Anisa Mohamed and her family woke up at 5 a.m. Friday to drive from Manassas to the University of Virginia.
Several hours later, they unloaded into a dorm room in Emmet House and said goodbye. Mohamed was ready to welcome one of her roommates, Saffiata Kamara, who arrived later in the morning accompanied by several volunteers from the campus ministry Inter Varsity.
“I’m feeling really good,” said Mohamed, who plans to study biology on the pre-med track and quickly become connected with other students and clubs. “I’m hoping to meet my roommates and neighbors and find some groups to be a part of.”
Several floors below, Leigh Ann Nordt helped her daughter, Becca, unpack tubs and hang clothes.
Leigh Ann Nordt and her husband both graduated from UVa, and Becca Nordt’s older brother currently attends the school.
“It’s really exciting to have both of them here,” Leigh Ann Nordt said. “I hope they experience the traditions of the university and get the academics and love it as much as we did.”
Becca Nordt plans to study architecture. She and her roommate, Allison McCue, who is from Reston and plans to study commerce, connected on Facebook before coordinating their move.
“I’ve known Charlottesville my whole life,” Becca Nordt said, “but I know being a student will be different. I’m excited about meeting new people and being in a different atmosphere.”
Vinny Thota, a third-year, helped students and helpers navigate parking, checking in and finding their rooms smoothly; each first-year was allotted 15 minutes to haul stuff from their cars to their rooms.
“It’s all about communication and hydration,” he laughed. “And a smile.”
Enrollment in the first-year class is expected to be between 3,900 and 3,920, according to spokesman Wes Hester. Final numbers and demographic breakdowns will not be available until August, but admissions officials have praised the class’s academic prowess and cited the number of minority students admitted and enrolled.
The Pew Research Center considers all college students currently aged 18 to 22 to be part of Generation Z.
Most of the Class of 2023 never shared the earth with Joey Ramone, George Harrison, Timothy McVeigh, or Ken Kesey, according to the light-hearted Mindset List (assuming those students were born in 2001; across the country; 40% of college students are 22 or older). Like Pearl Harbor for their grandparents, and the Kennedy assassination for their parents, 9/11 is a historical event.
“Our generation is the voice of change; we are the future,” Mohamed said. “I just want people to know that if we all band together, we can all make a difference.”
Classes begin on Tuesday.