The incoming freshmen at Quinnipiac University were moving in Thursday. They may have had nothing to do with one another just recently, growing up in disparate towns and cities. But there were similar feelings at play in Irmagarde Tator Hall, as young people took a step into their adult lives and their families watched them go.
Mystic native Kaitlyn Bendick said she chose Quinnipiac because of the strength of the pre-med program, as well as the beauty of the campus and neighboring Sleeping Giant State Park.
“I was nervous — I’m still kind of nervous. But it’s been a good day so far,” said Bendick. “I hope to come out (of this experience) as a graduate... (and) make some good friends, make some good memories.”
“She’s our first going to college... we’re a little anxious, but excited too,” said Anne Bendick, her mother. “I think this’ll be a great experience for her.”
Carissa Recchia, a native of Grafton, Mass., was settling in across the hall.
“It’s exciting and sad, but I’m looking forward to it,” said Recchia, who plans to study nursing.
“I’m very excited for my daughter going on this new adventure,” said Rob Recchia, her father. “I’m excited to see her follow her dream and her passion.”
Alexa Pettit, from Jefferson Township, New Jersey, was moving in a few doors down, meeting her roommate Katie Dansereau, in person for the first time after they got to know each other through Facebook.
Pettit said she planned to study occupational therapy; Dansereau, a Cromwell native, came to study communications .
“I guess (I’m) a little scared, but I have Katie — not completely alone,” said Pettit.
“I got pretty much all the jitters out of the way,” said Dansereau, who moved in Wednesday. “It’s nerve-wracking (to move out on my own), but I figure, over the course of my life, it’s time for it.”
“We’re excited and nervous,” said Rob Pettit, Alexa’s father. “It’s a little strange. I’m sure it’ll feel a little weird to not have her there at home.”
Dhruv Darji, a Manchester native, was unpacking with his family’s help on the second floor. He noted Quinnipiac is close to home and said it has a good physical therapy program, making it a logical choice.
It would be a change to move away from his parents, he said, but he’s ready.
“(It feels) kind of scary, but you’ve just got to figure it out on your own,” said Darji.
This is the first group of freshmen to enter the school under the leadership of President Judy Olian, who took over from the retiring John Lahey July 1.
According to the university, the class includes students from 33 states and 33 countries.