Just a few days ago, I left my little suburban town in Pennsylvania for the big city of Philadelphia to pursue my passion for Theater and Political Science at Temple University. Leading up to the big day, I read countless articles about what to pack, how to pack it all, and what you don't actually need as a college freshman. Most of that was totally true. Moving into your college dorm however, is an experience like no other, and I'm not quite sure any of us were really prepared for it. Here are a few truths I learned about college move-in day:
1. Everything is CHAOS
Seriously. Take what you think it is, and multiply it by ten. There are people running around with bags of pillows, boxes of knick-knacks and knocking each other with backpacks. And, if you're moving into Temple University, gigantic orange carts filled to the brim with more pillows, food, and every decoration one could possibly need.
2. You WILL Forget Things
Once you get settled and unpack your whole life, you'll realize that there's absolutely things you've forgotten, no matter how thoroughly you think you packed. You're missing a container for this, you totally forgot to pack scissors, or tape, or thumbtacks, or Clorox wipes...trust me, you'll forget something. But worry not, between your families back home and the school store, you're sure to eventually have everything you need. (And Amazon Prime!!!)
3. Unpack the Essentials First
If you're anything like me, I know you probably want to immediately unpack decorations and pictures to hang and hook up your TV, but trust me when I say: unpack your essentials first. You have plenty of time to decorate and organize, but first and foremost, you'll want to be able to go to sleep with your pillows and blankets the first night. Don't stress if you can't completely unpack and decorate within the first few hours.
4. No One Else Knows What's Going On Either
What I mean by this is, everyone who's moving into your residence hall on the same day is just as confused and frazzled as you are, so don't feel alone in your stressful state. It may look and feel like everyone else but you has things under control, but they totally don't. My roommate and I had to ask the guys next to us how they set up their room and they helped us out. Then they asked us for thumbtacks. It's a community of confusion here, people.
5. Saying Goodbye is Hard
I'm sure this is obvious. Whether you're being dropped off by your family, your best friend or another guardian, saying goodbye to them is going to be difficult. There's no way to sugarcoat that. Most people are going to cry, so don't feel ashamed if you're one of them. Because I guarantee that the dorm full of tough-looking football players next to you are just as sad to see their parents go as you are, even if they're not crying.
6. It's SO MUCH FUN
With all the stress that goes into moving into your dorm, no one is going to tell you that it's not going to end up being one hell of a good time. Once you finally settle in and sit down and breathe, you're going to laugh at the absurd craziness of it all. If there's one piece of advice I could leave you with, it's to leave your door open. Hang up a sign that says hello, and you're sure to have a few people pop in and say hi. It's a surefire way to break the ice with the other people on your floor and who knows, maybe you'll find a new friend!
Overall, move-in day is chaotic and emotional, but don't forget to enjoy every second of it!