The Parent Guide to Freshman Move-in Day

College can be a time of exciting new experiences, learning (we hope) and, for most freshman, the first taste of adulthood. For parents, it can be a time of loss and also new found freedom. But before all of that, you both have to make it through college move-in day.

There’s a lot to know and do before, during, and after moving into the dorms to make sure the experience is a wonderful one. And while nothing can make you both one-hundred percent ready for college, this guide will at least help you make it through day one.

Get the Timing Right

It’s always best to arrive at your child’s dorm as early as you’re allowed to. However, respect the move-in window specified for you by the college. Some schools don’t allow students to select their bed until everyone is there. In that case, coordinate the timing with their roommate. Upon arrival, follow instructions given to your child by the college and the staff on hand. In many cases, you’ll unload all your items, then your student will stay with the goods while you go park the car. If you have an additional person with you, or student helpers on hand, one of them can stay with the items, while the other starts carrying things into the room.

Timing is especially important if you are flying in or driving in from a distance. Make sure you give yourself time to pick up items you may have pre-ordered at stores, or items you may have shipped, and shop for toiletries and food items. If allowed, avoid the long lines on move-in day and pick up your student ID and room key the day before as well.

Don’t Dress to Impress

While you are sure to meet fellow parents and your child’s new roommate, now is not the time to impress. Wear casual clothing and comfortable shoes. You’ll be carting boxes and bags, and going up and down stairs with the masses (don’t count on an elevator). It’s likely to be hot so plan to get dirty and sweaty. And bring a small cooler of cold water—sharing is a great way to break the ice with others, and you’ll need it.

Let Them Lead

Your teens should make introductions, take charge of the unpacking, and handle issues as they come up. They may not need for you to stay until every last item is unpacked—let them decide. Some colleges have an event or ceremony for both parents and students on the day after move in, so plan your departure accordingly. But before you do leave, be sure to meet your child’s roommate(s) and get their cell numbers. Just in case you ever have trouble reaching your teen. You may wish to exchange numbers with roommates’ parents as well.

Keep Handy Items at Hand

Be sure your student prepares a box or bag with the essentials they’ll need while unpacking: scissors, duct tape, markers, basic tools, doorstop, etc. They will also want to bring paper towels and spray (or Lysol Wipes) to wipe down the room as needed before unpacking. This will save you from having to make a hurried store run for last-minute items.

Keep Calm and Freshman On

This is likely to be a stressful day for you and your child. So, the calmer and more patient you can be, the better for all. This is not the time for lectures and warnings as you walk out the door. And save the tears for after you leave. Don’t forget to take a few photos, and plan to send a care package a few weeks after move in.

Moves can be big, stressful and frustrating for all of us. Using these tips can help you make sure that freshman move-in day is as peaceful and memorable as possible. For more wonderful storage Sussex County, NJ moving and packing tips to help ease the transition visit our website here.

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