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How to Survive College Move-In Day

Updated on January 9, 2016
Pack wisely!
Pack wisely! | Source


You have made it through SAT tests, graduation, and a summer filled with questions from family members and tough decisions. Now it is time for you to start the next chapter of your life: College.

If you are like me, you are living too far away from your college to commute, or you simply do not want to stay with your parents any longer. Either way, you need to face one of the most frightening-- and exhilarating-- steps to starting college: Freshman move-in day.

However, there is no need to panic. Move-in day is survivable, as long as you prepare.

Choose each item on your list carefully.
Choose each item on your list carefully. | Source

Tip One: Make a Checklist

Before you pack anything or buy anything, you should sit down with your parents and make a checklist of what you are planning on bringing. What do you already have? What do you need to buy? What is your roommate bringing (if you have a roommate)?

After you have done this, look at the list again. Is there anything there that you won't use or that you don't necessarily need? Cross it out. Dorm rooms are small, and you do not want extra clutter. (Believe me, my roommate and I managed to lose our television remote in our 15'x15' room because we had a particularly messy day. It has been two months and we still cannot find it).

If you need help figuring out what to pack, many colleges and universities have custom checklists on their websites. This also allows you to know ahead of time what items are and are not allowed in your room.

Tip Two: Pack the Night Before

While you might want to squeeze in as much time with your friends and family as you can the day before you leave for college, it is important to pack everything the night before. With the exception of objects that you will need in the morning, pack up everything that is going with you to college. Make sure that it all fits into your backpacks and suitcases, and make sure that it fits into the car. The last thing that you need is to be late for move in day because you waited until last minute to pack everything.

Move-in day is stressful enough without worrying about everything fitting into the car early in the morning, especially if you have a long drive ahead of you.

Early birds get the good side of the room!
Early birds get the good side of the room! | Source

Tip Three: Get There Early

If you are the last person to arrive on move-in day, not only will your roommate most likely take over your half of the room or choose their half without your consent, but your RA will also take note of this. It is important that you make a good impression on your RA and the others on your floor, so being the last one to show up is not a good idea.

This also leaves you with less time to unpack and get settled in before orientation activities start, which makes the entire process even more stressful.

Bonus: If you are there before your roommate, you can figure out which mattress is better without them knowing. Definitely didn't do this.

Tip Four: Be Prepared for Strong Emotions

There will be a lot of crying. Your parents, your siblings, your significant other... Everyone might be in tears, and that's okay. This is an emotional day, but it is also an exciting one. You are taking the next step into your future, and everyone else has to let you do so. So, even though you may be emotional, do not let it deter you from going to college and having the experience of a lifetime.

Have Fun

College is a time to learn and experience new things, inside and outside of the classroom. Even though it is hard to let go and move into a new place, there is nothing like the experience of college. Make some friends (I am best friends with many of the people that I met on move-in day), have a good time, and remember to call your parents every once in a while. They miss you.


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