Top 10 Tips to Reduce College Move-In Day Stress

by Heidi LeCount


Move-in day for incoming freshmen is an exciting day. But with so many unknowns, it can also be quite stressful for first-year college students and their families.

The best way to ensure your first memories at college are ones to cherish instead of ones you’d like to forget, is to follow these tips:

1. Enjoy the day! First-year student move-in day is one of the best days of the year for the residence life staff and for the campus. It’s the beginning of a new year and a new class. The campus community is happy to see you!

2. Bring a hand truck or something with wheels on it for moving boxes and big items. Even if the college loans hand trucks, there are never enough to go around.

3. Know where you’ll be living, both the building and room number. You’ll need this information once you get to campus. Parent/Guardian note: Keep a copy of this information at home so you’ll be able to send mail and care packages.

4. Pay attention to where students are to pick up their keys and complete paperwork. First-year students at Meredith College check in at the first floor parlor of their residence hall. This is different at all colleges, so be sure to double-check in your orientation packet.

5. Pack cleaning supplies on top. No matter how clean the housekeeping staff makes the student’s room, many families like to do a touch-up cleaning before getting everything in the room.

6. Label boxes that aren’t see-through. You don’t want to go through a dozen boxes looking for one item.

7. Eat a good breakfast. Everyone may be nervous about moving in and leaving the student at school for the first time, but moving in is a big process, which takes lots of energy.

8. Drink plenty of water. In North Carolina, it is always hot during move-in days. Meredith provides a soft drink station as well that everyone is encouraged to utilize. Don’t wait until you are thirsty to drink water because you’ll be on the verge of dehydration when you start to feel thirsty.

9. Be aware of when activities for the day begin. At Meredith, orientation begins on move-in day, and it is important that students make it to their sessions. The first session begins at 2 p. m.

10. For parents and families: enjoy this day with your student. Although it may be difficult to leave at the end of the day, know that your student has started her college journey and will be in good hands to start the year off right.

Heidi LeCount is the director of residence life at Meredith College in Raleigh, N.C.

Any advice for students moving to college for the first time? Comment below!