NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) – The transition to college life is an exciting and sometimes scary time for students.
Stephen F. Austin State University is making it easier for them to feel at home in Nacogdoches.
They've been best friends since the seventh grade.
Ilia Davis and Cayla Dougherty will now attend the same college.
"It's really great to just have someone that I know who I love and I can trust and who can look out for me and at the same time I can meet new people," said Cayla Dougherty.
Thursday's "Back Lot Bash" allowed for plenty of interaction.
"It's really crowded but there's lots of purple and it looks really fun and there's more free stuff," said Dougherty.
"It's kind of getting me pumped for this year," said Ilia Davis.
More than 150 local businesses and organizations are here to welcome students like Cayla and Ilia to SFA.
"You see the sororities, the fraternities, the clubs," said Stephanie Wolfe with ShopNac.com.
"It helps you kind of like help with the transition from coming home to like a new environment and a new college, new place," said treasurer for the Mu Sigma Upsilon Sorority Incorporated, Jessica Bermejo.
Bermejo encourages incoming freshman to get plugged-in.
"It shows the diversity that SFA offers and the variety of different things you can be a part of. So, if they can just kind of dip they're feet in a little bit of each, it will help them to grow," said Bermejo.
Bubbling with excitement, the new comers have several reasons to look forward to their first year.
"Not a lot of people from my school go here so it was getting away from like everyone I knew," said Davis.
"You get to know the teachers and the teachers get to know you so if you have a problem you can go to them for help. You can't get that at most colleges," said incoming freshman Ranndy Reed.
"A lot of lady friends," chuckled Jeffery Misher, who says he's also looking forward to nursing school.
Whatever their reason, they say they'll wear their purple pride with honor.
"Ax em' Jacks!" yelled Reed.
The event followed the SFA freshman convocation inside the William R. Johnson Coliseum.
All six of SFA's colleges shared information about their academic programs.