After a long and quiet summer break, the sleeping campus is finally waking up again. On August 19, a new wave of freshman arrived, unpacked, and settled into their dorms. A total of 680 recent high school grads and roughly 140 transfer students have come to Saint Leo to start the newest chapter in their lives.
Even in scorching temperatures, many returning students and Saint Leo staff members arrived to help the new students get settled in. The office of Resident Life deployed their entire staff of Resident Assistants and Orientation Leaders to assist with the move-in activities. Even a handful of athletes, who already happened to be on campus for their pre-season training, stepped up to help. About a hundred boxes later, the new students were finally unpacked and able to get acquainted with their resident assistants and roommates.
“The most I’m looking forward to this year is having the ability to build the community within my hall with the programs I have planned. I think it will be even cooler partnering up with another RA to expand the community within the entire building. The planned programs will help the new students learn more about Saint Leo and what kind of potential they have here as a student” said Jennifer Litzen, a Resident Assistant in the Henderson hall.
Moving into a dorm on campus is one of the biggest steps in the life of a teenager and in the process of growing up. For most students, it is their first time away from home, so tensions tend to run a little high.
A thrilling new step that most teenagers are looking forward to can also be a difficult time in the lives of their parents. No longer being able to assist or care for their child at a moment’s notice is a drastic difference that many families are finding hard to get used to.
“It’s a lot of mixed emotions. I’m happy because it is a really exciting experience for him, but at the same time we are a little sad to let him go.” said Doreen Paiva while helping her son move in.
After welcoming all of the new students, parents reluctantly started to make their way home while their kids got to know their orientation leaders. In groups, the students participated in scavenger hunts and other games that allowed them to explore the campus. Throughout their first semester, first year students will be part of a class in which they will learn everything about Saint Leo University; from its history to the core values that initialized the rise of the institution.
“I’m mostly looking forward to meeting new people and trying to have a good relationship with my teachers and friends. I want to get good grades and make my parents happy, too. It was hard for my parents to drop me off here, but I guess they did not have a choice” said Seamus Chalmers, an incoming freshman from Titusville, Florida.
With a warm welcome from staff and returning students, the new freshmen are ready to kick start their first year of college without fear. Welcome, each and every one, to the Saint Leo family.