Posts Tagged "college move-in"

Back To School | The College Years (Part II)

Dear Kid,

This year, the back-to-school season seems to have come in not with its usual fanfare and majesty but rather with a pounce. One day it was summer, now it’s back to school. Yark!

It’s not like it’s a total surprise. The back-to-school circulars in the Sunday paper provided a hint, many of your friends have been back on campus for a week or more, and we’ve paid your tuition (oh joy of joys).

Maybe it’s that there are no big Firsts this year. College? Pshaw, been there. Dorm move in? Nailed it last year (twice), no reason to think we can’t do it again. Collection of school supplies? Not all that much to purchase this year beyond some notebooks and enough food for a small squadron (remind me again why you’re on the food plan?). Maybe it’s the ubiquitous ALS ice bucket challenge. (Yeah, yeah, Ninja, I know. I haven’t posted the video or written the blog, but it will happen, I promise.) Maybe it’s that we’ve been distracted by your charming self. Maybe it’s that I didn’t write a 9-part series on going to college.

Whatever it is, back-to-school seems to have snuck up rather quickly and unexpectedly.

The car is loaded, coffee is made, puppy is walked, and we’re off to begin The College Years–Part II.

Have a great year, baby.

Love, Mom

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How to Survive College Dorm Move-In | Seven Tips for College Move-In

Surviving College-Move-InDear Kid,

Yesterday we moved you in to your dorm. The whole thing went amazingly well (even the part where it rained like crazy right after we’d taken all your stuff to your room). I had been anticipating a fairly difficult day, and I was delighted to be completely wrong.

Having survived move-in and having spoken with other parents about the process, I now consider myself A Complete Expert on Dorm Move-in. As an expert, I feel obligated to share Advice for Parents on College Move-In Day.

So without further ado, here are the seven tips for a successful dorm move-in day.

Waterproof Mascara

It’s not that you’re going to cry. Of course not. You’ve been preparing this child for college for 18 years. (Too bad you forgot to train yourself to let go.) No tears. OK, maybe a few tears of happiness, but that’s all. Moving a child into a dorm is hot, sweaty work. Waterproof mascara will keep you looking good through sweat or rain. If you don’t plan to wear mascara at all, ignore this and pretend I said Six Tips for College Move In.

A Hefty Supply of Patience

I want to put up a big sign: Attention Parents—This is NOT a reality show where the first person completely moved in gets free tuition. Not that it would do much good. Somehow overzealous parents are of the belief that getting there FIRST is Critically Important. (Aren’t they proud of the things they are teaching their child?) Maybe they are just excited about getting the house all to themselves and converting the bedroom into a home gym. Other parents are busy being offended by the wait they and their child must endure. (Small elevator. Small stairwell. Many people. Much luggage. Do the math, people. Waiting is inevitable.)

A Full Tank of Gas

There is nothing worse than an impatient child (or spouse) fussing because of a three minute delay to fill up the gas tank. Or if there is something worse, I can’t discuss it here.


Capture the Moment!!! Share all 956 photos of the dorm room on Facebook. Be sure to include the moment when the Kid is crankiest.

A Snack

You’ve arrived at the dorm. You’ve finally wrangled most of the Kid’s belongings into the room. Now you face the task of unpacking and shoehorning the entire U-Haul truck’s inventory into 3 drawers and six hangers. You’re thinking the best plan will be to get lunch (since it’s already 2:30p) and then unpack. The Kid has other ideas. Dampen tempers and boost your patience level with a snack. (You are not required to share the snack since you “suggested” several many times that the Kid bring a snack too and your suggestions were met with derision and eye rolling. However, you might want to share since that will probably improve your general environment.)

Tissues—The Big Box

There are a lot of allergens on college campuses. Especially right around the time to say good-bye.

More Patience

You know the stereo you said would never fit in the dorm room and the Kid insisted on taking? Now you are obligated to schelp it home because (in fact) it does not fit in the room. You’re also taking home a three month supply of clothes,  1,700 shoes, and the 7 big containers you made extra trips to Target for because they Were Essential. Resist the urge to say “I told you so”. Just smile and nod wisely at this Important Life Lesson.

There are probably other good tips. Anyone else have suggestions?

Stay Tuned for photos from Move In Day. As soon as we get them downloaded from Dad’s camera, we’ll share. In the meantime, stay in touch on a quasi regular basis, have fun meeting your new roommate when he moves in today, and enjoy college!

Love, Mom

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Moving into the Dorm | Learning About the City You’re In

college-move-in-notDear Kid,

Today you move in to your dorm. I could wax poetic about the sentimentality of the day, but since I am given to neither waxing nor polishing, forget it.

In all seriosity, the term “waxing poetic” has nothing to do with cars or candles. It means “to grow” (the opposite of “to wane”, which means “to decrease”) as in the waxing and waning of the moon. And if there are candles or car polish on the moon no one is talking about it.

