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Cali Owings, Published August 24 2013

Nerves and new sheets: NDSU students move into dorms

FARGO – An onslaught of new students, families, mini fridges and extra-long twin sheets hit North Dakota State University’s campus early Saturday morning for the first day of move-in for freshman students.

Over the weekend about 3,300 students will kick-start their college careers by moving into NDSU’s residence halls before classes start Monday evening.

Rian Nostrum, director of Residence Life at NDSU, said 90 percent of the new students will have moved in Saturday, while the remainder of the first-year students would trickle in today.

Swarms of volunteers clad in bright yellow T-shirts greeted new students in their fully loaded vehicles and helped them carry belongings into the rooms they’ll call home for the academic year.

More than 100 volunteers assist during the move-in process for the school’s 12 residence halls.

Following family’s footsteps

Freshman Alex Meyer, of Woodbury, Minn., was all set up in his new room on the third floor of Johnson Hall early Saturday. He’ll share it with two others whom he briefly met earlier that day.

“He’s my oldest and the first so it’s kind of a big deal,” his mother, Stephanie Meyer, said of the milestone.

While he may be her oldest child and the first she’s sending off to college, her son is certainly not the first in the family to choose NDSU. Several members of his family, originally from Wahpeton, N.D., attended NDSU, including his father.

But his dad wasn’t the type to push his son toward his alma mater.

“It was really nice. He didn’t care that I was thinking about it,” Alex Meyer said.

He said he settled on NDSU because of the value and his familiarity with the area. He plans to study sports medicine and will start the semester with a 17-credit load.

Though he’s the first, Stephanie Meyer said she’s not too worried about how her son will fare on his own in college; he’s been doing his own laundry for years.

“He’ll be fine,” she said, but his family left him a care package just in case.

It’s difficult for some parents to let go, even though their children are eager to jump into college activities, Nostrum said.

A family lunch provided by the school in the Memorial Union on Saturday helps parents “know their cue” to leave, Nostrum said.

“We joke that this is the moment to start to say good-bye,” he said during the lunch.

It’s good timing because many students will want to be on their own later that night. Saturday evening is the kickoff for a series of “Welcome Week” events designed to help new students interact with each other and the campus.

Activities like a carnival, hypnotist show and a dance club are hosted by various programming boards at the school, Nostrum said.

Alissa Ningen, 18, made the trip from Brookings, S.D., with her parents Friday night before moving in.

They had finished the job of unloading all of her things into her new digs at North Weible Hall by 9 a.m. Saturday. She’ll share a room in the women-only residence hall with another student whom she met and texted with throughout the summer.

Ningen, an only child, was admittedly nervous to start her first year of college.

Her parents weren’t about to push her out of the nest without a safety net. They set up an account with a local dealership where she can get her oil changed and have it billed back home and gave her a gas card for Cenex stations. Before her mom leaves town today, she’ll leave a list of instructions for laundry, Ningen said.

“I’m definitely nervous … Just being out on my own after having [my mom] do everything for me for so long,” she said.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Cali Owings at (701) 241-5599.