.
Students were seen carrying dorm necessities like lamps and shelves along with personal reminders of home, such as framed photos of family and friends, as well as plenty of peanut butter. One incoming freshman, John Johnson, a graduate of McComb High School was adamant that his computer and headphones were the most essential items for his dorm room. He also had a sparkle in his eye as talked about the upcoming 2012 football season.
Becca Bourne, a member of Gamma Chi member and a communications major at Southern Miss, was just one of the many who assisted with move-in day. Bourne recalled her own freshman experience living on campus and said “it’s not only convenient for school, but it’s a great way to meet people because you are automatically thrust into a large group of people who are all in the same situation.”
Bourne advised incoming freshmen that getting involved is important because it makes the transition to college much easier. Students seemed to be taking her advice as they bonded over the heavy lifting and occasional spill of overfilled boxes. As boxes were dropped, workers as well as other freshmen were quick to help their fellow Eagles out.
Eryka Wallace, an intern in the Office of Greek Life, was more than happy to greet the families and friends through the rain as they made their way into Century Park. “My favorite part about move-in day is seeing all the new faces, and recognizing those familiar nerves that I had as a freshman,” said Wallace.
Wallace looks forward to making this an easy transition for the new students and providing service that can make their life less hectic and confusing. “It feels great to help this next generation of Golden Eagles emerge and take flight,” she said.