Jasmine Bell, right, jokes around with her mother Althea Cokley during Clayton State University’s annual move-in day for freshmen. (Staff Photo: Johnny Jackson)
MORROW — The bright-eyed freshmen dodged the pellets of rain en route to their new lives in Clayton State University’s residence halls.
Jasmine Bell arrived at Laker Hall from Brunswick.
“I wanted to be in a bigger city,” said Bell, 18. “I feel that it’s going to be a little harder, but my goal is being on the Dean’s List.”
She met up with Dasha Allen, an 18-year-old psychology major from Forest Park she befriended over the summer. Bell plans to study communications and media.
Bell’s mother Althea Cokley also helped with the move-in, passing jokes back and forth with her oldest child.
“I’m so proud of her for making it this far,” said Cokley. “She is the first person in our family to go straight to college out of high school.”
A steady trickle of like-minded parents ushered their now-adult children into their move-in ready suites.
Downstairs, resident assistants wearing Laker Orange T-shirts were on hand to help move the new arrivals into their humble abodes.
“It’s a role that has a lot of responsibilities and perks,” said Kelvin Miller, a resident assistant and senior psychology major.
Part of Miller’s role is to offer up his perspective and first-hand experience to help make the transition into college living easier for newcomers.
His experience is typical of college students who are uncertain about their career goals and how they stack up in today’s economy. He said, for example, he changed his major five times before deciding to pursue a career in collegiate student affairs.
“Time management is key your freshman year,” he said. “Also, being financially savvy is key because most freshmen get refund checks and they have the option to send it back, spend it or invest it. “
Miller said he blew through his finances as a freshman but has since learned to better manage his money. He said he has already invested in an individual retirement plan.
Upstairs, incoming freshmen found a welcome resource for bedding and dorm room supplies.
Madhu Bhaskar, a district customer services manager Bed, Bath and Beyond, and district trainer Jennifer Rowley hosted the retailer’s first-ever tent sale Wednesday inside Laker Hall.
Word spread quickly about the pair’s presence on the second floor.
Bhaskar said, after this week, students will be able to shop at the pop-up store inside the campus book store until the end of August. Interim Vice President for Student Affairs Elaine Manglitz said she is pleased with the process and the seeming optimism demonstrated by many of the incoming freshmen.
“We’re excited to welcome all new students to campus,” said Manglitz. “And we look forward to learning with them as we move through the academic year.”
Classes start Monday.