VALDOSTA – Roads were blocked off, law-enforcement officials busily directed traffic and more than 700 volunteers assisted with Valdosta State University freshman move-in day Thursday.

The university expected about 350 new students to arrive every hour, and Mekala Williamson was one of those students.

The Baxley native remembers visiting VSU as a middle-school student during a reading bowl and researching the college. She was drawn to the university’s biology program.

“I’m nervous for starting new but kind of excited because it’s going to be new,” Mekala Williamson said.

Her mom, Jessica Williamson, said Thursday was an emotional day seeing her youngest child start college.

“It’s going to take some time to adjust, that’s for sure, because she’s like my shadow,” Jessica Williamson said. “We are so much alike.”

She was impressed with the VSU move-in system saying the process was a quick one.

A move-in crew comprised of hundreds of student volunteers assisted with unloading and taking items to dorm rooms.

Lindsay Freidhoff, a VSU grad student, directed traffic outside of Lowndes and Brown halls.

“I feel like housing has done a really great job with a humongous task; I really applaud the work that they’ve done,” she said.

Freidhoff said parents were patient with the process and complimented the move-in system.

A family picnic was hosted for freshmen and their families Thursday evening with first-year activities following, according to university officials.

New student convocation is 8:45 a.m. Friday, Aug. 16, in the physical education complex followed by academic meetings and university activities.

Move-in day for returning and transfer students is 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 17.

An estimated 2,800 students are expected to live on-campus in VSU’s eight residence halls, according to university officials.

Fall classes begin Monday, Aug. 19, at VSU. 

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