In another scenario, stepping out of your car and getting mobbed by shopping cart wielding varsity athletes would be an intimidating experience. But at UNBC on Sunday, it was a pleasant surprise.
About 400 of the university's 524 campus dwellers moved in to residence Aug. 2 and there was plenty of hands to lighten the load.
Volunteers included UNBC president Dr. George Iwama, school staff, orientation leaders and both the men's and women's basketball and soccer teams.
"It was crazy," said Keegan Burton, who said he had six or seven people rush to help him when he and his family pulled up in front of the Keyoh residence.
The first-year computer science student and parents Ginny and Rick were ambushed and quickly unloaded after making the drive up from Maple Ridge.
"Everyone's so friendly. It's been a positive experience," Ginny said about moving her first-born in to university.
Health sciences student Sara Weeres echoed that sentiment. Weeres and her family made the seven-hour drive from Kitimat and said she was moved in quickly and efficiently.
"I really like the dorms, actually," said the freshman, who picked UNBC in part because of the school's green reputation and was happy to hear about a two-week pilot composting project the residence staff will be trying out this semester.
Residence Life co-ordinator Jennifer Greene said the process began at 8 a.m. Sunday morning and that all the volunteers were eager to help lug mini-fridges and couches into the students' new lodgings.
"With some of the students who moved in early, the [resident assistants] and volunteers were encouraging them to get a [volunteer] shirt and help out too," she said.
University president Dr. George Iwama called the volunteer support "overwhelming" and said it shows how important the university is to the community.
"We only had a handful of volunteers in the first year," he recalled.
Some of the people doing the heavy lifting were Timberwolves basketball players Gabe Aubertin and Billy Cheng.
Fourth-year player Aubertin said not only do the players get to meet new people, but they can also help build their home fan base.
By noon, Cheng said he had helped to move in about 20 residents in the two hours since the team began assisting. The second-year said he was having fun helping to provide a warm welcome, like he received when he moved in last year.
"Moving is a hassle, so be able to help make it less of a hassle is nice," Aubertin said.
Not only do new or returning students get moved in quickly, but the Brownridge and Company Insurance-sponsored barbecue running simultaneously also gave everyone a chance to mingle.
"You don't always get a chance to have a hamburger and talk," Iwama said.
And those conversations reveal all aspects of the experience.
The president met with a student travelling alone from Prince Rupert who was surprised by the community willing to help, but he also met a family from Vancouver who had their vehicle broken into the previous night and the student's pocket trumpet stolen.
"You get the real highs and lows of that today," he said.