COLUMBIA, SC The rain held off – mostly – as University of South Carolina students unpacked their cars and hustled to their dorm rooms Saturday during the great annual ritual known as “move-in day.”
Traffic picked up on Columbia streets as folks found parking places, then dodged scattered raindrops to get indoors.
More than half of the on-campus students actually had moved in before Saturday, making it less hectic than in years past. About 1,650 freshman going through sorority recruitment moved in Wednesday and 1,743 on-campus students moved in Friday.
Some 1,347 students had moved in by noon on Saturday.
Margaret Patton woke up at 5 a.m. to drive to Columbia from Greenville.
She said the process of moving into the Maxcy residence hall was smooth.
“I’m almost done, which is very nice,” Patton said, while others across campus were just getting started.
Most of her friends from high school went to Clemson, and she looked forward to making friends here, she said.
Michael Brooks, from Maryland, waited in line for textbooks with his parents.
He moved into Bates House on Friday and is excited about football. One of his books was on back order, but the store reassured his mom he would have it by the time classes start.
Troy Gill, from Great Falls, helped move his daughter’s things into the Patterson Hall dorm with his son’s help.
They brought in the first load on a cart that held items including a mini refrigerator, microwave, tubs of clothes and a pillow.
Mary Ruffin Childs from MyCarolina, the alumni organization, volunteered to help students move in at Patterson.
She said the best part about move-in day is seeing the excited students.
Michael Wolverton graduated about a year ago. This day, he helped carry his younger brother’s stuff from a parking garage to South Tower.
Wolverton lived in Bates West his freshman year in 2008 and said helping with the move brought back memories.
Haley Acuna, a first-year student from Spartanburg, carried in a hang-up jewelry organizer to her new South Quad apartment-style dorm room.
“I definitely feel lucky because I don’t have to be in a freshman dorm this year,” Acuna said.
Joanne McLees carried a large umbrella, a Bed, Bath and Beyond bag and a dorm chair as she helped her daughter move into Bates West.
This is McLees’ third and last child to go to college, so the process is emotional, she said.
They drove down from New Jersey 11½ hours on Friday to get to Columbia.
She moved stuff from the car to the building while her daughter went in to get her key.
“She’s been sucked into the abyss,” McLees said.