Excited new University of Akron Freshmen and nervous parents are saying 'hello' to the campus and 'good bye' to each other. Students are moving in amid food, music along with dozens of volunteers from fraternities, sororities and other organizations, who actually cart everything into the residence halls and unload it for the families.
"It looked like a prison," said Hannah Marcum, talking about the first glimpse she took of her room in Bulger Hall. "It was bare and we talked about how naked it was, but we're girls so we'll be able to spice it up."
Marcum, a recent graduate of Triway High School is anxious to get started and doesn't expect to be too emotional when her mom and dad leave.
"It'll be weird, but I've been looking forward to this for awhile so I'm excited, too."
But those emotions have a way of sneaking up on people.
"They're really excited to be here and then once all their belongings in their rooms, it finally hits that mom and dad are leaving and so sometimes that's when the emotions start coming around," said Bulger Hall Residence Director Diane Platton.
Hannah's dad, Kelly Marcum, knows exactly what to expect. He's done this with three other children at other universities, but Hannah is the youngest ... and a girl.
"It's your daughter," said Marcum. "You're genuinely more concerned for them. I don't think that changes with any dad or any mom." Marcum said he anticipated a few tears as he and his wife drove home to Wooster.
People who work in student housing know that they have to deal with diversity among students, wide-ranging emotions and parents, who want assurances that their "kids" won't get into trouble with heavy drinking, not sleeping, not studying, making friends and everything else that parents worry about.
"We do have those concerns from parents," said UA Associate Director of Residence Life and Housing Melinda Grove. "Most of our students make good decisions. Occasionally we'll have a student that doesn't make a good decision but we're here to help them learn from that."
Platton says there is a weekend full of activities to help the students become acclimated with the campus and one another.