DormSmart Living Blog: Move-in-Weekend

Showing posts with label Move-in-Weekend. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Move-in-Weekend. Show all posts

July 29, 2017

Using College Checklists to Plan and Organize Move-in Weekend



Using College Checklists to Plan and Organize Move-in Weekend
College checklists are popping up all over the internet of late; some with good advice and some with not so good advice for college bound students, especially freshmen. The worst advice I have seen thus far, is recommending that students save a little shipping money and time by "waiting" to shop over move-in weekend or during their first week of classes instead of planning and organizing their move early.

To preface my comments below, before and after founding DormSmart, I personally experienced college move-in weekends with my own students. This is what we learned, good and bad:

College Move-in Weekend = ONLY TWO DAYS

It’s a weekend, typically two fun-filled hot days, with hopefully no rain, of:
  • arriving on campus;
  • finding a place to park and obtaining a permit for the weekend;
  • picking up the keys to and inspecting your dorm room;
  • completing the required orientation for your residence hall;
  • getting your mailbox;
  • getting your student id card;
  • registering your bike or vehicle;
  • moving your belongings into your dorm room;
  • unpacking and organizing your dorm room;
  • possibly waiting for your microfridge to be delivered if you have a rental;
  • picking up your text books;
  • confirming your class schedule and locating your classes; and
  • more...
all while attending mandatory activities, for you and your family, designed to give students a smart start at college.

Did I mention that you’ll be waiting in line to complete most of these tasks? Hopefully, you won't be one of those lucky students who has an audition, practice, or activity for their athletics, arts, or other school organizations over move-in weekend. My youngest daughter actually attended practices and performed during her freshmen move-in weekend.

Shopping Over Move-In Weekend Can = DISAPPOINTMENT

Let’s forget about how you or your family will manage to find the time over move-in weekend to locate and drive to stores near campus because once you get there, you’ll probably be disappointed when you realize that the selection is either limited or picked over and the checkout lines are long. After all, it is back to school shopping season for students of all ages.

You can choose to wait to shop for college supplies during the first week of classes, but you’ll delay getting organized before classes start and your help will be headed back home. Even worse, you may be one of the many freshmen who do not have a vehicle to drive to the store and transport their purchases back to campus. Maybe you can recruit some help while you are locating and waiting for the campus shuttle. Hopefully, the shuttle schedule will fit into your class schedule and can accommodate transporting all your purchases. If not, you can make a few trips.

Using College Checklists to Plan and Organize Move-in Weekend = A Smart Start for Freshmen

By this time, I am sure you get my point… move-in weekend is a busy time for students, family members, and colleges. It is best to use tools such as college checklists to plan your move and complete tasks ahead of time. Whether you personalize our dorm room checklist, use a checklist provided by your college, or create your own checklist... it will help you have an organized move to campus so you can take advantage of the many activities over move-in weekend that provide freshmen with a smart start at college.

Good luck at college and live dorm smart!



August 13, 2015

Last Minute Words of Wisdom for Parents of College Bound Freshmen


Off to College ImageCrunch time is here, and it's time for one of the most precious people in your life to leave the nest for college. I started DormSmart because of my personal experiences as a parent of college age children, so I am happy to share my experience with others. I hope it helps to make this transition a little easier for you.

For me, I experienced a mixed bag of emotions. I was proud of my children's accomplishment but worried for their safety living away from home for the first time. Of course, my daughters thought that meant I didn't trust them when the reality is, I don't trust the world with them. I wanted everything to be perfect in their dorm room so they would adjust, and I would feel better knowing I left them prepared and in good living conditions. Of course, they didn't appreciate it as much as they should have at that time and just wanted me to leave campus so they could start their college adventure. I felt both happy that my children were so excited about this new chapter in their life and frustrated that my children were so excited about this new chapter in their life, especially the leaving home part. At times, I took my frustration out on those around me, even strangers like retail clerks or school officials. For lack of a better word, I was just panic-stricken.

If I can impart any wisdom from my personal experience as a parent of college bound freshmen, it would be this...

  • I can promise that your student doesn't realize they are still that little bundle of joy that you brought home about 18 years ago, so they cannot fully appreciate the feelings you are experiencing as a parent. Rest assured that attitude will change when they have their own bundle of joy. At that time, they will appreciate you more and realize that parenting does not end when you leave them on their college campus. It never ends.
  • I can promise you that they will make some missteps as they embark upon this college journey, but the values and lessons that you instilled in them will ultimately prevail.
  • I can promise you that everything will not be perfect on move-in day and your student's lack of interest in making everything perfect will upset you because they mentally moved out over the summer and just want you to go home. Just remember they still love and need you; and, at the first sign of trouble, you'll probably get a phone call.
  • I can promise you that they won't call home enough, and you will worry yourself sick. I remember telling my daughters repeatedly, "Don't text me. Rather, call me, so I know it's really you." I have learned that when I don't hear from my daughters, it's usually because they are happy and safe. Typically, I hear more from them when they need me.
  • Lastly, I can promise you this... there are no guarantees in life, and you cannot control the world; but, if something does happen, the love and bond that you share with your student will be your greatest strength and see you through it. My youngest was attacked on campus her freshman year, and I just cannot put into words the amount of fear, guilt, and grief I felt as her mother; but, we got through it and she's starting law school this week. The only other time in my life I felt that kind of fear was every day that my middle daughter was deployed to Iraq.

At the end of the day, just take a deep breath, have faith, be flexible when things don't go perfectly on move-in weekend, let your student know you love them, and live in this moment because it's a precious time that you will fondly remember and so will they.

August 8, 2014

TiK ToK: It’s Time for Many College Bound Students to Use Campus Direct Shipping



The summer hours are ticking away probably quicker than you imagined with your impending move to campus just around the corner. If you waited to shop for college and do not have time to wait for online purchases to be delivered at home or to drive from store to store enduring the crowds of back to school shoppers and picked over inventory, then I recommend shipping purchases to your college campus. Campus direct shipping will get your essentials to school without delaying your departure while reducing the cost, time, and stress associated with moving items from home to campus or driving from store to store to make purchases over an already busy move-in weekend.

Quick Tips for Students Shipping Online Purchases to Campus

  1. Be sure to use your “exact mailing address” for campus. For example, many colleges hyphenate the mailbox number next to a student’s name. This allows them to better sort through the thousands of packages that will be making their way to campus, ensuring that your items are not lost in the shuffle.
  2. Remember that packages arriving at school are typically not delivered to your dorm room rather they are sent to the campus mail room where you must retrieve them. Be sure to check your college or university’s policies for package pick-up.
  3. Most schools have a specific time frame for move-in shipments to begin arriving on campus so schedule your purchases accordingly.
  4. Understand the processing and shipping times of your online orders so you can allot enough time for them to arrive on campus. Be realistic and don’t sweat the small stuff; meaning, if it’s an item that may arrive a few days later than you, you can still pick it up once it gets there.

If you are someone like me who procrastinates, the best advice I can give you is do not panic and use campus direct shipping. Speaking from experience, I know this is an emotional time for you and your family. I understand that everyone wants move-in weekend to be perfect freshman year. Realistically, it probably won’t be perfect, more like chaotic, so laugh through it and make the weekend count. Assure your family that you can retrieve any packages that may not have arrived on campus for move-in weekend. You can finish your dorm room setup with your roommate, a little bonding time, and then send your family a picture once it is completed. Remind them that you will see them soon, and, for your sake and theirs, call them at least once a week so they can hear your voice. It will make the transition easier for everyone, trust me!

Hit the books, get involved in school approved activities, make new friends, and live dorm smart!