Source: Pete Wilcox/Aimee DilgerMisericordia University and Kings College students moved in to their dorms today.
DALLAS — Colomba Kampfe said she was trying not to cry Thursday as she helped her 18-year-old daughter Ariana unpack plastic totes and set up her half of a dorm room in Alumnae Hall at Misericordia University.
“It is a day of mixed emotions,” Colomba said. “It is a step she (Ariana) needs to take but she is my only daughter, and it’s hard.”
The bitter-sweet feelings Colomba had were felt by hundreds of parents who helped their young adult children settle into residence halls at Misericordia University and King’s College in Wilkes-Barre Thursday.
Misericordia University officials said they expected 430 new students from 14 states, including Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Florida, Texas, Nevada and Washington to move on-campus.
All the students shared a common trait: a nervous energy about living away from home for the first time
Ariana, of Blairstown, New Jersey, will be about an hour and a half from home but has already developed a plan to combat the inescapable homesickness: with frequent phone calls home and visits.
She said she chose Misericordia University based on its Occupational Therapy program.
John and Tina Hanrahan, of Washington, pulled onto the rural campus in a rented minivan loaded with clothes, bedding, personal items and school supplies for their 18-year-old son Paul.
Upperclassmen, wearing blue T-shirts, swarmed around the vehicle and in minutes had Paul’s items unloaded and carted off to his new home for the coming semester.
Paul, who was attending Misericordia on a lacrosse scholarship, saw the campus when his older brother Sean previously visited the university. Sean ultimately chose to pursue his degree at a school in Charlotte, North Carolina, but Misericordia imprinted in Paul’s mind as the school for him.
“They don’t play (lacrosse) as much as they do here on the West Coast,” Paul’s father, John, said.
Similar scenes played out across the Valley at King’s College in Wilkes-Barre as 570 freshmen moved into campus dorms.
New students looked happy but cautious as they were led to their assigned rooms with their parents.
Campus volunteers wearing white, red or yellow T-shirts pushed carts full of clothes, mini refrigerators and other belongings to the dorms.
In Esseff Hall, Samantha Dinolfo, 18, and her mother, Rose Bussani, both of Rochester, New York, were putting clothes away.
Bussani said she had been worried move-in day would be chaotic, but found it to be “very well organized,” which she said helped to remove a lot of stress.
“I was worried about where to park and unload,” Bussani said. “They (campus volunteers) made it very easy.”
Dinolfo decided to enroll at King’s College because of its Physicians Assistant program.
“There are not a lot of schools on the East Coast that have PA programs,” Dinolfo said. “The campus also feels like Rochester.”
But despite the familiar feel of her surroundings, she said she expects to feel homesick from time to time.
“I will probably call home a lot,” she said.
Seventeen-year-old Reilly Landino and her mother Brenda Kraft, both of Wayland, New York, waited for an elevator outside of Esseff Hall.
Landino was not too concerned about missing home but was worried about getting lost on campus.
Kraft said Landino is her third child in college, and that she is excited about the experiences and education her daughter will receive.
But Brenda Herr of Hockessin, Delaware, anticipates she will be one of the last parents to leave the King’s College campus after moving her 18-year-old daughter, Shirley, into Esseff Hall.
“She is my youngest of six,” Brenda said. “I know she will do fine. She is strongly motivated.”
Reach Eileen Godin at 570-991-6387 or on Twitter @TLNews.