FLORENCE, S.C. (WBTW) – Move-in day is an exciting time for parents and the hundreds of first year college students at Francis Marion University. Getting the boxes from the car to the room was the first step towards a new beginning for many students.
But for freshman Austin Blackman, it feels like another year of high school only this time he will learn the importance of independence.
“It’s a little overwhelming to start but it feels good, more freedom. I feel like I have more chance to branch out and take my own life where I want to go,” Blackman said.
To help him at least get off to a good start older FMU students wore blue shirts to not only identify themselves but to begin positive peer leader relationships with those living on campus.
Breanna Robertson is a senior and this is her 3rd year as a Resident Assistant in the dormitories on campus.
“It’s really important for them to feel like they can speak to you because they’re going to be the first person to let you know of anything that’s going on. You want to make sure that you can communicate with them effectively and then feel comfortable with them communicating with you,” mentioned Robertson.
Something the upperclassmen enjoy….because it reminds them when they moved in their freshman year.
Tyler Rogers is a member of the Student Government Association and a fraternity.
“They definitely have the deer in the lights, their frozen, they don’t know what to do, but we try to do a good job to help them get use to the environment,” Rogers said.
“It’s an amazing feeling when you have that freshman who came in who’s really timid and shy and kind of homesick and now they don’t want to leave campus at all because they love it so much,” added Robertson.
Over 800 freshmen will begin their first year of college at Francis Marion University. While 60% of those students will live off campus, 40% will live in dormitories.
“They add a lot to this campus from the day they get here. A big part of what they add is enthusiasm, motivation, excitement and ambition about their college years which begin today,” says Francis Marion University President, Fred Carter.
Carter has served as president for 17 years and for the past 15 he’s been at move-in day handing out free hotdogs and his favorite part about it is the students faces full of appreciation.
“I enjoy that hot dog stand very very much, not sure I’ll likely do that after I retire but it’s a good gig for now,” Carter said.
Nineteen new full-time and 12 part-time professors and instructors have joined the Francis Marion University faculty for the 2015-16 school year.