UC Merced students kick off school year with unique tradition

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Students kicked off the school year with a unique university tradition by walking over the crossing bridge, while alumni and staff cheered them on. (KFSN)

The start of the fall semester is just two days away at UC Merced. Students are filling the campus and getting ready for class.

On Tuesday, a sea of navy blue filled the UC Merced campus with its newest batch of bobcats. Students have been learning more about the campus every day since moving in over the weekend, like Monique Sierra of Riverdale.

"I love it," said Sierra. "There are so many new people, there is so much energy. It's awesome. I'm excited."

The 1,600 students kicked off the school year with a unique university tradition by walking over the crossing bridge, while alumni and staff cheered them on.

"It felt great. It's like joining a new community," said Tejveer Muhar, a new UC Merced student.

The new Bobcats come from across California, but were all led here with the dream of earning a degree from the newest UC campus.

"It's a beautiful campus, I love how it's very new," said Muhar. "It has my major, and I just like all the people here; everybody's really nice."

Now in its tenth operational year, the campus is thriving with new buildings and now more 6,000 students.

"One of the things that's so exciting for is that we continue to attract a wonderful student population that represents the diversity of the state of the California, as far as our ethnic diversity, as well as access to education for students. Over 60 percent of them being the first in their family to come off to the university environment," said UC Merced Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Charles Nies.

To help ease with that transition, UC Merced is providing activities for students to get to know one another and workshops, so they will be prepared for academic success. And for these new freshmen and transfer students, they're already embracing their new university life.

"I love UC Merced. Go Bobcats!" said Sierra.

Although UC Merced students will start their career by walking through the Beginnings sculpture, when they're done they'll walk through it to receive their degree.

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