UWF: a home-away-from-home
Anticipation and the excitement of new beginnings eclipsed the rain that fell on hundreds of new and returning students as they moved into the residence halls at the University of West Florida Wednesday. Traveling from near and far, students eagerly unloaded their boxes and belongings and hauled them into their new homes. Accompanied by parents and loved ones, and welcomed by dozens of helpful UWF staff and resident advisors, moving never appeared so fun and easy.
Tom Finnegan, parent to incoming freshman Erin Finnegan, expressed mixed feelings about his only daughter moving away to college.
“I think that college will be a great adventure for her,” he said. “I encourage her to take advantage of it, enjoy it and work hard. On the other hand, I’m going to miss her. We live eight hours away, so it’s not a quick drive home on the weekends.”
Incoming freshman and biology major hopeful Zach McFarquhar admitted that he was still adjusting to the move.
“It hasn’t really hit me yet that I’ve moved away from home,” he said. “However, I’m excited to be here and feel that UWF will be a good fit for me. I grew up attending small, private schools and like that UWF offers small class sizes. I also chose UWF because of its biology program.”
To ease freshman jitters, some students attended Argo Camp, an additional orientation experience held three days prior to move-in day. Sarah Popozich, a freshman from Tampa, gushed about what a great time she had at the camp.
“Argo Camp was definitely a blast and worth going to,” said Popozich. “I met so many new friends and the counselors are very welcoming and awesome. I had a blast!”
Approximately 10,900 students are currently enrolled at UWF, an increase of more than 400 students from last year. The university attributes this growth to marketing awareness campaigns, an increased focus on social media and Web initiatives and strategic recruitment strategies, such as a heightened presence in communities throughout Central and South Florida. More than 1,620 of UWF’s enrolled students will live on campus this fall semester.
Written by Lauren Smith, University Marketing Communications