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Home Sweet Home

Each fall begins the same way.

Thousands of 18-year-olds and their parents, siblings and other family members descend on campus over the course of three days in minivans packed with mini-fridges and mini-microwaves to start their new lives as Yellow Jackets.

Boxes are moved. Beds are made. Trips are taken to Bed Bath and Beyond. After a flurry of activity and a few gallons of sweat, hugs are exchanged, families leave, and a new swarm of Jackets is left to establish life in their new home at Georgia Tech.

This year, 2,704 students make up the freshman class. They hail from 58 countries, and there are 11 sets of twins. There’s a good chance you’ll meet one named Catherine, Matthew, John or Sarah. As classes get underway, they’ll begin to make a niche for themselves in their new “home sweet home.”

"The thing I'm most excited about would be the fact that this is a new adventure in life for me," said Maaz Shah, a first-year student majoring in aerospace engineering. "I can do whatever I want now that I'm moving to an entirely new, different place."

"The thing I'm most excited about would be the fact that this is a new adventure." —Maaz Shah

During the summer, six FASET orientation sessions introduce new students to life at Tech, teaching basics such as the fight song and honor code and helping with class registration. Some students also attend Wreck Camp, an opportunity for those who want a deeper dive into Tech traditions and leadership development. Finally, in August, upperclassmen help families with the heavy lifting during move-in and provide a friendly face to potentially nervous students. 

"It's going to feel a little bit, not necessarily homesick, but a little bit disorienting," Shah said.

The process of getting settled culminates with New Student Convocation on the eve of the first day of classes. For the first and only time, the incoming class of 2013 convenes before beginning their separate college journeys the next day. President G.P. “Bud” Peterson provides an official welcome and, this year, sophomore Nicholas Selby enthusiastically addressed the newcomers. 

Writer: Kristen Bailey