Sonoma State University move-in weekend a time for excitement, anxiety

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The Sonoma State University campus was filled Saturday with thousands of elated, anxious and tearful students and parents busily carting endless boxes and bags into dorms ahead of Monday’s start to the fall semester.

Among them were 20-year-old triplets Jimmy, Johnny and Samantha Beglin, who all moved from Sunnyvale to attend the university. The transfer students went to elementary and high school together, separating only for community college, their mother, Sandi Beglin, said.

“I get to go to school with my best friends,” said Johnny Beglin, a business administration major who plans to play for the lacrosse team.

Sandi Beglin, who twice survived cancer, has for weeks cooked her kids their favorite meals. She hopes the hearty offerings of pork roasts with mango salsa and red velvet cookies will incentivize homesickness, she said with a smile.

“I’m so thankful for all these blessings, and I’m so thankful they all wanted to go to the same school,” she said, adding that her husband has cried “every single day” leading up to the move.

The siblings will live in separate units in Beaujolais Village, in keeping with a lifelong “safety in numbers” theme, Sandi Beglin said.

Samantha Beglin, a biochemistry major, said she’s excited to meet new people and start her classes.

“It’s really cool (my brothers) are here, too; it makes it all a little less nerve-wracking,” she said, adding that she’s grateful to share the moment with her mother, who has been in remission for a year. It marks being “on the other side” of a long struggle, she said.

The campus has 3,200 beds in multiple complexes, and most students moved in Saturday, spokesman Paul Gullixson said.

The college also offered guaranteed housing for new freshmen who applied by a certain date, he said. New communities have also been established for first-generation college students and those interested in “expanding and developing consciousness in the areas of Black/Pan American culture.”

Total fall enrollment is projected to be 9,318, up slightly from 9,171 students last year, Gullixson said.

For some, like J.T. Washington, a freshman from the East Bay city of Dublin who has not yet declared a major, move-in day was shadowed by uncertainty.

“I’m pretty stressed and nervous. I think that’s usual,” the 17-year-old said as he and his father, Joe Washington, unpacked toilet paper and other essentials from a truck bed. “I really don’t know what to expect from all this.”

Joe Washington said he relished the freedom of his own days at Loyola Marymount University, and wished to impart that to his pensive son.

“I wish I could go back with him and show him how much fun this is going to be, but he didn’t think that would be a good idea,” the elder Washington said with a laugh.

Josephine Dugoni, 18, an early childhood development major, said she chose Sonoma State for its proximity to her family in San Carlos and its “welcoming community.” Her parents, Linda and Sean, who were on hand to help with the move, wore Sonoma State University shirts and hats.

“(Moving in) has been overwhelming. … I’m trying to put everything in the right spot,” she said, adding that she made sure to bring plenty of Oreos, her favorite treat, to her new home.

Sonoma State University President Judy Sakaki delivered a Saturday afternoon address to parents and spent the morning greeting students.

“There’s all this excitement,” she said after taking a selfie with two freshmen. “For parents who have poured their heart and love into raising their son or daughter, this is a huge milestone for the family. As excited as they are, I also know as they drive away, they’re going to feel a little sad. I’ve met younger brothers and sisters who hope to go to Sonoma State one day, but they’re sad, too, because the house is going to be a little empty.”

You can reach Staff Writer Hannah Beausang at 707-521-5214 or On Twitter @hannahbeausang.

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