Updated as of Aug. 19 at 2:12 p.m. to include additional interviews.
Adjacent to Lake Mary Nell and the Loy Center is the Global Neighborhood. This neighborhood is full of LLCs — ASHES, African diaspora, creative arts, international, performing arts and polyglot — all located within its five residence halls. These buildings surround Global Commons, a beloved study spot and classroom space on campus. Global also neighbors Lakeside Dining Hall, where a different culture’s cuisine is served each week. The neighborhood is made up of primarily freshmen and sophomores.
From Texas to North Carolina
Two cars and a U-Haul pulled into the global parking lot this morning. Inside was freshman Haley Kyle, her parents and several blue Ikea bags packed with essentials.
“Feeling a little bit overwhelmed,” Kyle said. “Oh my God, it’s real, I’m here, it’s actually happening.”
The family was up early this morning after a 17-and-a-half-hour drive from Dallas, Texas. They decided to drive so that Kyle could have a car on campus. Kyle and her dad Gerry traveled together in the first car, and as they drove, Kyle said she listened to this year’s common reading book, “Factfulness” by Hans Rosling.
Gerry said between chapters, he talked to his daughter about the transition to college, new found independence and what challenges that can bring.
This is not just a transition for his daughter, but also for himself.
“Kids are with you for 18 years, and then now they are going to be away from you. So it’s going to be a tough transition,” Gerry said.
Kyle said she is nervous about the transition because she is far from home and will miss her family and her dog. But she is also excited to meet her roommate in person after months of texting back and forth.
She plans to study nursing at Elon and said her own health challenges inspired her to work towards a nursing career.
“I loved my nurses, and I loved the change they made on my attitude, and I just wanted to be that for other people,” Kyle said.
As Kyle gets settled in her Global B dorm room, Gerry is thinking about what final advice he has for his daughter.
“Just challenge yourself,” Gerry said. “Don’t be afraid to fail. Just try a lot of different things. Maybe just put your toe in, dip it in, see if you like it. If not, move on and try to find something else. Find the things that move you and challenge you.”
Orientation leader Meghan Pavlic said even though there weren’t a lot of students at first, she was calm.
“We’ve been told it’s going to get really really busy really soon. So, preparing, mentally preparing, but right now we are doing great.”
Michelle Marder, a peer educator for Elon 1010 helping students move-in, thinks there are benefits to having slow traffic in the neighborhood.
“It’s nice that people are staggered right now, they can get all the help they need,” Marder said.
Pavlic said she wants to be energetic for students so that they enjoy the move-in process.
“We are just trying to give them all the energy we can just make them excited for move-in,” Pavlic said. “A lot of them are nervous, a lot of their parents are really nervous. So if we give them good energy, then it’s going to be a good experience for them.”
Anthony Martin, a freshman on the football team, was helping with move-in in Global as well.
Martin said even though he is also a freshman, it feels good to be helping other students move-in.
“I like helping people,” Martin said. “And me being a football player, I like being a leader and showing people and leading by example.”
Martin thought there needed to be more help in Global.
“I really think we could use more people just because it’s a lot of people showing up here and there,” Martin said. “And you just want to have a lot of people at more cars just to have everything going at a nice pace without getting everything clustered in the buildings and everything.”
There were also not a lot of people of color seen moving in this morning. But, Martin said he is not concerned.
“I know people of color are going to show up,” Martin said. “I’m not really focused on too many people, I’m trying to focus on my goals.”