Welcome, freshmen! New class of Bulldogs arrives at Barton College

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Barton College senior Lindsey Pierce was out to help incoming freshmen Thursday for move-in day.

Pierce, a native of Wilson, and Delta Zeta sorority sister Cayleigh Jordan, pushed an old grocery cart loaded with clothes, computers and other personal items destined for a dormitory room to be occupied by the newest scholars to arrive at the private Wilson college.

The one piece of advice both upperclassmen had for new students was to put some effort into making new friends.

“It’s a small college, you are going to see faces that you know all times of the day,” said Pierce. “Go to all of the events.”

The first big event not to miss is Welcome Back Barton Day on Monday.

“It’s a day here where we have a bunch of vendors in center campus. It’s nothing but free stuff. So college kids, load up on the free stuff.”

Post-graduate Matty Hauck, from Stow, Ohio, is residence hall director at Arthur D. Wenger Residence Hall.

Hauck agreed with Pierce’s advice for students to meet others.

“Keep your door open. Stay out in the hallway and meet some friends,” Hauck said. “Meet your neighbors. You are going to be lifelong friends.”

Freshman Ashlyn Collier, of Henderson, already had a head start on making friends.

“I know two people that are my age who are coming here. One’s playing baseball and one’s playing volleyball,” said Collier, who will study pre-nursing.

“I expect it to be fun but also a good learning experience,” Collier said. “I’m excited but I’m also nervous, but I’m sure it will go great.”

Like other students, Collier said not having her parents and being by herself all the time will be among the biggest challenges.

Collier said she plans to manage her time well and keep track of her obligations on a daily basis. “Without that, you are not going to really get anywhere,” Collier said. “I’ll lose track and procrastinate and really not get anything done.”

Freshman Haley Joyner, from Rocky Mount, will be studying deaf education and elementary education.

“It’s exciting,” Joyner said upon moving into her dorm room. “I’m a little nervous being around a lot of people in such a close space, but it looks like a promising future.”

Freshman Faith Weathers, of Bunn, will be pursuing a double major in psychology and criminal justice.

Weathers said living by herself and moving away from family will be tough.

“No more home-cooked meals and stuff like that,” Weathers said.

Despite that, Weathers said she made a good choice in coming to Barton.

“I have been here before and I have checked it out, so I am pretty excited to be at the campus. Good people,” Weathers said. “I chose it because when I came here I thought it was an atmosphere where I felt like I mattered and that people remember your names. You’re not just a student ID number or in a class of 300, so I liked that.”

“I like how small it is,” Pierce said. “It’s not as overwhelming, especially your class size, so if you need help from your professors, you can go get it or find classmates to help you.”

According to Kathy Daughety, director of public relations for Barton College, there are about 300 new students this fall.

“We have freshmen arriving on campus from as far away as Sweden, South Africa and Australia. And, within the U.S., freshmen hail from as far north as Connecticut, as far south as Georgia and Texas, and as far west as Utah,” Daughety said.

Daughety said that student leaders — including resident assistants, orientation leaders, academic peer leaders and student government association officers — received more than 50 hours of training preparing for the arrival of new students.

About 45 percent of Barton’s students live in five residence halls with more than 500 beds.

“This is a very special time on our campus,” said Douglas N. Searcy, president of Barton College. “We intentionally spend a great deal of time getting to know one another in preparation for our work ahead this semester. Activities and events are intended to connect the campus — including new student welcome events, and campus worship on Sunday, followed by Welcome Back Barton Day on Monday. Welcome Back Barton Day provides a perfect opportunity for the Wilson community to meet our new students and to reconnect with our returning students as well as our faculty and staff.”

New student arrival runs through Monday, when classes begin at 8 a.m.

dwilson@wilsontimes.com | 265-7818