One of the most appealing aspects of UIndy’s freshman move-in day is the family photo session, courtesy of the Alumni Office. It’s a day of remarkably choreographed movement in residence hall parking lots, as scores of volunteers manage lines of cars loaded with mini-refrigerators, mp3 players, clothes, tables, lamps, posters, stuffed animals, and much more.
It’s a day of faculty, staff, and upperclassmen dropping everything to lug the new students’ boxes to assigned rooms as amazed families look on. It’s a day of events designed to acquaint the newcomers with their new campus home. It’s a day with a picnic lunch on the mall and free ice cream, and a local radio station broadcasting from under the carillon. There are shy introductions and gleeful reunions as high school friends reunite as college freshmen.
But the moments when the eager new students pose for a commemorative photograph with their families are the most poignant. As families pause for the shoot in the bustling Schwitzer Student Center, all the emotions at work are in evidence: freshmen eager to start college life but anxious about what lies ahead. Proud parents mourning the prospect of an emptying nest. And kids looking up to their brothers and sisters—and probably contemplating taking over a vacated room once they’re back home.