It's a common sight on campus at this time of year: scores of students wandering around with pillows tucked under their arms. The phenomenon heralds a new season as UCT's 39 homes-away-from home, residences that accommodate over 6 600 students, open their doors to new arrivals.
On campus it's called Residence Orientation and it got into high gear today, 29 January.
Introductions and goodbyes rang in the hallways, adding to the hustle and bustle of faculty and parent orientations (yes, even parents have to be introduced to campus life).
Some had travelled from across the world to help their children settle in. As it's an emotional experience for all - many students have never lived away from home - the key priority for residence staff was to reassure the newbies and their parents.
"This year we have 2 100 first-time entering first-year students," said Grant Willis, director of Student Housing and Residence Life.
At Graça Machel Hall women's residence, a committee of organisers and wardens reminded parents that their daughters were in "good company". Tracy Adams, a first-year student who'd travelled from Uitenhage in the Eastern Cape, was excited about her arrival on campus."I don't know anyone at this university, but that doesn't scare me!"
And while many parents were no doubt suffering from separation anxiety, not so their children, many of whom were singing and dancing in the hallways, embracing their new-found freedom.
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