A long flight from India later, Nishant Pandey stood in front of Atwood Hall on the Clark University campus, smiling about all that awaits him.
“It feels good,” he said, not showing a bit of jet lag after arriving from New Delhi Wednesday, mere hours before Week One, campus move-in day and the 2015-2016 Clark University academic year began.
Pandey’s enthusiasm was shared by many first-year students streaming onto campus with packed suitcases and boxes, pillows and posters to make their dorm rooms feel like home. Starting at 8 a.m., cars filled to the brim started pulling up to the curb on Woodland and other surrounding streets. Residential Life staff and peer advisers were on hand to greet students and give them a hand pushing, pulling and hauling their belongings to their rooms.
Inside Wright Hall, first-year student Caroline Wheeler and her mother Lisa Wheeler, of Waterville, Maine, were busy unpacking and hanging clothes in a wardrobe. Caroline described her experience as “unreal” while Lisa talked about her own move-in day and expressed excitement for her daughter. “We’re sad she’ll be away, but we’re all excited for her,” she said.
Following the big move on a hot, humid day, students and their families enjoyed brunch in the cool Higgins University Center Dining Hall and were welcomed to the campus during a program at the Kneller Athletic Center.
Back in the warm air, students scrambled to find their peer advising groups in front of Atwood Hall. Holding signs – many brightly colored and all quite creative – peer advisers gathered small groups of students around before moving to the campus green.
Peer adviser Tyler Terriault, 20, of Claremont, N.H., held a poster-board sign with his name written in black marker and a hole cut through one side in which he placed his face. The senior, who has been an adviser for two years, said he enjoys meeting a lot of new people on move-in day. “It’s fun,” he said. “I like the happiness of it all.”
After finding their groups and a shady spot under the trees on the green, students got to know their classmates a little better through games with some sharing fun facts about themselves while others were on their feet clapping.
Following Thursday’s excitement, the students have a weekend filled with activities and programs ranging from Clarkie-palooza to wellness conversations and academic programs, like Life of the Eye, Ear & Mind, where the silent film “Man with a Movie Camera” (1929) will be screened, with musical accompaniment by Alloy Orchestra, and discussed.