Helpful Tips On Moving Your College Students Into The Dorm
This weekend, a number of college students will be moving into their dorms, and many for the first time. As a parent, I know how hectic that can be...elevators that don't work, long lines of cars unpacking, not enough extension cords. Well, help is on the way.
Here are some helpfulf tips if you're a parent of students who you'll be helping move into the dorm this weekend or next. According to collegeparents.org:
"Move-In Day Arrives – Getting In
Be early. Whatever time you are told to arrive for move-in, try to be on time or just a bit early. As the day progresses, parking becomes more difficult and lines become longer.
Be prepared for a chaotic and confusing day. No matter how conscientiously the college prepares for an organized move in day, it will be confusing and exhausting. Be prepared. Be flexible. Be patient.
Be prepared for high tensions. This is a difficult day for everyone. Try to be patient with one another.
Your student will need to do multiple things in addition to physically moving his belongings into his room. He may need to check in, pick up keys, have ID pictures taken, fill out paperwork, turn in forms, buy textbooks, set up his computer.
Ask students or staff members what the procedure is. They may have carts or bins available for moving things. They may ask you to pull up and unload your car onto the lawn and then park somewhere else. They may even have an army of students available to help unload and carry things.
Let your student take the lead in dealing with issues and questions. If he needs to check in and pick up keys, stay in the background and let him do the talking. If a question arises, let him find his Residence Assistant to get the answer.
Encourage your student to do anything involving lines first. If he needs to check in or get a picture taken or go to the bookstore, do that before unpacking. Lines get longer as the day progresses.
Delegate anything that your student doesn’t actually need to do. Does he need an ethernet cord or extension cord from the bookstore? Anyone can buy that.
After Move-In – Leave taking
Be prepared for some awkwardness. Don’t put too much pressure on this moment by giving a last lecture or expecting your student to react in any particular way.
Don’t plan on taking your student out to dinner. Once students have moved in, they will need to begin to make connections with their new roommates and dorm mates. Sharing a common meal – in the dining hall or by going out together is a great time for them to make those connections.
Don’t linger. Many colleges actually have a “farewell” ceremony of sorts to help define the moment of leaving.
Remember that your student may be dismissive and seem nonchalant about your leaving. This may be his method of dealing with his emotions, it doesn’t necessarily mean that he doesn’t care.
Be patient with yourself and your student. It’s an exciting – and an emotional – time for everyone."
I remember the little speech we gave our kids on their first day of pre-school or kindergarten: "It'll be fun, you'll meet new friends, you'll get used to it, what a nice school this is...etc...". These are basically the same things we said to our kids on their first day at college.