OSHKOSH - It was a busy day on the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh campus as thousands of students settled into their dorms; preparing for the start of a new school year and – eventually – the rest of their lives.
But as exciting as the move in days can be for students, they can be equally as bittersweet for their parents.
"I'm really excited – yeah,” said sophomore Makenzie Roelke of Waunakee, “I'm nervous."
Roelke's starting fresh. She transferred to the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh from UW Milwaukee to study nursing. As excited as she is to start the year at a new school, it's tough for her mom to let her go.
"I'm very sad,” said her mother Becky Stowers, also of Waunakee.
“I spent the whole summer with her and, I'm really going to miss her, so," said Stowers, choking up with emotion.
"You're such a baby," said Roelke, jokingly. "No I'm not," responded Stowers, laughing.
"I'm ready to get it done with and just get ready to get into the swing of things," said junior Steven Ross.
Ross, who’s from Milwaukee, is majoring in business and marketing.
He says Oshkosh will be a change of pace from Lakeland College in Sheboygan. So the sooner he can get his things squared away in his room, the better. For Ross' father, move in day is the start of his son's future.
"It's bittersweet,” said Jason Dixon. “But I know that looking at the future, the big picture, it's something he needs to do."
UWO officials say the move in process on campus has been streamlined over the years to make it a much easier and quicker process. Hundreds of student volunteers pitch in to help their peers where needed.
"There's so much more coordination – whether it's through social media, students that are raising their hand and helping volunteer – or just getting the word out," said UWO spokesman Alex Hummel.
"We'll see if it all fits," said a laughing Mikayla Wright.
Wright, a sophomore in business from North Fond du Lac, finally has her belongings packed into her dorm room – thanks to help from her parents, brother and boyfriend.
"It's hectic at first,” said Wright of the move in process. “But I think once we get the bed situated, it should just pan out after that."
Wright is a transfer student from UW Green Bay. She says she's ready for classes to begin on Wednesday. But that doesn't mean her mother is ready to leave.
"It's very hard to let them go,” said her mother Susan Wright. “But let them go. Because it's a lot of growing – they grow up a lot when they're gone."
And, at least for Mikayla – or maybe more so her mother – home is only about 20 minutes away.
UWO officials say they won't know the exact number of students for the 2013-2014 school year until a couple weeks from now.
However, they say the university expects the final total to hover around 12,500 students.
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