Move-in Day shouldn’t begin the day you actually move into your first residence hall. About a week or so in advance you should start gathering all of your stuff and carefully packing it into suitcases and boxes. If you leave packing until the last possible minute you’re probably going to wind up leaving without your underwear drawer, (or something,) which is the last thing you want to do.
If you have the option, pack up your car/truck the day before you’re supposed to leave for campus. That way you’ll only have to worry about showering and getting dressed when you crawl out of bed in the morning. It’s also a good idea to make sure you know exactly where you’re going the night before. Don’t blindly follow your GPS or Google Map directions; log onto your university’s website and print out a copy of the campus map, which will tell you exactly where your residence hall is located.
While you’re on the college website, it’s probably wise to check for any move-in instructions that your university may have posted. Answers to questions like where to check in, where to park, and what time you must arrive by, are usually easy to find online. Remember, Move-in Day will be a lot less stressful if you’re prepared.
On move-in day, get up early. Moving into the residence halls is going to take a lot longer than you think it will; you need to get started right away. Dress casually but nice. You’ll be doing lots of heavy lifting and stairs, so you want to wear your sneakers. However, you’ll also be meeting your roommate(s) and neighbors for the first time, and you don’t want to look like a slob.
If you’ve got a long drive ahead of you, make sure that you’re prepared. It’s natural to get nervous on your way to the university. Bring a book or a companion that will help distract you. You want to be in a good mood when you arrive on campus.
Once you arrive, there will probably be plenty of brightly clad upperclassmen to direct you to the sign-in tables and help you carry in your stuff. Don’t be afraid to ask them for help; trust me they’re bored and more than willing to lend a hand.
After you’ve signed in, it’s time to get your first look at your dorm. Hopefully, you’re the first person to arrive, and you’ll have plenty of time to inspect the furniture and choose the bed that’s the least squeaky. If not just remember that you only have to live there for nine months.
If you’re required to do a room inspection, now is the best time to get it done. Make sure that you’re thorough in your examination of the room. Write down every single stain and scratch.
Now, hopefully, you took some time over the summer to get to know your roommate; that way you can skip over any awkward greetings or clashing bedspread dilemmas. However, if this is your first time meeting in person focus on making a good impression. Shake your roommate’s hand and look him/her in the eye as you introduce yourself, then do the same thing with his/her parents.
Once you’ve finished unloading the car/truck you should take care of any issues that need to be addressed, such as a quick trip to the financial aid office or getting your student ID. Once you’ve finished with these tasks you’ve got three options.
1) Mom and Dad can help you unpack everything
2) Mom and Dad can kiss you good bye and head home
3) Mom and Dad can take you out for lunch
Option 2 or option 3 is probably your best bet. Having your parents stick around to help you unpack each little thing isn’t a good idea. You probably have an entire weekend ahead of you to worry about where you want to put you pencil case. (If you choose option 3, don’t hesitate to invite your roommate and his/her parents to join you. It’ll be a great bonding experience.)
When the time to say goodbye does finally arrive, let your little kid out. Give Mom and Dad a big hug and tell them how much you love them. They’re sad about leaving you too, and will appreciate the gesture.
Once Mom and Dad are gone it’s time to get to know your residence hall. There are two ways to do this.
1) Go door to door introducing yourself
2) Unpack your stuff with the door wide open
The path you choose here depends on what type of person you are, but neither option is better than another. Just make sure that you do talk to people and you get involved as much as possible. This is your best chance to get comfortable and meet the people in your dorm. So make sure you find a large group to get dinner with and stop by any freshman events that your school has set up.
Image: Tusculum College