AIKEN, SC. (WJBF)- Students at USC Aiken move into their dorms— some, finally beginning on their new journey as college students.

Nearly 800 returning and new students have moved into Pacer Crossings and Commons this weekend.

“It was very smooth ‘cause they have like helpers and stuff, and it only took one trip and I took everything up,” USC Aiken Freshman Kiya Foster said.

Director of University Housing Kevin Kaerr tells me it’s a joy to see first-time college students excited for this chapter of their life.

“We are just so excited to have the students back. For the last two and a half weeks, we’ve been working for this day. We’ve been training our resident mentors; we’ve been getting the buildings prepared with bulletin boards and banners and signs…”

Since it’s a time for parents to let their children become young adults and figure out their life’s next steps, Kaerr says that’s why resident mentors are important.

“They are upperclassmen students– sophomores to seniors– some of who’ve been working for us for three years. So, they are here to help create that sense of belonging, get students engaged, involved because we believe that the first few weeks are vital.”

Students will get the chance to experience the rest of the upcoming week with interactive activities.

“And we’ll have a lot of events this week culminating with our giant picnic on Wednesday,” Kaerr said. 

Freshman Kiya Foster tells me she has pretty big goals academically. But she also plans on joining sports teams and other campus organizations. 

“My career is to be a pharmacist, but I’m majoring in Bachelor’s of Science as of right now. And I also major in childcare– I have my childcare certification.” 

Students and staff are ready to make this a memorable school year on Pacer grounds.