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College Move-In Day and What You Should Expect
| by Pauline Flores

“Finally, it’s time to move in and… I’m freaking out and feeling totally overwhelmed!” That is the exact scenario that this blog post aims to prevent. The anxiety you feel the coming weeks before the big college move-in day is totally understandable.

In fact, I was once in your shoes when I was a beginning my first year in college. This new stage in my life was all I could think about, and even my parents were showing signs of dread for the first day. Good news, freshmen and parents of freshmen: it’s not as scary as it sounds! Below are the experiences I encountered during my college move-in day.


In my freshman class, there were a total of 5,869 students enrolled. Sounds like a lot, right? Luckily, not all 5,869 families had to move into the dorms in one day; move-in was spread over the course of four days. Despite that, there was still a lot of traffic on the highway leading to my university.

Leave well in advanced, maybe an extra hour or so, if you plan on driving to college. If you’re coming in from out-of-state, have your flight arrive at least a day before your move-in day to give yourself extra time to rest.

Volunteers and Guides

It’s easy to get lost searching for the dorm you’ll be staying at, but thankfully, my university had clear signage that directed the freshmen and parents where to go. On move-in day there are always volunteers, usually wearing distinct, bright-colored shirts, that would be happy to give you directions to the assigned dorm.

These volunteers also have carts to help haul heavy luggage and furniture into the dorms so that your family doesn’t have to break their backs carrying everything in one trip!

The Dorm Room

Before entering my dorm for the first time, I had to pick up paper work, room number, and student ID from the front desk. Walking into my dorm for the first time was like discovering a cave behind a waterfall. The promise of new experiences and memories to be made was exciting. The walls were bare, but not for long.

My side of the room included three drawers on the semi-lofted bed, three drawers and shelf space on the desk, and my own small closet. I had more storage space than I needed! To be fair, I did make sure to pack minimally, which I suggest freshmen should do too. That dorm won’t be occupied by the same people forever!

Saying Goodbye

This bittersweet part of college move-in day should be treated as more sweet than bitter. It’s only a, “See you later,” but there is some driving force during this moment that cranks up the sentimentality. The college goodbye will be a very sentimental moment.

Moms: you will have the overwhelming urge to hug your kid and never let them go. Freshmen: your mom will hug you, almost to the point of suffocation, but just let it happen. As we said good bye to each other, there wasn’t very much sadness between my parents and me. I felt incredibly grateful to be raised by two wonderful people and to go to my dream college.

Post Move-In

Freshmen, after your parents leave, you’ll probably be wondering what to do with yourself. Your RA (resident advisor) will probably gather your hall for a meeting later that day to introduce yourselves. Many of your hall neighbors may roll their eyes at being forced to team bond, but don’t let your attitude sour!

In my experience, my RA made my whole hall sit and eat at the dining hall together. I enjoyed talking with new people and getting to know them. Keep in mind that you’ll be living with these people for the next year, so be open to forming good relationships with them! If you make at least one friend by the end of  the day, then you will have a successful college move-in day.


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