DeKALB – New students moving into Northern Illinois University’s Patterson Hall were greeted Wednesday along with their family by upperclassmen who arrived on campus early to pitch in.
Among the many volunteers lending a hand was NIU sophomore Madden Hebert. He said he’s glad he decided to get involved with helping new students move in.
“It’s cool to see new kids,” Hebert said. “It’s exciting to see all the new freshmen. It’s definitely the start of what’s going to be a fun semester, I think. It all starts here.”
NIU’s move-in efforts continues Thursday. Officials have said the university’s residential halls are expected to welcome about 2,000 new students, 1,800 returning students and 200 transfers to campus this fall.
Hebert said it’s crucial that new students refer to the university’s packing list as they prepare to live on campus.
“I just would say make sure you go through that list, have all the essential ones,” Hebert said. “There’s that basic stuff that you’ll always need. … It’s all there. [You] just want to make sure you look at the list.”
Hebert said the key to making the most of the college experience as a freshman is to get involved.
“Try and get involved in some kind of club or get involved whether it be like Greek Life,” he said. “I feel like it’s important to have passion, so whatever you can find that passion in, I think, get out there.”
NIU freshman Ashley Hawkins of Roselle said that moving into the residence hall brings her a mix of emotions.
“I’m a little stressed, but I’ll be excited when it’s done,” Hawkins said.
Hawkins said she started buying the things she needs in order to live on campus about a month ago.
“I’ve been prepared for three days,” Hawkins said. “I’m just nervous.”
Ashley’s mother, Jennifer Hawkins, said the drive to campus went “pretty smooth.”
“We got here at 7:30 (a.m.),” Jennifer Hawkins said. “There’s no traffic. We live like 50 minutes away from here.”
Jennifer Hawkins said she enjoyed the process of helping send her daughter off to college.
“It was a lot of shopping, lots of preparing, lots of packing,” Jennifer Hawkins said.
NIU freshman Monay Jones of Springfield said she would rate how she feels about moving away from home and into Patterson Residence Hall an 8 out of 10. She said she’s never had a roommate before, but she’s not worried.
Monay’s mom, Latasha Jones, said the process of preparing to send her daughter off to college has been enjoyable.
“It was fun,” Latasha Jones said. “She did a lot of shopping.”
Latasha Jones said the most challenging part about move-in day was having to leave her daughter and trust that she’ll be all right.
“My baby leaving me,” Latasha Jones said. “She’s growing up.”