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Off to college

The long goodbye

Students take that first big step, leaving their parents behind.

August 30, 2009|Kevin Patra | Kevin Patra is a graduate student at USC and edits "The Sports Union" website.

The class of 2013 arrived at USC last week. Kevin Patra spent the afternoon of "Move-In Day" finding out how they got there, what they were looking forward to and how they'd managed the long goodbye. These interviews have been shortened and edited.

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Baltimore

Becca Saag, 18

My parents brought me. The reality will probably set in when they leave. Today will be the last time I see them. I can I-Chat with them, video chat or Skype with them, and talk on the phone. And my parents text now so it makes it very easy to stay in touch, probably every day. What am I scared of? I hope I don't shrink my own laundry.

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Nick Leonard, 18

Newport Beach

[My parents] were happy to get me out of the house. [He laughs.] They were like, you've caused enough trouble in high school, you can go to college and deal with everything yourself. Moving in was exciting, meeting a bunch of new people, finally being on your own with no restrictions. My dad went here, so he was jealous that I get to experience what he got to experience a long time ago. My mom wasn't too emotional. Was she crying? On the way home I guess she was. I live pretty close, so I'll just go home whenever I need to. If they text me, I'll probably send one back, but I came here to get away, so ... .

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Beau Feibus, 18

Cave Creek, Ariz.

I walked [my parents] back to the car and said 'bye. It was kind of weird, because they got divorced a year ago, so that was kind of cool, they got back together to move me in. It wasn't sad, [but] it's pretty sad just thinking about it. But I was just saying to him [he points to his friend]: We can do whatever we want. [The hardest will be] forcing myself to get up to go to class, because no one's going to be there saying, "You better go do this." The internal motivation hasn't really been tested before.

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Mayfield Smith, 18

Carrollton, Ga.

I flew out here by myself. My mom drove me to the airport. She was sitting there trying not to cry the whole time. But I knew she was going to cry eventually. She's been texting me ever since I got here, so I know she misses me because she never texts me that much. I spent the whole last couple days with her so she could get the last sense of me before I left. I tell [my friends at home], no matter what the cost, you have to go out and do what you want to do. You don't want to be stuck in the same town for your entire life. Try new things. It's worth it in the end.

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Maddie Renov, 18

Los Angeles

[My parents left and] I walked back upstairs and opened the door to my room and looked and was alone, and it was kind of weird but also really exciting. My dad is actually the associate dean of the film school. He'll be on campus, but I won't see him all the time. I think my parents are a little bit sad, but I might have been more sad than they were. Well, maybe not. One of my best friends is moving to New York, another one to Ohio, another one to Baltimore, and we're all spreading out. Those are the people who made me who I am, and I'm a little worried about keeping that in mind -- making new friends and still being myself. Also, I went to an all-girls school, so this could be interesting.

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