News Local

Waves of students head into residences

By Ian McInroy, Barrie Examiner

IAN MCINROY/BARRIE EXAMINER
Grace Hill eyes her target during a dodgeball event at Georgian College move-in day at the Barrie campus on Monday. Like thousands of other young people across all of the college's campuses, the digital photography student is looking forward to her studies this fall.

IAN MCINROY/BARRIE EXAMINER Grace Hill eyes her target during a dodgeball event at Georgian College move-in day at the Barrie campus on Monday. Like thousands of other young people across all of the college's campuses, the digital photography student is looking forward to her studies this fall.

Like thousands of other Georgian College students across the region from Barrie, Orillia and Owen Sound, Grace Hill is getting ready to pick up her books and her camera in anticipation of studies this fall.

The Innisfil resident will be studying digital photography at the Barrie campus and was enjoying some fun on Monday during the move-in weekend that included games of dodgeball and volleyball and other activities behind the eight-storey campus residence.

It accommodates more than 520 students while the Orillia on-campus facility has rooms for approximately 180 students.

Hill is happy to be moving into her new home.

"It's going to be a great year," she said on the dodgeball court. "I'm looking forward to my freedom and doing my own thing.

"It's such a cool school, close to home, and the residence feels super inclusive."

That's good news to Sara Van Heeswyk, general manager of the Georgian College residence, who said besides Barrie, Orillia and Owen Sound campuses which have on-site residences, the college's other campuses in Midland, Muskoka (Bracebridge), Orangeville and Collingwood welcome students from just about everywhere.

Approximately 50 students move in ahead of time to assist as transition volunteers.

"The big move-in day was on Sunday and it gave students a chance to learn about each other," she said. "It's not just Simcoe County, or Ontario or Canada. They come from all over the world," she added.

The three branches of the campuses that do offer on-site residences can make going to college very special, and helpful, Van Heeswyk said.

"We work together with the college and run programs together," she said of the residence life department. "We put on events for the students. We're here to support them if they are having problems transitioning to college or with their marks."

Some students as young as 16 years old are leaving home for the first time, Van Heeswyk said.

"Every individual coming to college can have challenges no matter what their age is," she said. "But just being away from home for the first time, and being perhaps being home sick, can be big challenges."

Van Heeswyk acknowledged that there can be distractions at college for some students.

"We have supports in place and resources at the college and can get them the help they might need," she said. "We have on-call managers 24 hours a day."

imcinroy@postmedia.com



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