It was a morning of beginnings Thursday, Aug. 25, as nearly 800 first-year and transfer students moved into the residence halls at The Catholic University of America for the first time. The new students, who arrived on campus from 38 states and 10 countries, were greeted upon arrival by a fleet of 80 student volunteers, who helped carry boxes and suitcases filled with clothing, textbooks, bedding, and toiletries.
Among the first-year students arriving on campus was Fiona Morgan, of Stamford, Conn. Morgan, who plans on studying English, said it still felt surreal to begin her college career.
“It’s crazy,” she said. “I still remember starting as a freshman in high school and it went by so fast.”
Years earlier, Morgan said she had spent a night at Catholic University visiting her older sister. Now she was looking forward to having a space of her own on campus.
“I’m looking forward to meeting my hall mates and meeting my roommate,” she said. “I’m getting excited about work study and just meeting new people in my learning community group.”
Nearby in Ryan Hall, new roommates Sydney Walt, of Longmeadow, Mass., and Mckenzie Miller, of Downingtown, Pa., were working with their parents to set up bedding and hang wall decorations in their shared room. Though the two roommates had never met before, they had already found a connection: Both will study in the School of Nursing.
“I’ve always wanted to be a nurse so I’m excited to finally get that started,” Walt said.
Across campus and out of the sun, transfer student Denzel Smith spent Thursday morning relaxing in his residence hall room, playing video games, and meeting other new students. Smith, who plays on the University football team, arrived on campus earlier this month to begin practices. He plans on studying sports management and said he’s ready to throw himself into Catholic University life, complete with new teammates and friends.
“I’m most excited about school first, then football,” he said. “Just getting to meet new people and starting over again.”
Senior Caroline Eldridge is serving as a student coordinator for this year’s orientation program. Eldridge, whose morning consisted of lots of heavy lifting and organizational tasks, said she enjoyed talking with incoming students and answering their questions.
“I love getting to be one of the first people to welcome new students to the CUA campus and help them start their year off right,” Eldridge said. “Move-in day is my favorite day of the entire year because of all of the energy and the excitement. I like being able to welcome people and be the good first impression they have on campus.”
That same sentiment was shared by sophomore orientation advisors Anthony Vincent and Jess Bruno, who retained upbeat spirits even as the morning hours passed.
Vincent said he was inspired to help with move-in because of his own experience as a freshman.
“My orientation advisor was definitely the biggest impact on my first four days here,” he said. “I really wanted to do that for someone else — just be a resource on campus who is there to support if they need anything.”
“I just want other people to love my home as much as I do,” added Bruno. “It’s an incredible place and I want them to know other resources and what’s available to them, everything that Catholic has to offer.”