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DOVER, Del. (AP) — Delaware State University's campus was full of the signs of move-in day on Aug. 20 as hundreds of students and parents lugged mini-fridges, televisions and suitcases full of clothing up several flights of steps and into dorm rooms ready to be decorated.
Nia Bryan, 18, from Fort Washington, Maryland, set down her luggage in her tiny dorm room and wiped off some sweat. On the road since 4:30 a.m., she said was ready to collapse.
"Can we just leave this stuff?" she turned and asked her mom, Trina Johnson.
"It's been hot and there's a lot going on," Bryan said. "Everyone is trying to work around each other."
A pre-veterinary medicine major, Bryan said she's the first in her family to go off to college. It's a nerve-wracking prospect. But it's also exciting and new.
"I'm always nervous on first days," she said.
Johnson said she has the utmost faith in her daughter. She said she's excited to see her daughter grow and to see, "the maturity that will come with independence."
Like any mom though, she has her worries. "I want her to be aware of her surroundings," Johnson said.
She said the two of them came to the realization that she was moving away during the summer.
"We've had our little moments where she said, 'I'm going to miss you'," Johnson said. "It started hitting us."
Last year, DSU admitted a freshman class of 894 students. The university's total enrollment was 4,644 students. This weekend is "Welcome Weekend" for students who are returning to school. The first day of class is Tuesday.
University spokesman Carlos Holmes said the school doesn't finalize its numbers for the 2015-2016 school year until October.
Greeting students and parents Thursday morning were groups of students, as well as cheerleaders, who banged cowbells, waved pom-poms and cheered as cars pulled into the campus from Route 13 south.
Among those students was Taylor Waters, 20, a psychology major from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. In between smacking a cowbell and cheering on arriving students, Waters said she remembers the nerves she felt when she moved in two years ago.
"I cried when I came here. It was just overwhelming," she said. Waters added that the goal of the welcome committee is to make incoming students feel confident and comfortable upon their arrival.
All Thursday morning hundreds of cars with a license plates from New Jersey, South Carolina, New York, Maryland and Delaware, among others, dotted the parking lots on DSU's campus in Dover.
Walking away from her family's car was Yavonna Williams, 17, of North Plainfield, New Jersey. She and her parents were heading to campus, ready to start a new chapter.
Williams, a sociology major, said she's nervous about being away from home for so long. But she said she's determined to keep her GPA up higher than a 3.4.
"I'm really excited. I'm most excited for the parties and meeting new people," Williams said laughing.
"No you did not," said her mother, Joyce Cooper, laughing. "You're going back home."
She added that she's very proud of her daughter. Cooper turned to her and said, "I'll be coming to visit once a month."
"Once every other month," Williams said smiling.
Information from: The News Journal of Wilmington, Del., http://www.delawareonline.com
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