Seriosity. A perfectly good word which is a less serious version of serious and cannot be found in any useful dictionary. Therefore not legal in Boggle or Scrabble. But it probably should be.

As you acclimate to the dorm, the eating establishments (I know your priorities), and the university, you should also become familiar with the city in which you now find yourself. I think this is Most Excellent Advice for all college students. It is often ignored advice, but I think you will enjoy the next four years more if you get involved in school and community activities. Or are at least vaguely familiar with the area.

The Athens Area Chamber of Commerce kindly provided me with some interesting information about the county. You may thank me later for sharing with you.

Athens was established in 1805 (which, you will note, was after the establishment of Ohio University. This does not however mean that the University trumps the City in anything except age. And probably football.)

Since 1805, the population has grown dramatically as have the number of restaurants and churches which (as we saw) are all over the place.

There are 54,688 registered motor vehicles and 147.84 State highway miles in the county. All I’m saying is it can get congested.

Each year there are 61 teen births per thousand residents. Not at all sure how teens are born but it says so right here. Perhaps like Athena herself, they burst out full grown. Regardless of the mythology: STAY AWAY FROM THIS STATISTIC. Extra points if you know what animal Athena is generally associated with.

Now here’s a factoid that’s got me giggling. According to the Chamber’s numbers, for each 1,000 residents: 456 die, 322 get married, and 210 get divorced. Just in case you don’t have a calculator handy, that adds up to 988. Which doesn’t leave a lot of room for people happily staying alive and not changing their marital status. Or else a lot of people stay married less than a year or die from getting married. If I were you, I wouldn’t quote these stats as gospel.

In the fall, there are lots of leaves in Athens. If you’re lucky, many of them will be pretty. In all likelihood, you will not be responsible for raking them.

There are 11 radio stations, 2 television stations, and 1 newspaper (I’m assuming this does not include the media at the University, but I can’t be certain).

There are two hospitals (hopefully, you will never see the inside of either of them) and a whole bunch of medical professionals.

There is also a Walmart.

Did I mention there is a University? A lovely one. Learn and enjoy.

Love, Mom

P.S. Being the Goddess of Wisdom (and War), Athena is generally associated with the owl. But you probably knew that.

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Countdown to College–7 Days | Sending You to College Might Not Be as Easy as I Thought

good bye might not be as easy as i thoughtDear Kid,

Today I need to start with a story. I know it’s a story you’ve heard before. Hang with me (and please don’t roll your eyes).

At your elementary school, each class put on a show every year. When you were in second grade, you sang your first solo. I sat in the audience next to Dad with Pi on my lap and tears rolling down my cheeks as you sang. I cried silently because Pi was too young for me to want to try to explain to her why I was crying.

A few weeks later, she was in her first dance recital. Each time she performed, I cried. Somewhat less silently.

That summer was your first adventure at sleep away camp. I called Grandma as I was driving home after dropping you off. “How are you doing?” she asked in a voice that was clearly trying to figure out how to put me back together over several state lines. “I’m fine,” I answered, “Apparently, I can’t watch my children on stage without completely losing it, but leaving them with complete strangers—not a problem.”

True story. But you knew that.

And it has been like that ever since. Sending you out of state or out of the country has not been traumatic for me. I miss you, but I don’t cry. On the other hand, I have learned to wear waterproof mascara whenever you’re going to be singing.

I thought sending you to college was going to fall into the same “sending you off” category. But I am slowly coming to the realization that I might have been mistaken in that assumption.

When I left you with Grandma and Grandpa, I knew you were ready. I left you in the care of my parents, and I knew I’d see you in a few days.

When I sent you off to visit friends out of state, I knew you were ready to go. I put you into the care of a family I trusted, and I knew you’d come back to me at the end of the weekend.

When I sent you off to camp, I knew you were ready to go. I put you into the care of wonderful people, and I knew you’d come back to me in a few weeks.

When I sent you off to travel internationally, I knew you were ready to go. I put you into the care of a program I trusted, and I knew you’d come back to me in a month or two.

countdown to college move inNow I’m sending you off to college. I know you’re ready to go. I know I’m putting you into the care of one of the best people I know—you. But this time I’m a little less sure I’m ready to let go.

Maybe it’s that this is the start of the process of you not coming home to me. Maybe it’s that I know this will shape and change you in ways I can’t even begin to imagine.

Maybe it’s that this is the start of saying good-bye in a bigger way. Of watching you make bigger and more independent decisions. Which is a good thing. Mostly.

I miss that little boy who came home from camp full of stories and hugs. But I can’t wait to see the You you will become.

In the meantime, I’m trying to decide if I need waterproof mascara to take you to college move-in…

Love, Mom

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