Tips for Parents
Tips for Moving Your Student into the Residence Hall
Move in day can be a stressful time for families. The logistics can be difficult to plan out. Add emotions and nerves to the mix and tensions are certain to run high. Here are some tips to make move in day go as smoothly as possible:
- Keep in mind the emotions everyone may be feeling. While they aren't an excuse for rudeness or disrespectful interactions, they can be at the root of a verbal or non-verbal exchange. For first-time students, they are probably feeling excitement, anxiety and even a little bit of fear. Returning students may be feeling a "too cool" attitude or a "let's just get this over with" kind of mentality. Family members may be dealing with a whole host of adjustment issues of their own.
- Pay attention to the directions you were provided. Be sure to show up at your assigned time and to the designated location. Follow all campus directional signs and listen to the staff members on hand. It creates undue stress and confusion when families ignore a well-thought out process designed to make move-in the smoothest process possible.
- Give yourself time. You'll want to have enough time to help your student unpack and arrange a little. Leave the final decorating and organization to your student and her roommate, though. You don't want to be too pushy. Besides, figuring this out from the get-go is part of what college is all about. You may want to take time to get to know your student's roommate and her family too. Planning to grab a bite to eat after both students are settled could serve as a good transition for everyone.
- Be patient. Lots of people will be trying to do the same thing all at once. A friendly hello, door held or patient pause will go a long way.
- Plan for the weather. Be sure you know what to expect. If it's supposed to be hot, bring lots of water so you stay hydrated. If it's supposed to rain, buy some cheap plastic ponchos, load everything up in plastic garbage bags, and grin and bear it.
- Prepare youngsters for the day. They will likely be very excited — at the beginning — but the day will wear on them. You won't want to feel pressured to leave because they are antsy or complaining they are bored. Pack along a surprise activity pack or purchase a disposable camera for them to record the day's events. Don't forget snacks too. A cranky, hungry — and bored — kid is sure to add stress to the day.
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