Prepping to Return Home

Your Deacs have another week or so on campus, then they will be coming home for an extended break (unless they petition to stay due to hardship). This means they need to begin thinking about what they need to bring home with them. Since they will be home for two months, and since they can’t get back into the residence halls after November 24th, they want to make sure they pack wisely.

In the evolution of your relationship with your Deac, we urge you to become more of a consultant and less of a manager. A consultant helps prompt thinking about how to handle a given situation, whereas a manager tells you what to do and how to do it. You know your Deac, and you will know how much experience they have with packing – so you may need to provide more prompting or less.

Here are some suggested prompting questions:

What valuables/irreplaceable items do you have with you that should come home with you for break?

If your Deac isn’t sure, you can suggest things like: jewelry, passport, cash, expensive items, etc.

What is your plan to take those valuables with you?

In other words, would you pack those items in checked luggage? Put them in your purse/backpack and have them with you at all times? Mail them home? etc. The goal here is to help them think about things that would be difficult to replace, and how best to safely transport them home.

What items do you use everyday that you would need at home, or medicines?

These would be laptop, phone, chargers, keys, contact lenses/solution, glasses, prescription medicine, etc.

What items do you need to bring home for your classes?

This would include all textbooks, notebooks or notes from lectures, etc. They should take their laptop and academic materials for their spring classes just in case there is an unpredictable turn with COVID-19 that would impact the start of the semester.  

What items might be in friends’ rooms that you should get back before break?

Sometimes students borrow clothes, video games, movies, etc. They will want to talk to friends about getting those items back.

How long do you think it will take to gather everything so you can leave when you are scheduled to come home?

Waiting until the last minute to pack can add stress – help your Deac realize that they need to plan for this.

What have you not used this semester, or what is no longer useful? Which things can come home with you now (and stay home)?

First-year students often overpack at the start of the semester and find out that they didn’t need 20 of their high school t-shirts, or every bit of sports equipment they own. If it isn’t getting used, it’s just taking up space. Any clothes that are no longer wearable (e.g., summer/hot weather clothing) could easily come home.

You may have other questions to add. But this is hopefully a good start to getting your Deac to think about what they need at home for the winter break, and what can stay in the residence halls.


To contact the Office of Family Engagement, please visit our contact page.

If Your Student Has a Problem

One of the best ways parents/families can help their students is to let them solve their own problems. Use the Stop, Drop, and Roll method when your student contacts you with a problem.  The flyer also lists contact information for serious concerns where family intervention might be appropriate.

Orientation 2020 slide shows

Parent and family Orientation sessions are available online.