Ready or not, here we come! While some of our ’19s will be arriving early for Pre-Orientation programs, the full Class of 2019 will be moving in on Friday, August 21st. We can’t wait to meet all of our new Deacs and their parents and family members!
Having witnessed many years of Move-In days, the Daily Deac has 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 1,250+ 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. (And speaking of the Campus Services and Information Fair, we’re going to be there! Please stop by the Parent Programs table and say hello to our office. We’ll have some information and – cross your fingers – a fun giveaway for parents.)
Stay hydrated – if it is warm and sunny outside and you are helping move in all your student’s possessions, you might get overheated. There are drink stations outside all the residence halls. 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.
Be open minded – your student’s roommate might look/think/dress/act/vote differently than your student. And that’s OK. There is no law that says roommates have to love the same music, movies, pasttimes, etc. They just need to be able to live peaceably in the same room. And that will happen best if parents stay out of the relationship and let the two students get to know each other.
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 we all need someone to remind us that we are loved and valued and capable.
And of course much of this advice applies to upperclassmen parents who will be moving in their sophomores, juniors, and seniors
— by Betsy Chapman