Staff Photo: John Bohn Lawrence Eaton, 18, of Columbus, moves his belongings from his parent's automobile into his new dorm room at Georgia Gwinnett College Thursday. Eaton is a first year student and will study IT. Classes begin on Monday at GGC.
LAWRENCEVILLE -- After a months-long break from student activity, the campus of Georgia Gwinnett College is coming to life once again as students move in, walk the grounds and get back into the groove of college of life.
Thursday was especially busy at the campus.
Four days before the first day of classes, students and parents unloaded cars and trucks full of personal belongings, hauling bags and boxes to their dorm rooms in the residence halls.
On Thursday night, new students at GGC took part in the ceremonial March Through the Arch, where more than 3,000 were greeted by a gantlet of applauding faculty as they made a first, formal entrance onto the grounds.
Demika Dempsey, 19, was one of those students.
She spent Thursday morning moving into her dorm room with the assistance of boyfriend, Brandon Campbell, also 19.
Dempsey said she looks forward to her first year at GGC. "I'm excited about meeting new people and different professors," she said. "Everybody I've met has been really nice."
A pre-veterinary therapy major, Dempsey said she hopes to take her core courses at the local college, then transfer.
Fellow pre-veterinary major Charnice Crowley, 19, said she has similar plans. "I'm going to go to UGA after this," Jones said, as she wiped down her dorm room furniture with disinfectant wipes.
Crowley said the disinfectant wipes were one of many "essentials" for the move. "I've got to make sure everything's clean," she said.
Other necessary items for the new dorm room: "All my Tinkerbell stuff, because I love Disney. Oh yeah, and my TV, I can't go to sleep without it."
Mom, Maurnice Jones-Crowley, said she was "excited" about her daughter's journey to college Thursday. "It's a big day for her and for everybody," she said.
Just two floors below the Jones family, Lawrence Eaton II's family helped him move in.
"It's a big step in life," said Eaton. "It's all about learning. Learning and having fun while I'm doing it."
Father, Lawrence Eaton, said it was an emotional day.
"My baby boy, he's growing up," the father said. "It's hard to believe."
Teams of faculty and staff helped students like Eaton move into their residence halls Thursday. According to a news release from the college, the assistance is part of tradition at GGC. It's the third year that residence halls have been open.
"I've got a good feeling about going to college here," said the younger Eaton. "I think it's going to be a good experience."