Here are some tips to help make Move-In a more enjoyable process for all. This is by no means a comprehensive list – use only the parts that make sense for your family.
Be patient – with 1,300+ new students moving in on the same day, there could be times where you have to wait in line. It might be in the car driving to your student’s residence hall, at the Campus Services and Information Fair in Benson to pick up ID cards and keys, or even to get lunch. Know that you have all day to accomplish things, and don’t fret about a wait.
Stay hydrated – bring your reusable water bottle and refill at the water stations available. If it is warm and sunny, you might get overheated. Please stay hydrated. Ask for help from any staff member if you feel unwell.
Be diplomatic – you will most likely be meeting your student’s roommate and family sometime during Move-In. The students will have to navigate who gets which bed, who puts their things where, etc. It’s best to let the students decide these things. Parents and family members, this is time to take a neutral stance and let the students make the decisions.
Understand your student may act a little differently – he or she might be excited, or nervous, or trying to put on a brave face with his/her new peers in an unfamiliar situation, or he/she may want to act independently in getting all the business of move-in taken care of. Every student handles the hustle and bustle of Move-In differently. Be there with a supportive hug when needed, and let the student have his/her distance when needed.
Honor the Orientation schedule. There will be activities for students only, and activities for parents and family members only. When your students are scheduled to attend an activity with their advising group or their hall, let them do that. We expect students to attend all required activities. This is the students’ chance to bond, and also to begin separating from their family.
Have fun whenever you can. Sure, it can be a grind to move in and deal with extra trips to Target or the grocery store and such, but this is the start of what we hope will be four of the best years of your student’s life. Celebrate. Be excited. Recall your own time at college or during other experiences in your late teens and how fun it was. You are making family memories now that will last a lifetime.
Take pictures. This is a major milestone in your student’s journey to adulthood. Your student will want to remember this day, and so will you.
Before you leave, tell your students that you love them, that you are proud of them, that they’ll do well, and that you trust them. This is the most important of all. Nothing makes it better like your family can make it better, and at the start of the new journey called college, your Deacs might really need to hear that you love them, value them, and know they are capable.