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Students, families share the emotions of move-in weekend

Residence halls teemed with activity over Labor Day weekend, as students moved into their residence halls and families said their goodbyes. University staff and volunteers, twin extra-long sheets, and laundry hampers—to help cart students’ belongings into their new rooms—were abundant throughout campus, as was the excitement (or was it nervousness?) of students and families as they began the next chapter of their lives. Here’s what they had to say about the experience.


“This is our third child to move into college, and I’ve never seen anything so organized,” said Mary Cooper, whose son Will Cooper, S’20, moved into International Village on Friday. “For us, it’s the first time we’ll have an empty nest; we’ve had kids at home for 27 years,” said Sloan Cooper, Will’s father. “We feel an awful lot of excitement for him.” Mary Cooper said she felt good knowing Will’s brother was also living in Boston. The Coopers are from South Salem, New York.


For many, moving away from home for the first time can be emotional. “This is the first time I’ve moved anywhere,” said Jules Minissale, AMD’21, as she and her mother Karen unpacked their car. “She cried, like, five minutes ago,” Jules said of her mom.


Karen Minissale, who left her hometown of Doylestown, Pennsylvania, early Friday morning to get to Northeastern, joked that she expected to feel more emotional “once the delirium of no sleep sets in.”


Despite now being Bethesda, Maryland, residents, Elena’s father, Jay Petillo, also spent time in Boston for his undergraduate degree. A Boston University graduate, Jay Petillo said, “Oh, we’ve fully embraced the rivalry,” between BU and Northeastern. “She’s already giving me a hard time for it,” he said of Elena.


“I think I dealt with a lot of the emotion prior to getting here,” said Rebecca Petillo, whose daughter, Elena Petillo, E’20, moved into International Village on Friday. “This is the fun part: setting up her room and hanging her art on the walls.”


For others, sheer excitement won out. Matt Martinico, E’20, a Long Island, New York, native, said he was just “ready to get started” after moving into his room in Hastings Hall.

“I was doing fine until just now, when I was walking behind him and I saw him carrying his suitcase, and then it hit me like, ‘Wow, this is really happening!’” said Ingrid Boivin, whose son Hunter Boivin, DMSB’21 moved in Friday.

Madison Belyea, E’21 shared tearful hugs with her family before they ventured home from International Village. “I already can’t wait to come back and visit on Parents’ Weekend,” her mother, Robin, said.

On Monday morning, William Fleming, SSH’20, pushed a moving hamper toward West Village A. Fleming, who is from Tampa, Florida, transferred to Northeastern. Being from the South, he said he was looking for a change of scenery and always wanted to go up north. “It was my top choice,” he said of Northeastern. He’ll be studying international affairs, and is also excited to pursue a minor in entrepreneurship.

“It’s definitely good to be back,” said John Nguyen, E’20, a second-year student from Franklin, Massachusetts, as he unpacked his car on Leon Street before moving into West Village F. This year his suite has a kitchen, so he’ll be cooking a lot and hasn’t ordered a meal plan—yet. “I have no idea what I’m doing,” he admitted of his cooking experience. “I’ll probably be Facetiming with my mom every night.”

At East Village, Chelsea Rutagengwa, S’20, a second-year student from New Hampshire, unloaded her belongings with help from her parents Jean-Bosco and Christine. “I’m really excited,” said Rutagengwa, who has three roommates this year. She packed light, requiring only one moving hamper. “I know what I need and don’t need,” she said of lessons learned from moving in freshman year.