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Move-in Day brings excitement, with a side of anxiety

President and Mrs. Nikias welcome students 2012
President C. L. Max Nikias and Niki C. Nikias, center, greet new students and their families as they move into residence halls around campus.

USC’s annual Move-in Day brought smiles, tears and everything in between, as the incoming class of freshmen left the proverbial nest to settle into what will be their new homes for the coming year.

And to help with the big transition, students brought with them an arsenal of reinforcements — their family and friends.

In front of Pardee Tower, Michelle Vargas stood guard next to an orange bin teeming with clothes, books and personal items. The San Diego resident was waiting patiently for her daughter, Saralynn, to return from her dorm room and help haul the rest of the boxes.

Saralynn Vargas, left, and her mother, Michelle, in front of Pardee Tower (Photo/USC Dietmar Quistorf)

“At least she better come back!” Michelle said jokingly.

Saralynn, an incoming freshman at the USC School of Architecture, brought her parents as part of her move-in team.

“I have mixed feelings. I’m very happy for Saralynn, of course, but we’re going to miss her a lot,” Michelle said. “I gave her a lot of lectures last night … to be aware of this and that. She’ll do well, I’m sure of it.”

Saralynn finally joined her mother. When asked why she chose USC over other schools, she said for the passion.

“People here are very passionate, very happy,” she said. “You can just see it.”

On the other side of campus, Timmy Robinson stood in a queue outside Fluor Tower. He was hand in hand with his younger sister, Jaelyn, as he waited to pick up his dorm assignment and keys; his mother, Lisa, was inquiring about laundry services at a nearby table.

The Huntington Beach, Calif., native seemed surprisingly relaxed.

“I didn’t even start packing until this morning. I think I have enough to fill one bin,” Timmy said of his light packing.

Timmy Robinson with his mother, Lisa, and his younger sister, Jaelyn, in front of Fluor Tower (Photo/Dietmar Quistorf)

The incoming USC freshman outfielder, whose brother Alex Burnett pitches for the Minnesota Twins, was drafted by the same team but decided to hold off on his professional aspirations until after college.

“Because of the education,” Timmy said matter-of-factly.

“He’s thinking big time, long-term picture,” Lisa said, the pride evident on her face.

Freshman Janae Monfort and her mother, Lana, wheeled a bin filled with personal effects along the sidewalk in front of New Residence Hall. They took a two-day road trip from Olympia, Wash., to get here.

“I’m really excited. I was really worried that it would be hectic this morning, but it’s a lot more organized than I thought,” said Janae, who is majoring in biological sciences at the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences.

“We were anticipating a lot of traffic so we got here early,” Lana added. “But so far it’s been great. I’m very impressed with the service here and the people … just the Trojan Family as a whole.”

Janae Monfort, right, and her mom, Lana, took a two-day road trip from Olympia, Wash. (Photo/Dietmar Quistorf)

Unlike years past, this year’s Move-in Day seemed a lot quieter — perhaps a testament to all of the preplanning that took place.

In addition, galloping all over campus like the pony express — sans horses — were the parent volunteers, Move-in Day veterans who spend hours standing outside residence halls to impart advice and encouragement to the newcomers.

This year, nearly 46,000 seniors from every U.S. state and 123 other countries applied for an estimated 2,650 places in the fall’s entering class. Ninety percent of admitted freshmen rank in the top 10 percent of their high school’s graduating class, and 75 percent of admits have standardized test scores above the 95th percentile. The average unweighted high school GPA is 3.82 on a four-point scale.

Forty-seven percent of admitted students are from California, with 13 percent representing 70 foreign countries. The remaining 40 percent come from the other 49 states and U.S. territories.

In addition, 30 percent of admitted students are Asian, 12 percent Latino, 6 percent black and 2 percent Native American/Pacific Islander.

The fall semester will begin on Monday, Aug. 27.

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Move-in Day brings excitement, with a side of anxiety

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