Goodbye mom and dad, hello roommates: Freshman move-in begins

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(KWTX) Thousands of college freshmen are streaming in to Central Texas, bidding sometimes tearful farewells to parents and family members as they begin a new chapter in their lives.

A small army of upperclassmen will help about 3,000 incoming Baylor freshmen move into dorms this week. (Photo by John Carroll)

More than 1,500 freshmen moved into dorms Wednesday on the Baylor University campus, another 1,500 will move in Thursday, and the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor in Belton is welcoming 700 incoming freshmen this week.

Baylor freshman Carson McCLelland and his parents drove 1,900 miles from their home in Oregon to Waco.

“It’s great to be here,” he said.

"I'm so excited…it's an amazing campus…I love it."

Schools work to make transition easier

Sending a kid off to college, especially if the school is far away, can be nerve-wracking, but schools these days work hard to make the transition easier, even for an educator like Dr. David Everett, assistant superintendent of the McGregor Independent School District, who is taking his 18-year-old daughter to Texas Tech this month.

“At first I was very nervous because it’s a long way away,” he said.

“I can get there if something goes wrong, but it will take a while,” he said.

But by the time the decision had been made and plans were being solidified,

“Now there is absolutely no concern with my wife and me,” Everett said.

His daughter chose Tech because she wants to follow in her father’s footsteps and spend her life in education, specifically in agricultural education, and Tech was just the right fit.

“Besides, it came down to Texas Tech or Oklahoma State University and I couldn’t afford out of state tuition, so Tech it was.”

”You do some stuff right and some stuff wrong”

A year ago, when John Lee was preparing to send his daughter off to school, just deciding where to go was an issue.

Lee said one thing’s for sure when sending a child off to college.

“You do some stuff right and some stuff wrong.”

“We went to prospective student orientation days all over, at Tech and (the University of Texas) and several others and (his daughter) was auto-accepted at several schools, but not at UT,” Lee, the County Court at Law judge in Coryell County, said.

His daughter has a specific medical condition that requires her to be close to special treatment, and because many of her doctors are in Austin, she thought it made sense for her to go there.

“So, we decided on UT and got to work competing for admission,” Lee said.

Everett said his experience at Texas Tech left him believing prospective students are just as important to universities as the schools are to the kids.

“They went out of their way to make my daughter, her mother and I feel at home,” Everett said.

He recalled faculty members invited her to their homes for suppers, spent extra hours making sure she saw and experienced every facet of university life and even prepared an entire degree plan for her.

“She’s ready to go. All she has to do is show up.”

Everett said his daughter’s best friend is going to Texas Tech, too, the pair are roommates and are studying the same thing.

“Their mothers have been busy figuring out what they need to get for the girls to take, so thankfully I’m not responsible for that.”

The most important thing when beginning is start early, even the first of a student’s junior year in high school isn’t too early to start.

The bottom line is, Everett said, when a young person is preparing to find a place in college, “Don’t be afraid to call, talk to people at the schools, ask them questions and make a plan.”