Oldham, of Union, Ky., was helping her daughter, Kierstyn, move into Miller Hall Aug. 18 in preparation for her freshman year at the University of Louisville.

She just has so much stuff, the mother said. 

A chair. A fridge. Suitcases. It was all going inside. After unloading the first carload of items, they began working on a second car full of dorm-life essentials.

Are you sure it’s all going to fit? she asked her daughter.

Yes, the younger Oldham said optimistically. If you believe it, you can achieve it.

The Oldhams were just one of hundreds of families that arrived at UofL early Wednesday to begin the move-in process. Mothers and fathers pulled in at the residence halls and began the unenviable tasks of unloading every item their sons and daughters packed for college.

Luckily, many were surprised at an army of volunteers who were there to carry in the boxes, plastic tubs and clothes. Volunteers for move-in day included UPS employees, Student Affairs staff, and students from Baptist Campus Ministries, Greek organizations, and The Avenue church group, and students from other campus groups. 

You can really see the parents let a sigh of relief when they see the volunteers, said Michelle Massey, associate director of Housing and Residence Life. We couldn’t do this without the volunteers.

Massey said residence halls on the Belknap Campus were expected to be at 98 percent occupancy for the start of classes. This high occupancy rate reflects the university’s push to get more students living on campus and fully engaged as part of the university community. Nearly 60 percent of full-time freshman are now choosing to live on campus.

The first day that residence halls are open is an exciting time for the Housing and Residence Life Staff, Massey said.

It’s really my favorite day of the year, she said. You can see the excitement on the students’ faces.

 Brandon Collins, a resident assistant at Miller Hall, said he and his peers have spent the last two weeks prepping for move-in day. He’s attended training and decorated the bulletin boards on his floor in anticipation of the arrival of the 36 students who will live on it. By 10 a.m. Wednesday morning, he’d already met a few.

It’s been a fun day so far, Collins said. It’s organized chaos.

Outside of Threkheld Hall, Julia Kemen of Florence, Ky., waited with a pile of belongings as her father moved their car from the unloading area.

I’m a little stressed right now. There’s a lot to do, she said. But I’m really excited, too. I’m looking forward to meeting new people.