Leaving the Nest: Students move excitedly onto Midland College’s campus ahead of classes next week

Local News

MIDLAND, Texas (Nexstar) – Midland College is welcoming students back onto campus.

Our Rob Tooke spoke to incoming freshmen about the upcoming school year.

“I don’t have any Friday classes, so I’m happy about that,” said Isaac Reyes.

“This is the first time I’ve moved out of the house in 19 years,” said Avery Maisel.

“I’ve never really been away by myself, so I have to learn how to do all my washings and cleanings,” said Gregor Graham.

“I didn’t know the time was going to come so fast,” said Wunya Brown. “But it did.”

That time is now. Wednesday made for a beautiful day to start a new chapter in life. For the students arriving onto campus, there were clearly moments of excitement, and of course, nervousness.

This appears to be the first test of the year: just how will the move-in process go for the students and their families?

“Have you seen your dorms already? What’s that like?” Rob asks.

“It’s a little smaller than (a) bedroom,” laughs Gisselle, an incoming freshman and member of the MC Softball Team.

At Craddick Hall and Daniel Hall, families are getting their bearings: unpacking, rolling in, and deciding, ‘Did I bring enough? Or too much stuff?’

Wunya Brown’s family helped him unpack a truckload of necessities.

“You’re never going to know when you’re going to need something, so you want to get the most important stuff right now,” said Wunya, an incoming freshman. “You’re independent now.”

Avery Maisel and her mom were settling in nicely inside the residence hall. Avery is an incoming freshman, too. She says she battled brain cancer, and won. So, this welcome week marks a new journey for her, something she is more than ready to embark on.

“I ordered stuff on Amazon… everything is ‘matchy-matchy,’ Avery said.

She’s planning a wonderful design for her new living space, and Avery has the same pattern for her bedding, backpack, organizer, lanyard, and notebooks.

There is no doubt, these students are a welcoming sight, too, for Julia Vickery, the Vice President of Student Services.

“Community colleges were really founded on the idea of open access, so we accept all students, anybody who applies – open doors. But we want to be really cognizant that not only do we provide better access, but we provide all the support to help students achieve what their academic goals are,” Vickery said.

Vickery says she also understands the uncertainty present on campus. Not just with the current pandemic and local public health, but with this move-in experience, one that can be overwhelming for students.

Her advice?

“Reach out, find that person: that buddy, that staff member, that faculty member, and ask a lot of questions,” Vickery said.

According to an email from Midland College, the school expects approximately 170 students to move into on-campus housing.

COVID-19 testing is not a requirement to move in; neither are vaccines. Life-sized banners are stationed around campus, encouraging visitors, students, and staff, to mask up. Midland College said it will continue to follow health protocols.

Things are clearly different this year with face-to-face classes starting next Monday. It’s something students say they’ve longed for.

“I’m a very big people person. I love talking to people,” said Isaac Reyes, an incoming freshman who plans to study nursing. “I love meeting new people. Being virtual, we really didn’t get the chance to meet everyone.”

Alfie Robinson is a long way from home. He and his friend, Gregor Graham, came from across the pond.

“The weather is good. It’s pretty hot. I can’t lie. But, it’s just great. Everything is so flat, really,” Alfie mused.

“Everyone is so friendly and so nice,” said Gregor.

Amid the frenzy of students, it’s also become clear, there are unsung heroes helping these students move toward their academic success: it’s their parents.

“Thank y’all. I love y’all,” said one student. “We love you too!” his mom proudly exclaimed.

Move-in week will last through Sunday.

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