A Room of Their Own Aug13

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A Room of Their Own

As I get ready to move my daughter into Northwestern this fall, I am reminded of the time I moved my son into the dorm at Tufts three years ago.  I recall the anxiety, the stress, the schlepping, the tears. I also remember how surprised I was at how organized the university seemed to be.  They had the move-in system down like clockwork.  As we drove our car up to the front of the dorm building (after driving around for a while trying to figure out how to find the specific dorm building we were looking for), there were groups of students that greeted our car and started unloading and carrying everything up the four flights of stairs to our son’s dorm room.  It took about 4 minutes to unload and get everything upstairs!

After we moved the car to a parking garage nearby, we returned to the dorm room to see our son already socializing with his roommate and new neighbors. We met his roommate’s parents and then I got to work unpacking. BIG MISTAKE! That is when the arguing started. HE wanted to decide where things should go. He was not ready to make decisions about which drawer in the built-in dresser should hold his socks. I had to back off. He did let me make his bed (what kid wants to do that?) and then we left the room and our son so he could settle in on his own terms. We walked around the campus, went to the student store, bought some hats and sweatshirts, and then met back up with our son later in the afternoon at the matriculation ceremony.

I have no idea what it is going to be like when I move my daughter into her dorm room, aside from the stress of getting everything she needs, but I do know one thing. I am going to let her take the lead and decide on her own terms how she wants to tackle the unpacking and room decorating.  If she wants my help, I will be there. Otherwise, we will head out to explore campus, talk with other parents and see what else we can buy in the student store. After all, it is HER new home, not mine, and this is the first step I can take in letting go.

This is my story – Dani, one of the KnowsyMoms.

We would love to hear your move-in day stories. Please share in the comments below!

I also would highly recommend to all college parents a book I just finished reading on “letting go,” which reinforced may of the things I am feeling as we move along on this college journey: You’re On Your Own (But I’m Here If You Need Me): Mentoring Your Child During the College Years, by Marjorie Savage.

For questions about the move-in day logistics, see College Move-In: Planning for the Big Day


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