Is your graduate headed to college? Trade school? Job? Mission work? There are many options for students and a four year university is not necessarily a one size fits all solution. Only one of my children went straight to a four year university mainly due to her athletic and academic scholarship and the path she wanted to take. Two of my children went back to college several years after graduating from a community college to get their bachelors in the field they wanted to work in, and one of my daughters has one masters and is working on another. My son, who is a talented, passionate musician, graduated from a community college with a degree in music and has not looked back. He is supporting his family of 6 by running two businesses related to music.
So, a four year university is not always the answer. BUT-if your grad IS heading off to college and living in a dorm, we have some helpful hints to make move in day a little less stressful!
1. Arrive and stay in the town a day before the move in day.
Especially if you are flying or driving a long distance. Arriving a day before and earlier in the day, if you can, will give you time to unwind, spend some time with your son or daughter, and finish all the details, such as picking up any items from the store, such as food and bedding.
2. Bring tools with you.
It is astounding what things you might need and you don't even realize it. Scissors, duct tape, markers, screwdriver, hammer, paper towels, cleaning supplies, etc. It is better to have these on hand than have to take time away from moving and unpacking to run to the store to get them. So, get the cleaning supplies the day you arrive, and bring the main tools with you on your trip if you can.
3. Arrive as early as you can on move in day.
Obviously, be respectful of the hours for move in day that the college has specified, but waiting until the last minute to arrive or even later in the day, will be like trying to fight through a crowd at a football game. Usually, colleges have a lot of help for moving large items and/or directing you to the place you need to be. Everyone is in the same situation and doing the same thing, so your son or daughter might even develop a few relationships this way!
4. Let your son or daughter be in charge.
Your son or daughter should be the one making most of the decisions in regards to where his or her items will go, making introductions to staff, and taking charge of all the unpacking and so forth. It is the first step for them in giving them the autonomy they will need as a freshman away from home.
5. Get the roommates contact info.
This is just a wise idea. Having each parent have the roommates information is one way for the roommate to contact you if there is anything wrong, and also if you, as a parent, cannot get in touch with your child.
6. Double check all the paperwork.
it is a good idea to re read everything related to housing that the residence office has sent. That way, there are no surprises! You will probably need your student id number for everything, so that is always a good thing to memorize, for example!
7. Inspect your room before you move in and report any damage.
This is an important thing to do, as many colleges will charge the student's account for damage after they move out. If the damage was there before you moved in and not reported, you will be liable.
8. Remember to bring some treasure from home.
Bringing items from home that remind your son or daughter of special memories they hold can get your son or daughter through some of the transition periods of homesickness, loneliness, or anxiety. Family and friend photos to put up their wall, memorabilia from high school, or anything that will bring to mind fond memories can help.
As a parent, dropping your child off at a college that is far from home can be very bittersweet. My heart ached saying goodbye to my daughter, but I knew she was so excited and thrilled to be there. Very different feelings. My mind raced to when she was born, and other memories of her growing up as I watched her unpack and prepare for her new season of life.
It was heart wrenching and thrilling all at the same time. I cried all the way down the hall after I said goodbye.
So, parents, remember, they are most likely, so excited to be on their own and so thrilled to start the new season of their life. Grads, remember, your parents only want the best for you and are most likely, having a very difficult time saying goodbye. Cherish the moment and hug as much as you can before you leave. You will not regret it!
Congratulations to all the high school graduates! We celebrate with you on the next season of your lives!
Another great idea, is to have a portrait session before your senior leaves!
And, having your session at Cantigny Park in Winfield, IL is the best!
Having a portrait session before your senior leaves for college is a great way to keep the memories alive. You and your son or daughter, can bring with a beautiful portrait of the family to help ease the anxiety and/or stress that is often felt during the transition phase. And, as a parent, you will be moved each time you see a portrait of you and your entire family hanging on the wall.