DALLAS, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – Moving away from home for the first time can be a bit overwhelming. That’s what tens of thousands of freshman students face who are attending colleges throughout northeastern and central Pennsylvania. Eyewitness News Reporter Mark Hiller shows us how one local university is trying to make that transition as smooth as possible.
Some returning Misericordia University students did what’s called the “Roller Coaster” which is a good way to describe what incoming freshman students like Daphne Lombardi of Freehold, NJ may be feeling. “Butterflies in my tummy,” she laughed. “A lot of those.”
Living in a dorm at Misericordia will mark Ms. Lombardi’s first time living away from home. Her mother Laura Lombardi said, “I’m happy for her, proud of her but apprehensive I guess. And nervous.”
Putting those nerves at ease were plenty of helping hands ranging from Misericordia football players to alumni, staff and dozens of student orientation leaders. All of them unloaded cars and helped students move into residence halls. Daphne said, “I’m pleased. I didn’t have to do any work getting all this up to my dorm.”
She wasn’t the only one who appreciated the help. Misericordia Freshman Carl Bullock of Toms River, NJ said, “I thought I’d be doing some lifting but like doing none of it? That’s completely okay with me.”
Beside the help moving their stuff, first year students received an enthusiastic welcome that made them feel right at home. Mr. Bullock said, “It’s exciting. It’s great. I love everybody here so far and it’s like a lot of energy. It’s positive. I love it.” Orientation Leader and Misericordia junior Ricky Averill said, “It makes me feel good seeing them happy and just excited to be here.”
It’s more than carrying furniture, boxes and bags. These orientation leaders are trained to help these freshmen steer physically around campus and avoid some of the pitfalls that may come with moving away from home and living the college life. Orientation Leader and Misericordia senior Jade Broody said, “We learn about Title IX. We learn about sexual abuse, about alcohol, like stuff like that so we can teach the freshmen, you know, make the right choices.”
It’s help that puts students’ and parents’ minds at ease. David Lombardi, Daphne’s father, said “We know she’s safe here. There’s good people around here. So, although there’s a little distance we know she’s going to fit right in.”
412 freshmen make up the nearly 2,600 undergraduate and graduate students at Misericordia this fall. Classes at the university begin on Monday.