A new group of Mariners began their adventures in higher education this weekend.

New and returning students arrived at College of Coastal Georgia’s campus early Saturday morning for the college’s residence hall move-in day.

Classes do not begin until Wednesday, but students arrived early to prepare for the new semester and get acclimated to campus.

With the help of siblings, parents and volunteers, the students stacked bags and boxes on rolling carts and carried suitcases one by one into the college’s two residence halls on campus.

“We brought two cars … One car wasn’t happening,” said Twylah Tippett, as she unpacked her daughter’s bags from a car trunk.

The family drove in the night before from Calhoun, about 370 miles away. Tippett’s daughter, Sarah Garland, plans to study physical therapy at the college. Coastal’s quality program and beautiful campus attracted her daughter to the school, Tippett said.

“They have amazing dorms,” she said. “So much better than when I went to college.”

Samantha Bruce, who will begin her freshman year at Coastal this week, brought her two sisters along on move-in day to unpack the car and trailer they’d brought all her belongings in.

Bruce said she decided to attend the college because of its campus and location.

“I picked it for the location, mainly,” she said. “It’s a really clean and neat campus, and it’s very tightly orchestrated. That’s what I liked about it.”

College staff were on-hand Saturday to aid families with the move-in. Several local churches also brought volunteers to help carry bags and to serve lunch.

“We’re here just to serve the community and try to make this day a little easier for the parents and the students, and to just let them know that we are here,” said Brooke Johnston, a member of First Baptist Brunswick.

The Wesley Foundation and College Place United Methodist Church also brought volunteers.

When the all-day move in wrapped up, families said their goodbyes. Parents headed back home, and the students were left alone to start their college career at Coastal.

“Anytime you leave your child somewhere that you aren’t is kind of nerve-wracking, but not as hard as when she went to Europe,” Tippett said. “At least I can drive down. And I’m excited for her.”

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