Move In Strategies for P’23s

August 21st will be here before you know it, and everyone is brimming with excitement about our new ’23 students moving in! The Office of Family Engagement normally gets a lot of questions about move-in strategy, and 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? Use either the Reynolda Road or University Parkway entrances. University Police will control the traffic flow onto and around campus for maximum efficiency. 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 mirror before coming to campus.

What time should I arrive?  Is it busy all day? Because we are moving over 1,300 families on to campus, you will likely experience a wait in a car line. To minimize wait times, the Office of Residence Life and Housing is recommending suggested move-in times.

One strategy I have seen families use is to “divide and conquer” while in the car line – in other words, the driver stays in the car and waits in the car line, and at the same time the student walks over to their residence hall to get the keys to the room and begin the check in process.   It’s not a bad strategy. After checking in and getting the keys, the student should remain at their residence hall to meet up with the family car, as they will need the key prior to beginning to move belongings into the room.

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 their room. There are many student-athlete 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 lots, and you can walk back to your student’s residence hall (or catch the shuttle back to the main Quad) 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 including linens, rugs, storage boxes, hangers, lighting, and more. Look there first before you decide to go off campus to another local store.

Any other tips or advice? A personal anecdote: my P’92 mom 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 twitchy at what they perceive is the roommate’s overpacking, or they don’t like the way the roommate has set up the room, etc. My best advice is to turn a blind eye to the number of boxes, or whether the beds are bunked or unbunked, etc. and let the two roommates work out how to fit everything in and where the furniture should go. This might be a great time for you to head to Starbucks and have a cup of coffee or take a nice walk and relax : )


— by Betsy Chapman ’92, MA ’94

Categories: the daily deac