Thousands of first-year UMass students move into campus housing

Students at UMass Amherst began moving into their dorms on Thursday as the fall semester is about to begin.
Published: Aug. 31, 2023 at 12:41 PM EDT
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AMHERST, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - Students at UMass Amherst began moving into their dorms on Thursday as the fall semester is about to begin.

The hype and excitement was alive and kicking all morning long at UMass Amherst. It is the start of something new for nearly 5,300 first-year students and dozens of transfers as they and their families moved their belongings out of the cars and into the dorms.

“It’s different. I’ve never done anything like this, obviously, but it’s very exciting,” said Callan Wardwell, a political science major from Newbury, MA.

New students like Wardwell said they cannot wait to get the year underway.

“I have a lot of friends from high school coming, but in general, just meeting new people. It’s nice to stay in touch with them, but (I will) branch out a little bit,” Wardwell added.

Western Mass News caught up with other new Minutemen and Minutewomen, as well as their parents, such as the Valeri family. Coming all the way from Leominster, physics major Nathan Valeri is living with two of his best friends from high school in Leach Hall and, even better, his twin sister, Emily, is also on campus.

“It’s different with twins. We’re just really best friends, so it’s really nice that we’re together. I don’t think we could exist without each other,” Nathan Valeri said.

“(I’m looking forward to) getting to explore more of my field and getting to explore interests I like…and just meeting new friends,” Emily Valeri added.

Their parents could not be more thrilled.

“It’s sad, but it’s a rite of passage and I’m excited for them and I support them,” said Lynn Valeri, Nathan and Emily’s mother.

“They’re great children. We’re very proud of them and we’re not that far away, so if there’s every any issues, they can always come home if need be,” added Matthew Valeri, Nathan and Emily’s father.

The UMass Amherst class of 2027 is one of the most diverse and accomplished in campus history, with the highest average high school GPA of any class during the past decade at 4.08. While it is a transition, all of the parents we spoke with want their kids to both be successful and have fun.

“Wishing you all of the best and have the best time of your life,” said UMass parent Rajni Carter.

“I hope everybody has a great year and we can’t wait for winter break,” Lynn Valeri said.

The rest of the students will move in at UMass over the weekend. For the freshman, however, it is on to the next chapter of their lives.