Your child’s first college move will cause mixed emotions. You are excited that your son or daughter is getting a college education, but it can be painful to watch your baby leave home. The weeks leading up to moving day are not only emotional, but can also be stressful on both parents and children.
You want to be sure that your child will have everything she needs, but it is impossible to fit all of the comforts of home into a tiny dorm room. Try these tips to keep the stress of a college move under control so that you can enjoy time with your child before she leaves for the semester.
Tip 1: Get an Early Start
You may want the summer before your child leaves for school to last forever, but don’t let moving day sneak up on you. This doesn’t mean having everything packed and ready to go on July 1st, but you will have plenty to do the week of the move, so try and get a few things done early.
Many colleges offer a moving checklist that includes do’s and don’ts and recommended items for your child to pack. Getting things like laptop shopping and donating old clothing out of the way early will leave you with plenty of time for packing and last-minute purchases (flip flops for communal showers!) at crunch time.
Tip 2: Be Patient with Your Child’s Emotions
Your emotions will be running wild as moving day approaches, but remember that your child’s emotions are going to be even more out of control. She will be excited about moving away to college, but she will be upset about leaving her friends, her home and you behind. In the days leading up to moving day your child may be more irritable than ever and it might feel like she is fighting you on every point of the move. Stay patient and remember that she is just as upset about leaving as you are about seeing her go.
Tip 3: Pack Light
First-time college students are prone to over-packing, but they can’t take all of the comforts of home with them. Remember that your child will be sharing a room with one or more roommates and there just isn’t enough space for everything she wants to bring. Stick to your moving checklist, and remember that smaller items like toiletries can be purchased within walking distance of most colleges. Feel like you’re forgetting something? Don’t worry, she’ll be home in two months for Thanksgiving and let you know exactly what she needs.
Tip 4: Remember That It’s Not Your Room
When you arrive at the dorm on move-in day, your top priority may be to get all of your child’s stuff unpacked and put away. Your child’s top priority may be to walk around, see the campus and make some friends. Relax and let her go at her own pace. Everything will find its place when she is ready to unpack.
Tip 5: Keep Your Distance
For a few weeks you may want to visit your child every weekend, but you need to stay away. Give her a few weekends to settle into her classes, make friends and get acquainted with her new lifestyle. Then, when parents’ weekend comes around, visit her on campus and she will welcome the familiar face.
Author Bio: Visit MyMove.com for tips, customizable checklists and hand-picked deals to make moving more rewarding and less stressful.