Move-In Day Strategies

Everyone is brimming with excitement about our new students moving in, and the Parent Programs office has been receiving a good number of questions about move-in strategy.  There is good information on the New Students web site and we want to augment that with some tips below.  While we think every family needs to make their own decisions about Move-In Day, here are a few responses to frequently asked questions.

Which entrance should I use to enter campus? University Police will control the traffic flow onto and around campus for maximum efficiency. Parents and families should look at the Move-In Traffic Pattern map for the entry points.  Once on campus, you will be directed by a security officer to drive toward your student’s residence hall.  Please be sure you have printed out a Move-In Parking Pass and placed it on your dashboard or visor before coming to campus.

What time should I arrive?  Is it busy all day? There are a lot of different schools of thought on what time to arrive.  Many families opt to drive to campus as soon as move-in begins.  Because we are moving over 1,200 families on to campus, you will likely experience a wait in a car line.  Typically this line diminishes closer to mid-morning.

One strategy I have seen families use is to arrive when they want to, but  “divide and conquer” – in other words, the parent(s) stays in the car and waits in the car line, and at the same time the student walks over to his/her residence hall to get the keys to the room and begin the check in process.  Depending on the wait time in the car line, students may also have time to go to the Benson Center to pick up his/her ID card, etc.  It’s not a bad strategy, and with cellphones it would be easy for the parents to alert the student when they are almost at the residence hall and the student should head that way to meet up with the family.

Where do I park? Families will be asked to drive up to the front of their student’s residence hall, and volunteers will help unload the student’s belongings onto the grass or sidewalk.  Once the car is empty, the driver of the car continues to park in one of the large parking lots on the north side of campus, and the student (and any family helpers) will take boxes to his/her room.  There are many student and staff volunteers who will help carry boxes with you.  After you’ve unpacked the car and you are driving toward the north side of campus to park, officers will direct you to the appropriate north lots, and you can walk back to your student’s residence hall to help with the unpacking.

What if we need to buy things (rugs, storage bins, etc.)? There will be a large tent on the Manchester Quad set up with all manner of Bed, Bath and Beyond supplies for purchase.  There will also be vendors selling area rugs and other goods.  Look there first before you decide to go off campus to another local store.  Note: this will also be the location where you can pick up pre-ordered Bed, Bath and Beyond purchases.

Any other tips or advice? A personal anecdote:  my mother and I also divided the work once we got to campus.  I checked in and got all my stuff to the room, and then she did all the unpacking of my clothes and boxes while I went to the Benson Center to pick up the ID card, PO Box key, etc.

And here is my final observation: normally one student gets to the room first and is well into unpacking before the roommate arrives.  Don’t despair at the amount of boxes and clothes the roommate has; typically everything fits.  I have seen some families get very jumpy at what they perceive is the roommate’s overpacking.  My best advice is to turn a blind parental eye to the number of boxes, and let the two roommates work out how to fit everything in.  If you think your student’s roommate has too many boxes, it might be a great time for you to head to Starbucks and have a cup of coffee and relax : )

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