UVa Students Descend on Charlottesville, Stores

August 23, 2013

Drive down University Avenue and there is no question that University of Virginia students are back on grounds for the start of a new school year, but that's not where many of them spent Thursday evening.

Upperclassmen who have returned ahead of this weekend's first-year move-in packed the stores to pick up last-minute essentials they left behind.

"We've been emptying the car out back and forth all day. Food shopping, going all over," said Geraldine Marino, who's son will be a second-year student.

The Marino family made the long drive to Charlottesville from Long Island to move their son -- and a brand new 47-inch television -- into his new place.

The Marinos will be doing it all over again next year when their daughter, Jacqueline, graduates high school and heads off to college.

"Hopefully here [to UVa], but we'll see," said Jacqueline Marino. "I apply this fall, so fingers crossed. Hopefully I'll be doing it here, too, with my brother."

For now, she's helping her family create a new home away from home for her older brother, making a stop at Walmart.

"We're trying to beat the rush. We heard tomorrow's going to be a crazy day here in Charlottesville," said Geraldine Marino.

More experienced students knew to hit the stores early to avoid the estimated 6,000 first-year students expected to descend on Charlottesville beginning Friday.

"I'm glad we're getting this out of the way now because tomorrow there's going to be traffic lined up all the way down 29," said third-year student Emily Stephen.

Stephen picked up a few items at K-Mart Thursday night, but, for the most part, her back-to-school shopping has been a breeze.

"I kind of got it down now and know what I need and know where to go and everything," said Stephen. "It's definitely easier your third time around."

This isn't Adam Ott's first go at the move-in madness, but it's the transfer student's first time doing it at UVa.

"A lot of planning goes into it, but there are things that you forget. I guess that's why we're here," Ott said while loading bags into his car in the Walmart parking lot.

All the student shopping has kept cashiers like K-Mart's Kayla Thompson on her toes.

"It's a big change. It really is. It's more of a rush when they come in," said Thompson.

Thompson says, while students dish out cash for electronics and shower caddies, they aren't forgetting about the classroom. She still sees plenty of school supplies come down her conveyor belt.

"Binders, pencils. A lot of pencils, pens...let's see...more binders," said Thompson.

For a closer look at what to expect while driving near the university during move-in weekend, click HERE.

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