Angelina Bucklin knows college will be a new experience. That’s why she chose to attend Troy University’s Summer Send Off party in Dothan, where she met other incoming freshmen from the Wiregrass area.
“I was just excited to meet people that I’m going to school with so I’d actually know people on the first day of class,” said Bucklin, a Headland High School graduate who starts at the Troy Campus this month. “I think it’s really important to have these events, because when you get to school, you want some familiar faces so that you’re not so overwhelmed.”
The Summer Send Off parties, which take place in various cities over the course of two weeks, are hosted by TROY and feature incoming students, parents and friends of the University socializing and experiencing a taste of TROY life.
“I’m here to hang out with people and visit,” said Austin McKinney, another Headland graduate who will join the Sound of the South this fall alongside Bucklin. “I love this interaction. I’m making great friends.”
Parents also find the events reassuring.
Jeannie Conyers’ daughter, Gabrielle, recently graduated from Ashford High School and will be attending TROY in the fall. She will live on campus, something she’s dreamed about for years.
“She has been in love with Troy University since she was 10 years old,” Conyers said. “She has always wanted to go there. She did look at other schools and wavered a little bit, but her heart was at TROY. We think it’s a great campus, and we like that she’s close to home.”
Barry McKnight, the longtime voice of Trojan athletics, spoke to the crowd at the Dothan event and passed on words of encouragement for concerned parents and anxious students alike.
“I know there are anxieties,” he said. “There are supposed to be. Do the work, enjoy yourself and find something new every day to learn about. You’re going to be fine. You’re among thousands of people just like you, along with hundreds of faculty and staff members whose main job is to see you succeed. You will be fine.”
The last two Summer Send Off events for 2017 take place Thursday in Opelika and Montgomery.