Morgan Williams ’18 got a special present for her 18th birthday: a room in UNH’s newly constructed Westside Hall.
“Everything’s so nice and new,” she said, standing in the ground-floor lounge with its modern white, light brown and bronzed orange decor gleaming around her. “I’m happy I got this building.”
Williams, who hails from Jackson, N.J., plans to major in criminal justice. She was among the more than 1,100 first-year students who moved into the residence halls on Thursday. It was the first time many of them would be on their own.
For Williams, that meant leaving behind her Shih Tzu, Mack.
“He’s always with me,” she said.
Payton Campbell ’18 will also miss a special pet: Molly, her cat.
Campbell’s home away from home is a room on the fourth floor of Westside.
“In the morning, I was a little nervous,” Campbell said. “But when I got here it was fun. Everyone’s friendly. Everyone’s really nice. The staff and volunteers are really helpful.”
Payton’s mother, Heidi Bystrek, was less anxious about the move.“During the orientation they asked, ‘What worries do you have?’ and I think I’ve done my job well enough that I don’t have too many worries. She’s ready to fly,” she said.
Justin Langlois '18, of Limerick, Maine, hadn't had the chance to see his room in Bixler Hall yet.
He and his father waited on the sidewalk outside Peterson Library with a pile of items stacked chest-high.
Langlois said he was looking forward to becoming an active part of the UNH community. At the top of the pile was his tennis racket. “I know there's not a team here,” he said. “I was hoping to start one.”
Wes Naylor, meanwhile, was a little nostalgic about leaving his daughter, Mallory.
“My first remembrance of my daughter was when she was born, holding on to my pinky,” he said. “It's kind of tough to let that go. I'm proud of her. I'm happy for her. But I'm also a little nervous.”
Despite his apprehensions, Naylor said the people at UNH helped ease his anxiety. Peter Massey, a forensic science lecturer, let Mallory sit in on a class during her senior year of high school, and he said other members of the faculty were equally friendly.
“This whole atmosphere will be good for her,” he said.
This story was written by Brandon Bisceglia ’14, UNH Today contributing writer.
Mallory is sharing a dorm in Bethel Hall with Danielle Orlando '18, who also plans to major in criminal justice. Orlando said she had taken a few things to remind her of home, including pictures, a comfy blanket and Juicy Juice.
“My mom always used to buy it when I was a kid,” she explained. “So, I bought a big gallon of it.”
Already the two had begun adjusting to the idea of living together. With many of their bags still strewn in the common area, they consulted over what other items they might need.
“Ramen. I didn't get Ramen yet,” Orlando said.
“It's OK,” replied Mallory. “I have microwaveable macaroni and cheese.”
“That works,” Orlando said.