Our newest Deac families are probably already en route to campus – or at the very least packing their bags and checking/rechecking the ‘to do’ list to make sure nothing is forgotten. Now is probably a good time to offer a few well-intended suggestions for move in.
Be patient – with 1,200+ new students moving in on the same day, there will be times where you have to wait in line. It could be in the car driving to your student’s residence hall, at the Campus 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.
Stay hydrated – if it is warm and sunny outside and you are helping move in all your student’s possessions, you can get overheated. There are drink stations outside all the dorms. Please stay hydrated.
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, and let Mom and Dad remain Switzerland in the process.
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 only. When they are scheduled to attend an activity with their advising group or their hall, let them do that. 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 and how it was fun. You are making family memories now that will last a lifetime. Take pictures – 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.