NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KETK) — On Sunday, parents and students lined up outside resident halls at Stephen F. Austin State University. College classes across East Texas are set to begin on Monday.

“College life… I like not having my parents around all the time and then also being able to go whenever I want, wherever I want,” said Junior SFA student, Julie Magana.

SFA student leaders gathered outside the halls to welcome the Class of 2026 into their new home and offer advice they wish they received to first-year Lumberjacks. 

“I wish they had told me to get involved as soon as you get here. Start looking into any organizations you may be interested in. College is hard and difficult to go through, but if you’re involved and have a good group of people around you, it’s going to make your college experience really fun,” said Senior SFA student, Angelica Rocha.

The most popular majors for this group of freshmen are nursing, education, business and forestry. Third and fourth-year students shared that on-campus resources like First Generation Go and Generation Jacks can help. 

“It’s just a group of us, we give advice, we volunteer and we do events together. If you weren’t able to get into Gen Jacks, then you can come to us! It’s literally just first-generation students supporting each other and going through this journey because as a first gen… it can be really hard,” said Rocha.

Freshman students like Amaree Owens say SFA has been a very supportive and welcoming community. She highlights the student-to-teacher ratio is quite favorable.

“I signed up for this government class and then got an email asking if I wanted a smaller class setting, then change it to this. I was like… ‘I’d like a smaller class setting!’ It’s a very good ratio,” said Owens.

To find out everything SFA has to offer, all students are encouraged to attend all campus events, especially during Homecoming week.

“I like the resources here. There’s way more opportunities and I’m about to go do some mobility so I can get familiar with the campus, so I think I’ll do great!” said Owens.

For more information on Student Engagement, click here. For more information about Generation Jacks, click here. To find information about the Weeks of Welcome, go here.