Hundreds of young adults flew from their nests for the first time Thursday, as Shawnee State University welcomed incoming freshman to the start of college life.
The annual move-in day for incoming freshman always falls before returning students, as parents help their seekers of higher education carry their belongings from cars to their first dorm door.
“Freshman move-in day is exciting for us on campus – and especially exciting for our parents and students,” Dr. Rita Rice Morris, SSU President, said. “We welcomed more than 500 new housing students to Shawnee State, and over the next few days, we’ll welcome hundreds more as we hold welcome activities for all new students – those living on campus and those living at home and commuting.”
Ben Watson is one of the incoming freshman who plans on majoring in gaming and simulation arts. Watson comes to Shawnee from Harrison, Ohio, because he said that SSU is known for its gaming program.
“I’m both excited and nervous at the same time. It seems like a good place though,” Watson said.
Watson’s mother, Mary Watson was helping him unload her car into his dorm room.
“I’m comfortable with him being here. Shawnee State seems friendly and organized; Shawnee just seems like a really good place,” Mary Watson said. “We did our research on the campus, and the gaming program being ranked seventh in the country is what really brought us here.”
Shawnee State University’s gaming and simulation arts program has been climbing the ranks each year as one of the most successful programs in the country.
“I just love playing video games and thought that if I could make them, then that would be a lot of fun,” Watson said.
Another incoming freshman, from New Richmond, Ohio, Alyssa Hallahan, is excited for the campus and college life, as she attends SSU for early childhood education.
“I love the campus. It is gorgeous and seems like it has a lot going on here,” Hallahan said. “I like it so far. Everything is nice and everyone seems really friendly.”
Hallahan said she is excited to start the education program, because she believes she can cause a positive impact in the lives of children.
“Many of our students are first-generation college students,” Morris said. “Our Weekend of Welcome is one of many ways that our faculty and staff help new students successfully transition to college life.”
Morris said that Shawnee State University’s commitment to student success extends to programming in residence halls coordinated by SSU’s 39 residence advisors, upperclassmen who live in housing, receive specialized training, and take on responsibilities under the direction of professional residence coordinators.
“We are committed to providing an environment where students live and learn together,” Morris said. “Our residence advisors do a tremendous job with providing programming on topics that help students achieve their goals, connect with one another, and connect with the world around them.”
SSU’s New Student Move-In Day concluded with a parent farewell picnic.
Joseph Pratt can be reached at the Portsmouth Daily Times 740-353-3101, EXT 1932, or by Twitter @JosephPratt03.