You've planned for months, made countless trips to your local Target or Wal-Mart, texted your future roommate about a hundred times and now it's finally here. Move in day is probably the biggest mix of emotions you'll ever experience. Part of you cannot wait to get out on your own and tackle the challenges of the world, the other is still clinging to that small piece of childhood that still remains.
Although it is extremely important to plan, no amount of preparation can make this process easy, especially for first timers.
Always make sure you have some sort of checklist when buying room items and when packing them. There is no worse feeling than forgetting something extremely important on the counter-top and having to wait weeks for it to arrive in the mail. For those that are staying close to home this is less important, however you are going to be so busy those first few weeks you won't have time to take a quick trip home.
Another point of emphasis with packing, buy the small stuff on campus. "Small stuff" includes anything from staples to pencils. It will make it so much easier to buy the items you actually need rather than trying to squeeze an entire year of supplies into a box.
We always recommend doing a trial pack-up of whatever vehicle you will be taking. Don't wait for the day of to try and fit everything. This reduces a ton of stress and focuses on the excitement of the day and less on the anxiety that everything will fit.
Timing is Everything
Most schools have designated move in times. Although it is important to follow these, allow yourself time to get through lines, check-ins etc. If any advice can be taken from this post it is to be the first roommate there. The first roommate has essentially all the power on what goes where, what bed to take, which closet space is theirs, etc.
Although if you are the first ones there, we recommend having your parents wait for the others to arrive. This is somebody your child will be living with for the next nine months so it would be nice to establish some sort of relationship with their parents and exchange contact information.
Try your best to follow the procedures given to you and always accept help from students assisting with move in. This will not only save lots of time but it helps ease your mind with the help of someone who's been in your shoes previously.
Always start with the big appliances. Those photos and small decorations you can save for the student and their new roommate to set-up. Dads make sure you bring a set of tools because there is always something that needs to be done with the TV, refrigerator, microwave or something alike. Duct tape is a must.
If you're moving in a boy you might just want to make his bed for him one last time because chances are they have no idea the proper way to put on a top sheet, fitted sheet and mattress pad the way he had it at home. The room is now considered your home and you have the right to set it up however you feel. Get creative and move the desks and dressers around to maximize every bit of space you have in that tiny room.
Now mom... do not forget to pack at least two boxes of Kleenexes because your little boy or girl has now taken their first steps into adulthood on their own. It is perfectly normal on your way out to shed a few tears. Look to your right, then your left and I guarantee you see about six or seven moms doing the same thing. Also, dad don't try and act like it doesn't affect you because we all know you're hurting on the inside too.
Just a reminder not to hang around too long. Your student is probably itching to get out and make new friends so don't keep them in your grasp too long. Let them enjoy this first feeling of freedom and remind them to call every night (You'll be lucky to get a call once a week). You've worked hard the past 18 years for this moment so enjoy it as much as you can.