Purple bins filled to the brim roll across resident halls as Villa Drum Squad performs and confetti shoots out onto the west quad. The class of 2027 is here.
The Bluff welcomed new first-year residents on Thursday, Aug. 24 with open arms. There are a total of 753 first-year students this fall compared to the 813 first-year students enrolled during Fall 2022 according to Michael Lewellen in an email to The Beacon.
For many students, this is their first time leaving home and living by themselves. While there’s excitement about starting a new life on The Bluff, freshman nursing student Jenny Luu sees it as a transition period.
“Right now the adrenaline is kicking in so I’m very excited,” Luu said. “But I feel like I will get homesick later on when it finally hits.”
Students aren’t the only ones feeling bittersweet about leaving home to move to college. Adrienne Lalanne, mother of freshman Anastasia Heinmiller, is excited for her daughter to start college, but also acknowledges all the emotions that come with watching her start this new chapter in life.
“Of course it’s layered and there’s so many emotions,” Lalanne said. “But at the same time it feels so right for her to be here that I feel soothed knowing that she’s exactly where she should be and that the school is going to support her.”
Villa Maria Hall resident assistant Esteban Rigales reassures both parents and students that the resident halls are equipped to create a warm and welcoming environment.
“Coming from high school or living with parents is always a huge transition, and so my goal this year is to just create a welcoming environment where everyone feels as though they belong,” Rigales said. “Everyone feels as though they hold a piece within our community, and they're all valued as individuals where everyone can flourish and grow to become who they want to be.”
But the freshman class aren’t the only new faces living on the Bluff. UP President Robert Kelly and his family moved into the presidential house on campus on June 23.
Kelly, who made his way around each dorm to welcome all the new faces to UP, is excited to live on campus and be even closer to the university.
“Students are the heartbeat of the institution and it's important for us to show up and to be here,” Kelly said. “I've been so excited to see all the Holy Cross priests, seeing the faculty and staff walking around. It makes the place come alive, because summertime can be a little lonely here without students.”
Janea Melido is News and Managing Editor for The Beacon. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Michael Lang contributed to this story. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Tiffany Marquez Escobar contributed to this story. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Julianna Pedonne contributed to this story. She can be reached at email@example.com.
Noah Carandanis contributed to this story. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.