By Lisa and Donnie Carroll
Move-in Day is almost here!
We’ve gone through it six times now, with one more to go. With No. 6, it was like, “Bye, Son – have a good life.” (Poor dear. We love you!)
If this is your firstborn, though, brace yourself for the emotions – they’re real. Your family life will never be the same – as each student leaves, a new family personality emerges. You are entering a new phase of life – the “Leaving the Nest” phase. That takes some getting used to.
After a couple of months, you’ll see that life really does go on. It might look a little different, but it’s good. Your student is grown, and you can relate on a new, more friendly level. So, embrace these “final” moments as you witness your student’s independence. Isn’t that our goal as parents? Well done! Let’s start moving!
- Whether your student knows his/her roommate or not, they should have some contact with each other before move-in day. Girls, especially, like to coordinate their decor, and some communication can really help. They won’t need two refrigerators or TVs, microwaves, towel warmers or aquariums in one dorm room.
- Let your student pack their own “stuff,” and encourage them to keep it to a minimum when moving into a dorm. College students move a LOT, and dorm rooms are generally small. Less is more in the dorm. And besides, you’ll be storing their stuff for years to come anyway!
- Bring some cash and tools for last minute put-togethers and trips to Wal-Mart – or better yet, Goodwill.
- Help with the big stuff, and then allow your student to unpack and settle into their room on their own.
- Make (or purchase) a small First Aid Kit, and locate the campus doctor’s office, for that inevitable first illness or accident.
- Avoid hovering. Instead, expect your student to be responsible and independent. If something is forgotten, it probably won’t be life-threatening. (Consequences are great teachers.)
- Take a picture or two of this milestone, hug goodbye, and drive away. It’s certainly OK to have a lump in your throat – the tears are tears of joy! The college years are years of tremendous growth – let ’em go to grow!
- You’ve entrusted them to their perfect Father for years now – keep trusting and keep praying, and in this next phase, enjoy your relationship with them and watch admirably as they find their role in His great story!
If you’d like to share reflections on dropping off an ACU freshman, or offer advice to parents on how to survive college drop-off day, email email@example.com.
Other posts in this series: