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A small portion of that class has been on campus nearly all week for band camp.
The sounds of tubas echoed across the courtyard at State. Members of the tuba team have been on campus since Wednesday, practicing from 8 in the morning until 10 at night.
"It's insane," said Coltan Compton, a freshman. "I think it's really great just being on this huge campus and being able to be here at band camp, and meeting so many wonderful people initially and not being overwhelmed by so many people."
Trombone players wedged between the alley of Reynolds Coliseum. The sound of the NC State fight song rings out. These freshmen, too, got an early start.
"It's like a backstage pass," said freshman Sammy Penninger. "You're kind of getting to experience it before everyone else."
Actually, the drumline squad got the earliest start, arriving here Tuesday.
Freshman drummer Derrick Singer said being on campus early has allowed him to get used to his new home and has put life into perspective.
Click here for more about NC State Welcome Week
"The fact that my life is moving, becoming an adult; trying to figure out what to do with the rest of my life," Singer mused. "Getting to study for classes that will help me in the future."
This is the first time all first-year students are required to live on campus.
Some signs on Hillsborough Street in Raleigh warn drivers about heavy traffic.
Classes begin on Wednesday. There are about 100 Welcome Week events for students.
The marching band is gearing up for its first event - Sept. 2 when the Wolfpack football team plays the South Carolina Gamecocks in Charlotte.