By: Emma Wheeler | WCTV Eyewitness News
August 15, 2019
VALDOSTA, Ga. (WCTV) -- Thousands of students stepped on to Valdosta State University Campus Thursday to move in to their home away from home.
On Thursday first year students moved in to dorms all across campus, loading up bins to blaze a new path.
"Making new friends, I guess, and being away from home will be nice," said soon to be freshman Will Rawlings.
Rawlings is in the Army National Guard, getting ready to start his first year at VSU. His family said coming to campus was an easier send off than the Army, but still brought its own challenges.
"I hope he makes friends," said mother Lori Rawlings. "You never know what's going to happen when they get here, you don't know what the roommates are like, so it's scary."
The University expects nearly 3,000 students to be living in the eight residence halls on campus.
The Valdosta Police Department said a new school year, often brings an increase in theft.
Police Chief Leslie Manahan said it's important to never leave valuables in cars, and to always keep doors locked.
"Lock your car doors at all times, even if you're just running in the house to pick something up, lock your car door. A lot of stuff happens in a split second time that people don't expect," Manahan said.
A new school year brings new beginnings for students and their families. While the moment is bittersweet for first time empty-nesters, many students were ready for the journey.
"It's really nerve-wracking, but it's also very exciting. I just can't wait to be able to step in to my own career and just do me," said freshman Micah Nguyen. "Meeting new people, like Valdosta, you have people coming up from Florida. I met some people coming down all the way from New York, New Jersey area. I'm already making new friends and it's just the first day."
Nguyen, from Atlanta, is pursuing a career as a teacher.
First year students moved in Thursday, while returning and transfer students are expected to move in Saturday.
The Valdosta Police Department said with so many people arriving to the community, many are unfamiliar with the area, it's important to be aware of the extra traffic and be patient.