TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) — The University of Alabama welcomes students back to the classroom today.

President Dr. Stuart Bell said the educational experience they provide is in higher demand than ever before.

President Bell noted that they saw record numbers for incoming freshman last school year, and they expect to exceed those numbers this year.

University officials said they do not have any estimates of enrollment for this current school year but will be able to confirm their predictions a little further into this semester.

President Bell said he has high hopes for this new school year because their university remains in high demand. Regardless, he added that it’s just great to see their students back on campus.

“As you get to talk with them and kind of get through the excitement and get to talk with them, they all have these plans, these dreams about what they’re going to do with their lives,” said President Bell. “And to think that we are right on the beginning of starting that today.”

Several new students on campus said first day jitters are kicking in, but they couldn’t be more ready to explore what their future holds at UA.

Incoming freshman LC said she can’t wait to study dance and get involved with programs on campus like the Black Student Union. She also hopes to make new friends.

“I do know people from my home city, but not enough to really be involved and know people,” said LC. “So, I would like to know more people especially with such a diverse student body from all over the country.”

Fellow freshman Will Renicks plans to pursue mechanical engineering. He and LC said they’re excited to step out of their comfort zone to learn and grow as much as possible over the next four years.

“I’ve been homeschooled my entire life,” said Renicks. “So, it’s going to be a challenge for me a little bit to be in bigger classes and kind of figure out how that works and figure out how to be you know one of like 200 in a class and deal with pushing for myself a little bit more rather than just doing a homeschool curriculum.”

Aspen Godette said she learned the importance of getting involved while in high school. Coming in as a freshman sports media major, she hopes to make crimson tide productions her home on campus.

“It’s a lot of new emotions,” said Godette. “I’m very excited, but at the same time it’s overwhelming. But at the end of the day, we are here to conquer our dreams, so I’m super excited.”

This kind of mindset along with taking advantage of the family-like community here is what senior Abbie Bosko said is key to succeeding at UA.

“Try everything as standard,” said Bosko. “I think it helps you find your place here. You know a lot of people are coming from far away, and it’s nice to have a little family, like a home away from home.”