While my youngest two children started school this week in Kindergarten and Second grade; my oldest child starts his first day of classes this week as a college student.
We moved him into college last week and we were lucky to have been given advice from my friends and family who made that move before us. Tips to help us stay calm, organized, and relatively stress-free while moving our child into campus housing.
Label all containers with name and room number. This is a GREAT tip because most schools have a group of volunteer students helping outside dorms to move newbies in. They can't be expected to remember every room number everyone tells them, so make their life easier by putting the name and the number on the box/bag/basket for them.
Don't worry about being the first one in the building. There will be plenty of people TRYING to get there first because it feels like that's what you're supposed to do. But if you want an hour or two after the “start” time the crowd thins a bit AND you can walk down the halls and see the open doors of rooms and see how they've moved furniture around.
By cheap towels. Cheap towels are thinner and therefore dry faster when hung on the hook in the dorm room.
Keep a running list of things you need/forgot. You won't remember or think of everything. Every dorm is different so some things you just won't realize you want/need until you get moved in. This is OKAY, just keep track of it all so that if you have to make survival kit to send of things you forgot, you will hopefully only have to send ONE.
Make sure you have remotes/cables/batteries for all electronics. A TV does no good without way to get the “free” cable provided with the room.
Don't spend too much time decorating for your child unless they ask you to. Chances are, they'll move it all and redo it 20 times the first week of school once they see how everyone else decorates and arranges their room.
Take tons of pictures. Even if your child begs you not to. You only get to do this once, they'll be glad later you documented it. But, maybe try to be discreet about it.
Get a rug. The majority of dorm floors are cold and concrete. Even if there is some sort of “carpet” it is probably not soft or comfortable.
Look into all of the ways your child's school connects via social media. It's nice to know what events are happening on campus from Twitter and Facebook because your child probably won't call you as much as you'd like and it will help you feel a little connected.
Take a deep breath. It's overwhelming logistically and emotionally, but it happens very fast. Try to savor it if you can.
Have you moved a child into campus housing? Do you have any tips to share?