PEORIA Ill -- Televisions, futon's and refrigerators were among the most popular items loaded into vehicles Saturday afternoon, as nearly 2,000 freshman students made their college debut official, toting their belongings to their new home.
"It is one of my most favorite times of the year when I get to welcome them at the start of their educational journey," said Bradley President, Joanne Glasser. "I see them wide eyed and bushy tailed. They're excited but a little bit scared of the unknown and a little hesitant about what the future will bring."
While there was much of this angst among students on Bradley's campus, dozens of residential advisers were on staff to make them feel at home.
"We prepare this day by training a lot of our R.A.'s and getting the floors together," said Geisert Resident Hall Director, Max Saw. "We plan a lot of programs. We just make sure everything runs smoothly. If any situations happen, we are the first ones to attend to it. We want everyone to be happy and welcome our freshman with open arms."
Sawa is welcoming 300 new students into Geisert Hall this year with 40 students on each of his floors.
He's been a resident adviser as well as an assistant resident adviser in the past.
For Bradley parent, Jennifer Kress, the role of the R.A. puts her mind at ease when letting go of her daughter, Jessica.
"What is going to be great is living next to an RA, my daughter will be able to have a mentor near by that she can ask questions to as she adjusts to living without her family," said Kress.
As for Jessica, adjusting to not having the luxuries of home will be the hard part.
"I think it will be a bit more scary later when I realize I can't just get into my car and go," said Jessica. "I won't be able to drive somewhere when I need something, but other than that, it won't be too bad."
Fall semester classes begin Wednesday for Bradley students.
Welcome events begin Sunday.