A Few Tips for College Move-In Day

August has arrived and you’re more than likely gearing up for the big move…to college!

There’s nothing like a hot sun, a whole bunch of packed bags and boxes, and a somewhat emotional family to give you the jitters about move-in day. While moving to college can be a bit nervewracking, it’s also very exciting, and it’s completely normal to feel both of those emotions at the same time. You’ve more than likely been shopping and planning for this day for weeks now, and while move-in day can feel hectic and harried, there are some things you can do to make the whole process easier.

1. Coordinate with your roommates ahead of time

There’s no need to show up to your dorm room on move-in day with three microwaves. One of the easiest things you can do to cut down on confusion and make sure someone is actually bringing a couch or bathroom rug is to either connect online or in-person with your future roommates. Not only is it nice to figure out who’s bringing what when it’s time to move in, but it’s really helpful to meet the person or several people whom you’ll be spending the next school year with. If you’re lucky, your families might get to meet each other as well, which can be a comfort in and of itself.

2. Check your paperwork

Chances are good that you’ve already received a lot of paperwork regarding your impending status as a college student. While it could potentially feel overwhelming, it’s a good idea to keep all the paperwork and keep it organized. Think folders or a small file cabinet. That way, when August rolls around and you’re wondering about procedures and expectations—like to where your parents should park their car while you’re unloading your mattress or if you can even bring your own mattress at all—you’ll have that information right at your fingertips.

Your paperwork might indicate important information like what room number your dorm is, where you should get your photo ID taken, if you need to fill out any additional forms before moving into your dorm room, and more.

3. Bring some tools and treasures

It’s worth the splurge to buy a toolkit that boasts at least the basics: a hammer, nails, screwdriver, pliers, etc. On move-in day, you might need to raise bunk beds, put together IKEA furniture, or repair minor issues. You’ll definitely use the toolkit in the future as well, and it’s worth having these tools handy in a pinch. Grab some duct tape and any other toolkit essentials you can think of as well.

You’re also going to want to bring some treasures. Having pictures of friends and family to hang up over your desk can be an immense comfort. That pillow your sister bought you when you were in middle school or special mementos from a family trip are also good examples of meaningful items to bring. No, you probably don’t have room in your dorm room for the giant stuffed monkey your uncle won you at the fair, but there will definitely be room near your bed and your desk to make your space your own.

4.Plan for any additional meetings

You more than likely will be issued a freshman orientation schedule, but some families or students wish to schedule additional meetings with their academic advisor, R.A., the student dean, or financial aid office. Wherever you need to go on move-in day, see if you can call ahead to make an appointment in order to avoid long lines, and be sure to plan these additional visits into your day. You don’t want to be hanging outside the student health services office while everyone else is at the freshman welcome assembly.

5. Be flexible

Move-in day can have its bumps and emotional turmoil, so it’s a good idea to walk into the day with open hands and expectations. You might have to haul your luggage up a long, steep hill, or you might get stuck waiting a few hours for your turn to acquire bunk materials to loft your beds. Whatever situation you have to face, do your best to focus on the positives: you’re moving into college! Your whole life is ahead of you, and this is the very first day of a new season. All you can do is your best, and the rest is up to the Lord to orchestrate. Above all else: have fun!