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Riding a Rollercoaster of Emotions

Photos by Janet Rogers, John Carmody and Robert Steckmest

Students brave UMKC Move-In

The University of Missouri-Kansas City was buzzing as nearly 1,700 students moved into campus apartments and residence halls, in preparation for the start of fall classes on Aug. 24.

Upper-class, transfer and graduate students moved into Oak Place Apartments and Hospital Hill Apartments Aug. 19. Happy faces were everywhere and a contagious excitement surged through the residence halls.

UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance students Logan Jungman and Daniel Maples are in the same suite. The share a kitchen and living area, but have their own bedroom and bathroom allowing them to decorate their space to fit their personalities. Jungman is a composition student and plays the tuba. He was not unpacked and didn’t have a special place for the tuba yet. “I’m excited to meet new people and explore the Conservatory more,” Jungman said. Maples is a music therapy student and brought his guitars and keyboard. A colorful tapestry on the wall created a special atmosphere in his room.

Clayton Minnick is a junior who lived at home with his family while attending a local community college. He transferred to UMKC for business marketing and was excited about having his own space.

“I’m definitely ready to get out. I definitely need the experience of being on my own.”

Students brought their favorite things to make their rooms homey and comfortable. Bridget Vezendan is studying environmental science.

“I love plants,” Vezendan said. Her plants were comfortably arranged before she even unpacked her clothes. Also a transfer student from a community college who also lived at home, she’s looking forward to the campus experience.

Communications major Vinika McIntosh also brought her favorite thing — a giant stuffed bear named Sushi. As a senior, she’s focused on the next stage of her life. “I’m excited to graduate!”

At Hospital Hill Apartments, Alaina Christian, sophomore pre-nursing student, was surrounded by family to help her move in. “I’m glad to be back,” Christian said. She’s ready to get the school year started.

Not everyone living at Hospital Hill studies in a health sciences field. Graduate Student Erik Jansen drove 1,800 miles from Idaho to attend the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance. His specialty is piano.

Oak Street Hall was bustling with excitement on Aug. 20 as medical students moved in. Freshman students in the six-year medical degree program at the UMKC School of Medicine were both excited and nervous about starting two new things – college and life on their own.

Laura Mann, freshman, said she was nervous but very eager. “I know I want to be a doctor and this is a great school.”

“I liked the six-year program because you get to interact with patients the first semester,” said Kyle Henry. Even before classes have started, he said he’s looking forward to graduating.

Many students chose UMKC’s six-year medical program because it’s in the family.

Koral Shah, freshman, has cousins who graduated from UMKC. “The program is amazing.”

The campus truly came alive on Aug. 21, move-in day for freshmen. Boxes and bags were unloaded from cars assembly-line style, piled into carts and hauled to student rooms thanks to more than 225 volunteers, also known as the Roo Haul crew. Having help with the heavy stuff allowed students and families to focus on the excitement of the experience instead of becoming stressed about the sheer exertion.

Emotions were high as students bubbled with excitement and felt the churn of nervousness. Parents beamed with pride, took family pictures and did the heavy work such as “lofting the beds” – raising the mattresses to create storage space underneath.

Chante Evans moved into Johnson Hall within the first hour. She’s from Georgia, but had help moving in. She has a sister in the area. “I’m looking forward to a good year and meeting new people.”

Amanda Nielsen, freshman health studies student, moved into Oak Street Hall. She’s looking forward to getting started. “I’m super excited.”

Roommates Brooke Stearns and Amber Claypool are friends from high school. They are both freshmen majoring in pharmacy. As they navigated the emotional ups and downs, their dads tried to find room for all their belongings. Even after lofting the beds, the girls decided everything couldn’t stay. Choosing what stayed and what went back home was the first of many lifestyle decisions to come.


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