6 tips for moms and dads on move-in


An I-Guide loads a duffle bag out of a freshman’s van moving into Hopkins Hall during move-in week.

By Emma Goodwin

When I moved into the dorms freshman year, I had the most sinking feeling consuming me all day: “This is it.”

Suddenly I felt like my childhood was finished and, even though I knew it was coming all summer, I didn’t feel ready to start my college journey.

Parents: move-in day is a scary day for you. But what you might not know is it’s a scary day for your (still-and-always-will-be) kids too. So rather than rush through the day trying to avoid a lot of tears, here are some activities to do throughout the day to ease away the mutual pain.

1. Unpack, obviously.

It’s hot, maybe raining, you of course got the far parking spot, and the carts are basically all gone or being used by the annoying family who took three at a time. But make sure to help your kid unpack their things and maybe even offer a few wise words of where to put the printer. Speaking as an annoying teenager, we think we need you less and we think we’re very independent. We’re wrong (as you probably know). Use this as a last chance to tell us to lock our change bank in our closet.

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    2. Go shopping

    Be it for books, food, extra underwear or storage bins you never thought you would need, take your kids to the supermarket and just walk the aisles (feel free to walk slowly to maximize time). Freshman year is the time to overpack, but there are still necessities like Easy-Mac that are left behind at home. Plus, after this, your kid is going to officially assume the long-awaited, but greatly hated title of “Broke College Kid.” Having that batch parent-provided provisions for a while is not only a luxury, but it’s a necessity.

    3. Go out to lunch

    I still remember when my parents took me out to lunch that day and we just sat there enjoying our time together. Plus, we all really needed an unpacking break. After you leave, restaurants will be a thing of the past, so give us some good food to remember and help the local businesses before college kids deem them too expensive.

    4. Sneak some homemade goods into the fridge.

    My mom didn’t do this and I haven’t talked to her since (kidding). Leaving something from home as a surprise will help your kid that first night – and what floor mate is going to say no to mom’s homemade chocolate chip cookies? Plus, it’s good comfort food to console your new student after you leave and they shed a few secret tears.

    5. Impart some words of wisdom

    I could say that the last thing my mom said to me was “I love you,” but it’s not. That was the second to last thing. The last thing she said was a mildly inappropriate piece of advice that made me laugh enough to forget I was being abandoned (AKA starting a new life, or whatever). Your kid might not listen, but you’ll regret any forgotten words, so get it out while you can.

    6. Send an “I love you, you’ll do great, sweetie,” text from the road.

    Self-explanatory. Trust me, it’s an exchange we all need.

    Emma is a junior in LAS.

    [email protected]Moving a student into their first college dorm is stressful and emotional. @thegoodwinner has six tips to make it work. |