KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Students are officially moving into the residence halls on the University of Tennessee’s campus, and from parents to students, and even faculty and staff they all share the excitement of what’s to come.
“We’re really excited about getting the year started and this kind of really kicks off the beginning of the new year,” Anthony White, the executive director of university housing said.
The rush to return or the enthusiasm of a fresh start is bringing students and families to the residence halls. Students will be moving in over the course of the week.
“As we build co-curricular experiences for them to be engaged, to get connected, and to feel like this is a place they can make their home,” the vice chancellor for student life, Frank Cuevas said.
More than 8,300 students are expected to move in over the next week, with 6,300 new students. Students are excited to get comfortable in their new living space, but there are some nerves that come with it.
“Coming from New England it’s like a new experience and I’m rushing so that’ll be a new journey,” freshman, Olivia Snyder said.
Some have been waiting for this day their whole life. Another freshman, Jamie Mclemore said she’s grown up cheering on the Vols.
“I’m actually from New Jersey, but my dad went here and his whole side of the family and I just love wearing the orange,” Mclemore said.
It’s unfamiliar territory for many freshmen. One freshman, Isabella Wade and her mother, Claudia Wade, both share similar feelings, but are ready for what’s ahead.
“I’m excited to make a lot of friends and I’ll be looking out for different clubs to join,” Isabella said.
“This is my first one to send off to college so it’s been a little emotional. I’m excited, but I’m going to miss her, but I want her to have the best time,” Claudia said.
To help calm the nerves, those who have already familiarized themselves with the campus are leaving the newcomers with advice as UT becomes their home away from home.
“Just come in with an open mind, enjoy it, meet a lot of people, and make a lot of friends and you’ll have a fun time here,” Aidan Zimmerman, a sophomore said.
This year brought record enrollment numbers to the university, along with challenges for students when it came to housing. Cuevas said there is a plan in place for now and they will begin working on a more permanent plan to grow their student housing with two new residence halls already in the works.