Susie Richards' daughter Fatiyah brought six golf carts worth of her belongings to her new dormitory.
"I think we brought too much, but all we can't get in, we'll take back home," Susie Richards says.
Richards' daughter was one of 4,000 students moving in to the dormitories Thursday afternoon. Just getting there required a lot of preparation.
"It took us two weeks to get all the shopping together because I'm an avid shopper," says incoming freshman Randi Stella.
"We've been packing for over a month now," Richards says.
"I've been packing while moving everything out so its been all summer," says incoming freshman Nicole Amodeo.
And to help students like Amodeo unpack, the university called in some extra help.
"When parents and their student drive up, we have student volunteers taking the belongings out of the car. They're put into the golf carts, faculty and staff drive them to the buildings. Belongings are then taken by some more student volunteers right up to the rooms," says Kelly Wesener, Executive Director of Housing and Dining at Northern Illinois University.
Students brought mixed emotions to their first day on campus.
"It's pretty exciting. I'm a little nervous about moving somewhere else and having a roommate. I've never had a roommate before," Randi Stella says.
"I'm really excited because its something different than high school, I get to meet a whole lot more people. I'm really nervous because its different, I'm moving away from home," Nicole Amodeo adds.
Parents on the other hand weren't quite as excited.
"I'm gonna miss her, but I know it's for a good cause," Richards says.
"It's a new adventure for both of us," says Nicole's mother, Dawn Amodeo.
"We've both been kind of a basket case the last week or so because we know we're going to miss her. But its good for her," says Julie Gibbons, who was dropping her daughter off at school.
Classes begin at Northern on Monday. More than 22,000 students are enrolled at the school.