Welcome Week, continued

09-06-2005

I’m going to quickly finish up with some of my observations about Welcome Week, before we get to Thursday’s Academic Convocation.

The weather was great for “move-in day” this year, so it was a wonderful opportunity for me to visit the residence halls and greet our new students and their parents, and even help them move in.

There were the old pros who were dropping off their second, third or even fourth student. There were those going through it all for the very first time, full of enthusiasm, but a bit unsure of what to expect. There were people getting ready to make a run to the store, not quite able to believe they’d forgotten something essential after unloading a carload of stuff and hauling it up the stairs. And there were people carrying things back down to their cars, a little frustrated to discover that it wasn’t all going to fit.

As always, there was a tremendous amount of excitement, mixed occasionally with a little sadness or even impatience. A few students got a bit brusque with parents, trying to hurry them out the door. I saw a few instances like that photo in the Lansing State Journal, with the student comforting her mom who was having trouble saying goodbye. But mostly I saw people who were happy to be here and looking forward to beginning this next stage of their lives at MSU.

Parents bring their children here with the expectation that they will have a great experience, and that they will leave here someday as adults, ready to build lives and careers of their own. Students arrive here with a set of dreams, ready to assert their independence and to engage in a lifetime of learning that we hope will help make those dreams into a reality. They are extraordinarily bright, but like anyone in a new situation, they will have a period of adjustment.

Angie Brown and Paul Goldblatt and their folks from housing did a really excellent job of making the first part of that transition as smooth as possible, for both the parents and the new students.

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