The essentials of move-in day


Brenton Tse/The Daily Illini

I-Guides help new and current students move into their dorms at the 6-pack in Champaign, on Thursday, Aug 22, 2013.

By Aaron Navarro, Assistant News Editor

Coming from someone who just moved out of his freshman dorm, the move-in process is definitely the more emotional time. I mean, you are letting your student loose in the big, big world for the first time, so, of course, you’re not going to go without a fight. You may start playing interior designer for your child’s new 12’ by 12’ home or emphasize your young adult’s dire tendency to pack terribly. This brings me to my first piece of advice for moving-in day: listen.

Listen to your kid

Upon getting college, your child will immediately feel a sense of entitlement or freedom from the release of your grasp. Let them start making some real “grown-up” decisions and listen to them when moving in, whether it deal with unpacking or at the store with buying stuff you may have forgotten. This process, while it is about you too, is really about them. This is it; this is his or her first taste of college. Don’t take over, just be there for them, be cool. They’ll ask for your help if they feel like they really need it, just like they will during the year.

Go shopping

Upon realizing that the bag they thought was full of amazing savory snacks for the semester was actually full of framed pictures of their mom, your kid will probably suggest going shopping. Provide your child the wonderful experience of Wal-Mart or Target to pick up some snacks, a rug, a chair that doesn’t rock for no reason, or whatever your child may need. It’s a good last time with your student to get some necessities they’ll need for the year, and whether they realize it at the time or not, it is a moment of luxury for them. It is likely that they will soon become that “broke college kid” so it might be a while until they see their shopping cart that full.

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Go out and eat

Dining hall food is great on this campus, but slowly and surely your kid will start to miss food from home. Give your child the last slice (literally or figuratively) of this by taking them out to eat after you’re done unpacking. Go sit down somewhere on Green Street and have a last meal with your student. Ask them how they’re feeling about college so far, or have a quiet meal. I don’t know; you know how to eat with your child better than I do. Just enjoy your lunch, everything is unpacked, the food is decent, your child is finally leaving for college.

It’s okay to cry

It is definitely more than okay to cry when saying your final goodbyes. You worked hard to put them in this position; it’s okay to shed a few tears when you leave. Trust me, your kid will understand, it shows that you really do care about them. They might join in too, so just let the emotions roll. After the small pool of tears have been made on the rug you just bought, leave some encouraging final wisdom for them. Whether it seems like they’re actually listening at the time doesn’t matter, your kid will remember those last words as they go on through the year. Even it is a dad joke.

Aaron is a sophomore in Media.
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