Carolyn Crowley came 775 miles from her home in Texas to unload her belongings at West Campus Housing at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
Temperatures were in the 40s when she and her mom, Emily, left McKinney, Texas, just north of Dallas. It was in the upper 20s when she arrived Friday for the first day of Operation Move In for spring semester 2022.
She was well aware of the difference.
As she and her mom loaded up a rolling canvas bin with clothes and a guitar, pulled out two plastic suitcases on wheels and grabbed a handful of other items from their SUV, she made a definitive statement: She’d never been in temperatures this cold in her life.
The frigid temps Friday tamped down the usual rush of students carrying their belongings into residence halls during Operation Move In. Students trickled in instead of flowing in a steady stream.
Student numbers are expected to ramp up significantly over the weekend when temperatures will rise into the 50s. Sunny skies are forecast for Saturday, but rain will move in Sunday.
Maggie Holder from Clinton, Tennessee, near Knoxville, was surrounded by shopping bags, a suitcase, a backpack and boxes as she headed for the elevators in West Campus Housing. She left a couple of inches of snow behind her at home.
“It’s actually warmer here than it is at home,” she said.
Wesley Debow drove down from Kodak, Tennessee, another town about 45 minutes from Knoxville that had about three inches of snow dropped on it earlier this week. Hauling his stuff into West campus Housing, he was wearing a sweatshirt, but no jacket and no gloves.
“Just toughing it out,” he said.