Newfound freedoms on the horizon during Winona State's move-in day
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Newfound freedoms on the horizon during Winona State's move-in day

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At the front entrance to Prentiss-Lucas Hall, where the two parts of the building meet, everything Megan Arth needed for college was packed tightly into several plastic boxes with bright pink lids.

They rested on the grass, where her mother and grandparents watched them as she made the trek to her new dorm room in the Lucas building at Winona State University.

“My daughter, she’s very organized in her packing,” said Megan’s mother, Laura. “Everything that belongs together is together. She knows where everything is.”

The Arths drove down from the Twin Cities to help Megan move in, joining scores of other parents, siblings and friends bringing WSU’s campus to life as the students returned to the dorms Tuesday. Megan, who hopes to pick a major in the education field and join the Christian campus group Chi Alpha, said she wasn’t scared about starting college — only that she’ll be glad to have the big move behind her.

She and her brother entered school just one day apart, though he’ll be attending Dunwoody College of Technology in Minneapolis. Sad that he wouldn’t be able to help his sister move in, he sent a friend, Dylan Awe, who was tasked with the heavy lifting: Megan’s mini-fridge.

“(My brother) just told me not to be stupid,” she said of the advice she’d received. “Use your brain; don’t be stupid.”

On the Prentiss side of the residence hall, Garrett Huber confidently passed on his mother’s offer to make his bed, saying, “No, I can do that stuff.” The freedom and responsibility of living away from home is one thing Garrett, of Arcadia, has been looking forward to.

“Senior year was ‘boring,’ ” said his mother, Maegan. “So he’s been ready, and we’re ready. Excited for him to be on his own for a while.”

Though they still needed to make a Target run to pick up a futon, Garrett said he didn’t want to set the room up too much before his roommate — a good friend from high school — moves in. Once he arrives, the two will probably play some video games.

“I like the campus a lot,” said Garrett, who hopes to complete a criminal justice major and someday work for the Drug Enforcement Administration. “It’s close to home yet far enough where it doesn’t feel like I’m right next to them. It’s kind of a nice distance for me.”

The Arths are a little further away from Megan, with the drive down to WSU from Minneapolis clocking in at about 2½ hours. But although Laura said they’ll make the trip, she wants to wait until the dust settles first.

“We’re going to let her have the first six weeks where I just want her to be here,” she said. “Give her a chance to spread her wings.”

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