More than 4,000 students arrived at the University of North Texas this week before classes begin, and said their goodbyes to proud and nervous parents. Five of those kids belong to one couple from Keller.
Enna Diaz gave her three sons a little tough love as she watched them move into the dorm room that they will share this year.
“You don’t need my help George. You’re 18. You’re in the university,” she said.
George, Emilio and John struggled to put sheets on bunk beds, find the hall bathroom, and keep track of their keys as their mother looked on. Enna remembers when it took 45 minutes to buckle five infants into carseats. Even if she wasn’t jumping in to save them during move-in, George was happy to have her standing in the door.
“It’s a little overwhelming,” George says. “I just got all my stuff from home. Thank goodness I have my brothers. I don’t like change too much.”
In another wing of the same dorm, the other two of the five, Maria and Enna, weren’t sure they wanted to share a room for another year-- after 18 years. They also weighed whether all five should go to the same school. But Maria said they decided to go for it.
“I was the first one that started looking into it, and they followed,” Maria said.
Maria wants to study graphic design. Enna wants to be a doctor.
Except for the cameras taking pictures of the famous quintuplets, move-in day at UNT was smooth. Parents offered last-minute advice through tears, as kids assured their parents they would call.
Rebecca Lothringer, who heads admissions at UNT, tries to help parents with the transition.
“We’ve had some requests: Can the parents stay in the dorm room with the students until they go to bed that night?” she said. “And we’re trying to tell them that you don’t have to do that. They’re going to be fine. We’ll take it from here.”
While it costs more than $10,000 a year to attend UNT, Lothringer worked with the Diaz family on paying for five kids in college.
Lothringer says 78 percent of UNT students receive some sort of financial aid. The Diaz family will be able to utilize grants, loans and work study.
Enna and Jorge Diaz gave each of their kids a hug and drove home to Keller in a mostly empty van. The boys have already asked her to visit them at school with homemade carne asada.
But first, mom planned on getting a massage.