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Francesca's Focus: Advice for Move-In Day

For incoming freshmen, or those new to residence life, move-in day might seem like one of the most stressful days of your college career. And, for a few minutes, it sort of is. There's a lot of people trying to do the same thing as you at the exact same time and it's a bit frustrating. You have to get into the rhythm and remember that you only have to do it once a year (unless you decide to switch residence halls, but that's a whole other issue in itself). What I'm trying to say is that yes, move-in day is sort of scary, but not for the reasons you might think. What I'm also trying to say is that there are ways to alleviate the stress and fear of move-in day with a few simple tips.

1. Get there early 

Seriously, you are going to need more time than you think that you need. It's impossible to beat the rush, because people are coming from all over and there's really no lull in the traffic of incoming or returning students. I was an hour late to move-in last year because of traffic of people trying to move-in as well. Getting there within the first hour of the scheduled move-in time was perfect for me. I had enough time to unload on the sidewalk, check myself into the dorm, carry everything up (we took the stairs, as the line to the elevator was out the main doors), and start setting up my room before our second part of orientation. 

2. Conquer and divide

While my dad and brother unloaded the car, my mom and I headed up to the third floor of my building to check me in. Then, while my dad parked the car, my brother stayed with the rest of my belongings while my mom and I slowly started bringing the smaller items up the stairs to my room. You don't have to stay together the entire time. I find that if you delegate roles to people (i.e. My brother and I got the heavier items because we were younger and stronger than my parents), it makes it more efficient to get everything where it needs to be in a decent amount of time.

3. Recruit help

My suitemate, S, had gotten there very early so she was moved in by the time I got there and my actual roommate, M, had moved in a day early because of the program that she was in. That meant I recruited their help (and the help of S's family) to help move boxes from my section on the sidewalk to the room. This definitely saved me at least a half an hour of travel time up and down the six flights of stairs. S's mom was a champ, too. I'll never forget her enthusiasm, hah. 

4. Avoid elevators as much as you can

Obviously, you're going to need an elevator at some point, as some things just can't be carried up flights of stairs. But, if you can, avoid the elevators at all costs. You're going to be waiting in line a lot  longer than it would take to just carry it up the stairs. But my family did last year, after having S's mom watch my stuff on the sidewalk, was have my dad take everything that absolutely couldn't be lifted onto a dolly and sent him to wait in line. While he waited in line, my mom, brother, and I (and M and S) brought the "lighter" items back to my room. By the time everything of mine was in my room, my dad came in with the dolly full of the heavy items. 

5. Don't think you have to unpack all at once

I really overwhelmed myself my first week, trying to organize every bit of my room to my liking within the first 72 hours. You don't have to do that. Make sure you have your necessities out (textbooks and other school supplies) and whatever you brought to share with the rest of the room (i.e. cleaning supplies, trash cans, pots and pants, etc.) and at least enough clothes to last you the first week. You're already stressed enough about your first week of classes, don't put on more pressure to make your room pristine within the first few days of living there. You've got 2 whole semesters for that!


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