A Fresh Start For 500 Bridgewater Freshmen

Daily News-Record  8/23/19
BRIDGEWATER — Alicja Pietruszewska had never been on a plane before — until two days ago.
To say that it was a big change moving from her home in Northern Ireland to Bridgewater, Virginia, would be an understatement. Pietruszewska is one of about 500 new freshmen who moved into the dorms this week at Bridgewater College. Pietruszewska is an exchange student here to study graphic design.
Pietruszewska said when choosing a college, she liked this area, the space and the fact that there is a lot to do and see.
Although she said she was nervous when she fi rst got here, she’s excited now and looking forward to meeting new people and getting to know the campus.
“I like meeting new people. Everyone is so different but very friendly,” Pietruszewska said.
A number of student volunteers and alumni helped make move-in day at Bridgewater run smoothly. In just a matter of hours, all 500 or more freshmen had moved onto campus and were settling in before bidding their families farewell.
“I’m pleased with how smoothly it went,” said President David Bushman. “In my seven years as president, it’s never rained during move-in.”
Bushman said the idea is to have a volunteer for every student moving in to help unload cars, carry in boxes and bags.
“No one should move in alone,” he said.
One of the move-in volunteers was sophomore Kaiyah Harris, who will also be paired with a freshman as a mentor to help with adjustment to campus life.
“We had to be here at 6 a.m. so it was an early start,” she said. But it’s something she wanted to help with because she herself had a great mentor last year that made being away from her family easier.
“ I wanted to return the favor,” Harris said. Although her family is only three hours away, it feels like much more at first.
“It’s hard when they’re not just next door to you,” she said.