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Dorm Doors Open on Next Chapter

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RALEIGH — Thousands of college freshmen are getting settled in their new surroundings. The big move-in is under way at campuses across the country.

Freshmen have also been busy moving in at Meredith College and Shaw University in Raleigh and many other schools around the state.

Campus parking lots are packed -- loaded with students, parents, suitcases, footlockers, tvs, computers, vcrs -- and expectation. Each parking lot is a microcosm of that moment when freshmen move in to the dorms -- and move away from home.

One student was in for a happy, albeit caloric, surprise. Her parents were toting in a box of goodies she didn't know about -- a carton of junk food.

The big move-in can be hard on parents. It is an emotional day for them, as they watch their offspring set out on their own.

One family faced it two times over, at separate schools. "We actually have two going," one parent said. "We have one going to State and one to Carolina. Twins."

The items stack up next to cars and along hallways. Leather chairs and pairs of shoes. Clothes and computers and stacks of stuff. Some students brought so much it took two family cars to haul it all.

Almost 4,000 N.C. State University freshmen from 100 North Carolina counties, 40 states and 26 countries made their way to the Raleigh campus. One-third of the freshmen were in the top 10 percent of their high school classes. One hundred were valedictorians. Two had perfect SAT scores. The parking lots are also packed with potential.

When the parking lot starts to clear, and Mom and Dad are leaving, life will never be quite the same.

"More than likely," one father said, "our son will never be in our home for any long period of time. He'll come for visits now, but he's gone. And that's a little bit hard to think about."

Good-bye, son and daughter. Good-bye and good luck.

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Scott Mason, Reporter
Gil Hollingsworth, Photographer
Kay Miller, Web Editor

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