More than Heavy Lifting
Packing up your daughter’s 1000 “essentials” before moving into college augments freshmen year jitters. When you unpack those “essentials” you also unpack skillfully hidden baggage: fear. Move-in day is a culmination of hopes and daydreams colliding painfully with all those college dropout horror stories. It is a bipolar wave of high pitched elation, quiet spells of self-doubt, and the first pangs of homesickness. Before handling emotional baggage, literal baggage must be unloaded, unpacked, and arranged. Navigate the blood, sweat, and tears with the following advice:
Wear comfortable, but stylish clothes. Sweats may seem appropriate, but think again. Your first impression, much like your daughter’s first impression with her roommates, is un-erasable. I guarantee it will come up in conversation three years after the fact. Try to wear something along the lines of cargo shorts and a plain T-Shirt that conceals sweat stains. Stick with tennis shoes as you will be lifting heavy furniture.
(If you are prone to back, knee, or neck problems, do not be a hero and try to power through the pain. Bring a brace, or several, and pain relievers.)
Pack Advil, water bottles, hefty snacks, and any appropriate muscle relaxers. Tension headaches, muscle aches, dehydration, and hunger are sure fire mood killers. Stay fueled and sustain positive energy up because your daughter is counting on your physical and emotional strength now more than ever.
Make up the bed before arranging any other furniture. The first night at college requires complete comfort. In addition, other unpacked items can be stored on top of the bed to clear floor space.
Keep a detailed list of any missing or need-to-buy items. You will be surprised how many technical details go unnoticed before move-in day. You will avoid multiple Target trips with your all inclusive list.
Double check every electric gadget after assembly. Do not wait for the dreaded phone call informing you that the fan did not come with batteries, or the screws were not tight enough.
- Stay the night at a nearby hotel. Keep your phone near you at all times incase last minute items need to be added to the list. Keep your phone near you at all times incase last minutes tears need to be wiped away. Your daughter will be more at ease knowing you are close, even if she does not need you at all that first night.
Goodbye does not conclude the emotional rollercoaster. Leave behind an encouraging card while you hit the road, and be encouraged in knowing that you survived move-in day. It is more than heavy lifting, after all. You provided support, patience, and strength. She will emulate your strength and successfully survive her freshman year. In fact, she will do more than survive. She will thrive.
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