From the outside, it might look like chaos. But Georgia Southern University leaders say everything's moving like a well-oiled machine, especially considering they could reach a new record enrollment.
You could see hundreds of students at a time in places like The Pedestrium - the main thoroughfare through campus.
The first day of classes can stress out freshmen as well as upperclassmen. That includes getting from class to class as well as packing the bookstore for textbooks and supplies.
“You've got to go buy your own stuff and get ready for your first day. Just got to come hard and be ready,” said GS sophomore Shawn Miller.
More and more students order the books online and have them already waiting on them. Southern also uses an online program to help students find the best value, here or elsewhere.
“It allows students to go online and compare prices between the book store, Amazon, Half.com, and other retailers and they can choose where they buy the book from,” said Eddie Mills, associate vice president of Auxiliary Services.
School leaders who track applications and admissions say they have one hundred to two hundred more students this year than last year, and that could put them at a new record for enrollment.
“We're looking for about 4,000 freshmen and transfers coming in. So that puts us at 20,600. That's a big increase for us. We're already at 97 percent occupancy for our residence halls,” said GS Vice President Dr. Teresa Thompson.
But school leaders say they've monitored growth to make sure they can still work with each student.
“We don't want it to be a cattle call. We want to make sure we can serve the students internally and provide for their needs,” said Dr. Thompson.
Schools in the state university system won't have final numbers until early September.
For students like Miller, Monday's the last day before buckling in to work.
“It's just so overwhelming. But I'm glad to be back, glad to see my friends and meet new teachers,” said Miller.
Classes Monday are mostly about introductions and instructions. The real grind starts Tuesday.
Copyright 2016 WTOC. All rights reserved.