NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Who says it's hard to get into Rutgers?
Freshmen who arrived at the Honors College on Wednesday morning for the rite of passage often called Move-in Day got help unpacking their stuff from Mayor Jim Cahill, members of the city's police and fire departments, members of the city's administration and dozens of other student volunteers.
Even Salvador Mena, Rutgers' Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs, was there to help new students pile laptop computers, cases of instant ramen noodles and other items into red bins to be carted off to their new digs.
Although this was just a smattering of students compared to tomorrow's school-wide move-in, Rutgers is set to welcome a record 7,150 first-year students to its New Brunswick campuses.
They are students such as Alysta Paneque, who arrived on at the Banks of the Old Raritan from Bergen County with dreams of becoming a pediatrician.
Paneque said she couldn't go off to college without her coffee maker. She also had a 60-count of K-Cups (Starbucks' Pike Place Roast). She joked that it would be gone within a week.
When asked if this day was scary or exciting, she said, "A little of both. I'm very excited, but there's also the nerves in starting something new."
New students continued to arrive throughout the morning, bringing lamps, pillows, comforters and cases of Pop-Tarts. One student had a Spider-Man poster to put on his wall. Another student had a collage of photos ready to hang.
The students will have a chance to settle in since the first day of classes isn't until Tuesday.
Cahill joked that his time spent at Rutgers was so long ago that it's a hazy memory.
"Today's a lot different," Cahill said. "What the university does and the move-in with the students to make it so easy, it really is a welcoming for new students, a welcome to their new home. For returning students, it's a reminder of what makes Rutgers a great place."
Mena said Move-In Day is a great chance for the school to welcome students with open arms.
"This a large place with 50,000 students," he said. "We want to personalize this place, we want to personalize the city of New Brunswick. This is going to be their home for four, five, six, seven years, depending how long they're here. We certainly want to make a good first impression."