It’s that time of year again where college students are returning to their campuses. Some, like my daughter who returned to Georgia College and State University, are happy to return and excited to get started on another year. And others aren’t quite as thrilled. Regardless of the emotions surrounding moving back to campus, there’s one thing everyone has to do: Pack and move.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind – for parents and students – as you’re making the transition:
- Check your financial status online before making the journey. Believe it or not, quite a few students get to the point of checking into their dorm only to discover that they haven’t been assigned due to an outstanding problem on their account. Sometimes this is a school error, but regardless of who’s at fault it still may mean temporary housing or returning home both of which are inconvenient.
- Be sure to have filled out all the forms that need to be done before you get in the checkout line. There’s nothing worse than checking in and finding out you forgot a form or didn’t do everything. When you do that you hold up the line, frustrate everyone involved and add tension to an already busy and full day.
- Double check the packing list that schools supply on their site and in the move-in packet they mail. Even for returning students it’s possible to forget something.
- Sort of part two to the above tip: Discuss big items or decorations with roommates. Amber and her roommates last year did a great job of coordinating decorations and deciding on who’s bringing what.
- At least a month before move-in day: Get to know the roommates. This is for the students (sorry helicopter parents!). Chat on Facebook or Twitter and get to know a little bit about each other. Starting school for the first time and even returning can be nerve wracking. Having friendships already established can make the transition a bit easier.
On move-in day:
- Check the weather report. Flip flops may not be the ideal moving shoe in the rain and a laundry basket of clothes will be soaked if left sitting in the parking lot, i.e., wear the appropriate shoe and be sure to have a tarp or large plastic to cover items as you’re moving them.
- Dress comfortably. If you’re jeans are too tight are you going to be annoyed when you have to keep bending down to pick up boxes and bags? If you wear white jeans do you really think you’re going to want to help in the moving process?
- Plan to eat and drink. If it’s lunch time stop and get something to eat or send someone to get food for everyone. Nothing can make a difficult day worse than a bunch of tired, sweaty AND hungry folks.
- Pack wisely. Don’t be tempted to just throw loose things into the car or van. You’ll discover when you get to the dorm and have to walk down three halls to the elevator dismount and walk two more halls that tired arms don’t hold a multitude of items very well.
- Pack lightly. Even if you’re carrying a lot of books like some returning students and avid readers do, try not to put them all in the same bin or box. (Nix this if you have a hand truck or two big strong guys.)
These are just a few things to keep in mind on moving day. Oh, one last tip: Make it pleasant. If both you and your student enjoy the events of the day it can be one of the most memorable experiences you have of sending your child off to college.
First-time College Mom