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DENTON Total enrollment is expected to reach a historic high at the University of North Texas this fall.

In 2010, a record number of 36,118 students pursued degrees at the Denton campus, and school officials estimate they will top that number this year.

This weekend, students were moving in to the 14 UNT residence halls. Box after box after box was unloaded as hundreds of young adults were establishing a home away from home for the first time.

I'm a freshman, studying biology and minoring in chemistry, said Savannah Stanley. It's going to be hard, but it's going to be worth it.

Savannah wants to be a pediatrician, but on this day, it's her mother she has to baby.

It's gonna hit when I hit the road, said a tearful Gracie Stanley. First one out the door.

Move-in is huge at UNT, with nearly 6,000 students scrambling to set up their dorm rooms over four days leading up to the fall semester.

UNT continues to be the largest university in the North Texas region, with more than 36,000 students last year in Denton a record number. The size can be intimidating to incoming freshmen who don't know what to expect once the bags are unpacked.

I expect it to be troubling at first, and then I expect to make new friends, said Alicia Watt.

To calm nerves, students were treated to Fun Day at Crumley Park, where 2,800 free lunches were served. It is UNT's way of rolling out the welcome mat before classes start Thursday.

But after getting settled in, it's time to get down to the business at hand.

We're looking forward to the first report card, too, said Alicia's dad, Mike Watt, with a laugh.

These students better hang on to the memory of the first day of dorm life as they remember that in many cases their parents spent a good part of their lives working to get them here so they can succeed in the real world.

The number of students moving into UNT dorm rooms is the equivalent of moving the total population of Roanoke. The official enrollment numbers won't be available until the 12th day of classes.

E-mail ddenmon@wfaa.com

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