Thursday hundreds of Falcon students moved into their “nests” for the next several months with the help of faculty, staff, and students at Fairmont State University.
President Mirta Martin worked alongside the campus team as they met the newest cast of Falcons with smiles, cold water, and large Welcome Home tents. The biggest brigade consisted of students who worked to unload cars and carry supplies to student’s rooms.
“Parents and students were thrilled and surprised when they pulled up and I told them to sit pretty, that we were going to unload,” she said. “I am thrilled to be able to welcome them home.”
Dr. Martin said the variety of events planned for Welcome Weekend, including the assisted move-in, are opportunities to show the students their new home as well as to reassure parents.
“This is an opportunity to tell parents that we are going to take care of their students, that we are going to love them, nurture them, take care of them and educate them,” she said. “That’s the message.”
Freshman Ely Osbourne of Clay, West Virginia, is thrilled to be starting his first year of college at Fairmont State. He said he toured all over the state to different colleges but once he made it to Fairmont, he stopped.
“I knew that this was my home, it was big enough that I was given enough opportunities but small enough that I was a name and not a number,” he said. “I moved in a day early with Honors and my first night away I thought I’d be scared or nervous, but it felt like I was sleeping in my own bedroom.”
Osbourne, a political science and national security major, said while he brought old friends with him, he’s already been making new friends.
“So far I’ve gotten to tour campus a little bit more and I’ve gotten to see a lot of things I haven’t yet, it’s great,” he said. “For the weekend, I’m really looking forward to the baseball game on Sunday because I’ve played my whole life.”
Along with students, parents were excited to get their kids settled in and prepared for the upcoming school year. With the cars unpacked, they worked to get their living spaces just right before saying their goodbyes.
Rebecca Cunningham said she dropped off her second daughter to school and has been preparing for this day.
“As a parent, this is what we’ve raised them to do and this is the next step in their life. She’s ready and so are we,” she said. “We feel very at home here. People are extremely nice, it seems very safe and we are very happy with her choice to come here.”
With a few hours away from her daughter at home in the Martinsburg area, Cunningham noted that she was ready for this transition. While it might have been a little easier for her on her second time around, she had a little advice for the parents who were dropping their kids off for the first time.
“Take a breath and relax. You come with too much stuff and have to take some stuff home,” she said. “We tend to come in and take over, putting things where we think they should go. Just let them do their thing. Be there to help them and support them.”