For all the different hometowns they claimed and areas of interest they professed, the hundreds of new freshmen arriving Saturday at Sonoma State University described remarkably similar emotional states.

They all spoke of combined excitement and anxiety as they faced new roommates, their first college classes, their first time out on their own.

As would be expected at the start of any new journey charged with so much expectation, uncertainty and import, they were eager to get going, but most were anxious, too, for a whole host of reasons.

“It’s, like, mixed emotions,” David Lechuga, a double music and Spanish major from San Jose, said. “Like, for one, you want to get out of the house. But you’re going to be on your own: You’ve gotta clean your own dorm, do your own laundry.”

“It’s exciting. It’s nerve-wracking,” said San Francisco resident Ana Oropeza, already aware of important items, like hangers, that she forgot to bring.

San Diego resident Brittney Karanopoulos — the first person on either side of her family to attend college — wondered how hard her classes would be.

But life without curfews and parental oversight? Enthusiasm clearly trumped students’ fears.

“Super excited” is how communications student Roland Schmidt, also from San Jose, put it. “I’m pretty well-prepared.” The incoming freshmen class, at 1,850 students, is the largest in the school’s 53-year history, officials said. Along with about 800 transfer students from other schools, it will help bring the student population to a record high of nearly 9,300.

So the campus was absolutely packed on Saturday, as Freshmen Move-In got under way, and new students arrived with entire families, and sometimes friends, as well, all loaded down with bins and boxes, pushing handcarts or piling wheeled suitcases high with other belongings.

Wrestling with their own melange of joy and sorrow, parents carried in bedding, dishes, printers, plungers and flat-screen computers.

Several parents remarked on the commercialization and cost of setting up a dorm room in the modern-age. But most seemed to enjoy the move-in as much as their kids, though with a slightly mournful edge.

“It’s kind of hard letting the last one go,” Susan Leseur, of Chester, said as she helped daughter Emma, the youngest of seven, arrange her desk.

“It’s a big transition,” said another parent, Mary Beth Matics, of Rocklin, whose daughter, Hayley, was watching her dad assemble an IKEA dresser across the hall. “It’s an emotional day. I’m happy for her, but I’m sad.” “Daddy’s girl, gone,” said Karanopoulos’ father, Scott, who, with his wife, Debbie and her father, Bruce Sisson, predicted they, at least, would be weeping when it was time for goodbyes.

“This is a little sad,” Oropeza’s dad, Placido, said. “I’m feeling it more and more, now that it’s come.”

You can reach Staff Writer Mary Callahan at 521-5249 or