Full of anticipation and fresh from the comfort of their parents’ homes, Stritch’s freshman class, which is the second largest in University history, settled quickly into their new campus rooms as classes started in late August. Move-in day brought the usual ordered chaos and excitement, with plenty of help to carry boxes to student rooms in Assisi and Clare halls. As we watched box upon box ascend the stairs and disappear into rooms, we began to wonder what precious momentos and reminders of home students couldn’t leave behind. Seven brave freshmen gave us a glimpse.
High school: Oak Creek High School, Oak Creek, Wis.
Major: Computer science
Even though he’s not likely to touch the tofu dishes, LeRon is finding plenty of good food to eat in Stritch’s dining hall. Yet, several times a week, he finds that the only thing that will satisfy him are frozen pizza rolls, a favorite food and a staple in his diet.
“I wasn’t nervous about much coming to college, but I really wanted my pizza rolls because I love pizza rolls. And I don’t really like making them in the microwave because they are gross if they’re not toasted and crispy. So my mom bought me a toaster oven so I could make my pizza rolls to perfection.”
Interesting fact: LeRon won’t touch cheese pizza rolls. He prefers the combination flavor.
High school: Chaminade College Preparatory School,West Hills, Calif.
Major: To be decided
While it made for an awkward carry-on during his flight from California to Milwaukee, Scott has no regrets about bringing his guitar to school. He enjoys impromptu jam sessions with his R.A. and playing between classes and volleyball workouts.
“It’s something I would always do with my buddies at home. We would go to a house and play for hours and hang out. It’s kind of an ode to them. I’m very musically inclined myself. People say I’m always moving if there’s music; I’m always trying to find the beat.”
Interesting fact: Scott is expanding his musical repertoire by taking piano classes at Stritch.
High school: Gresham Community High School, Gresham, Wis.
Shianne’s teddy bear may not have a name, but since she was 4 years old he has occupied a special place in her bedroom and in her heart. Today, he sits on her bed in Assisi Hall
“When I was younger I got the teddy bear from my father. My father passed away from lung cancer so I kind of wanted to bring the teddy bear along with me so I could have a remembrance of him with me for every step of the way.
Interesting fact: Shianne once dropped the bear in glue and his fur still shows evidence of that mishap.
Oluwatomisin "Tomi" Ladeinde
High school: St. Joan Antida, Milwaukee
Tomi’s grand-aunt is a gifted seamstress and presented her with a homemade blanket to commemorate her high school graduation in June. Intended especially for her college room, the blanket already holds special meaning for Tomi
“It reminds me of home and it’s really soft like my mom. I like cuddling with my mom. ...It keeps me warm. When I sleep with my blankie every night, it just reminds me of how I’m coming back to rest and to relax and chill after a long day of school and just center myself.
Interesting fact: The blanket is embroidered with Tomi’s name and graduation date.
High school: St. Anthony High School, Milwaukee
Major: International business
A fan of skateboarding since age 12, Eduardo now cruises campus lots and neighboring streets on his skateboard to relieve stress, exercise, and connect to other people.
“It’s a great sport or activity for me. It’s a way for me to get out of my shell because I was a really shy kid. And once I started skateboarding, there were kids around the neighborhood that said, ‘Oh, you skateboard, too?’ And I was like, ‘Yeah.’ It made me a more outgoing person, and it made me challenge myself as an athlete and as a person.”
Interesting fact: In six years of skateboarding, Eduardo has never suffered an injury.
High school: Northwood School, Minong, Wis.
Major: Sport management
Ben regularly scours Ebay in search of football cards and has amassed dozens of cards since starting his collection about a year ago. He especially looks for cards priced well below their value and, although he’s an avid fan of Wisconsin’s major sports teams, his cards span across teams and decades
“I guess I like them because I like football. I like the history of the game, and the older cards are, in my mind, the cooler ones because you really don’t hear about those guys anymore. I like preserving the history of these guys. ... I brought them here because I like looking at them.
Interesting fact: Ben’s prized card is a rare 1952 Bob Waterfield (Los Angeles Rams).
High school: West Bend West High School, West Bend, Wis.
With a collection of all sorts of frogs — stuffed and otherwise -- that dates back to middle school, Dylan’s frog-shaped, jeweled trinket box that he bought for 20 Euros during a school trip to Spain is among his most prized possessions
“I was walking by the store and I’m like, ‘There’s a frog! I’m gonna buy it.’ I just saw it, and I had to buy it. I had the impulse because I was allowed to buy one thing that was going to remind me of the trip. And it’s been with me ever since.”
Interesting fact: Dylan once had a pet frog named Humphrey the First.