Tips for Move-in Day

Welcome to move-in, one of the most exciting times in your student’s college career. This day of hard work, new friends, and new experiences can bring great joys and challenges for a student and their family members. You’ll receive specific information in the mail about when and how to move-in. But as you prepare, you may want to keep these additional general suggestions in mind:

  1. Try not to make Move-in day ”family time." Move-in day can be stressful and exciting for your student, and your efforts to have quality family time may go unappreciated. Give them the time and emotional space to unpack belongings, decorate, and meet neighbors.

  2. Avoid decorating their room for them. Although the temptation may be strong, avoid decorating or arranging your student’s room unless they ask you to. We believe that this is an important process for the students to do themselves; remember, this is their space. Easy tasks that you can do to help are making the bed, setting up the computer, and opening boxes. This is not a good time to remind them that they overpacked (even if they did); if space is a problem, you can assist your student by taking unnecessary items back home with you.

  3. Be positive and encouraging. Many students feel anxious once they see the size of the bedroom, or the reality of sharing space with a roommate kicks in. These emotions are normal. Your smiles, patience, and appreciation will help them to feel confident as they transition into this exciting time.

  4. Do not schedule anything that takes them away from College Events. Orientation Week,which begins the evening of Move-in day, is packed with activities designed to integrate students into college life. Many of these sessions are mandatory, and those that aren’t are still intentioned to be valuable for the students. Taking them off-campus may cause them to later feel that they missed out.

  5. Talk about your next contact. Orientation week is very busy, and students are not always available to pick up their cell phone or answer their messages. Remember that if they do not call/email you right away, they are probably attending sessions and meeting their peers. Discussing the method and timing of your next contact (usually 24-48 hours away) may help them remember to get back to you.

  6. Consider having your student walk you to your car when you leave. It may be embarrassing for them to share an emotional goodbye in front of their fellow students. Letting them “see you off” might be easier, and more empowering, for them – no matter how sad that good-bye feels.

  7. Remember that there’s a web of support – from students to staff to faculty – around your student. There are hundreds of other students living at the college, and a caring staff is available to act as a resource. While we certainly advocate independence and responsibility, we are also here to provide necessary support and guidance.