How to make the most of move-in day

Madison Williams
Madison Williams
May 20, 2020

updated August 2021


College officially starts when you move in. You might be really stressed and emotional, and that’s okay. Here are some tips to make sure you conquer the day and make the most of your first official college experience
1. You’re not the only one.
A lot of people think that they’ll be the only one who brings too much or forgets to bring something important. But a lot of people struggle with this. 

There’s no right or wrong answer for how much to bring. The great thing is you can decorate your room however you want! There isn’t a lot of hidden storage though, so only bring what you want shown in your room. 

Even if everything you bring doesn’t all fit into your room, don’t worry. Just pick what is most important for you to have in your room and stick with that. You can send anything you decide you don’t need or want back with your parents, or run to the store if you forgot something.

2. It’s a long day. Be prepared.
This is a big one: wear appropriate clothes for moving in. It’s hot and humid in August and you WILL sweat. You’ll have time to change clothes for events later in the day, so don’t worry about looking cute. 

Pack water and some food, too. You’ll need to stay energized all day and a snack can help you keep moving if you start dragging. 

This might seem counterintuitive, but don’t wear yourself out by unpacking right away. You’ll have time to finish that later, and you’ll want to be ready for meeting your new classmates later in the day.

3. Don’t panic. You’ll get everything done in time.
It may seem like you have a very short time to move in, but it goes much quicker than you would think. Augustana has a crew of volunteer students and staff to help you! Even if you live on the top floor, there are people that can lift the heavy stuff for you. 

4. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Bouncing off of my third point, don’t hesitate to ask for help! If you can’t lift a box by yourself, ask a volunteer to carry one end. It’s their job to make you safe and comfortable.

5. Communicate with your roommate.
Is this your first time meeting your roommate? If so, the best thing to do is communicate about your plans for your room. This’ll prevent disagreements down the road and help you stay on the same page. 

If you want to move some furniture around, make sure you ask them first. It’s their room too! They should in return ask you for your approval, too.

6. Prepare your room how you want to. 
With your roommate’s approval (and vice versa with their wishes), decorate your room how you want. You’re the one who’ll be living in this room for a year. 

Freshman year is a year full of ups and downs, so you need a comfortable and peaceful room to come home to. Your dorm is also a great way to express yourself, don’t feel pressured by what you THINK you should have in your room and go with your gut.

7. Look over what you brought.
Forget anything? This is a good time to check while you have resources available to go to the store. The best way to know if you forgot anything is by bringing a college checklist and then looking it over once you’re in your room. 

Also, look for the most important items first. Some little items you can survive without. 

8. Cherish these moments with your family.
It’ll be stressful trying to fit everything in your room in an allotted amount of time, especially when you’re crammed with your family and new hall mates. But, no matter how stressed you get, remember that in a couple hours, you will giving your family “goodbye” hugs. 

You’ll officially be a college student. Cherish those moments before you leave their company; you won’t regret it.

Madison Williams
Madison Williams

Madison Williams '20 majored in multimedia journalism and mass communication at Augustana College. She was also a sports editor/reporter for the Augustana Observer student newspaper. She currently is pursuing a master's in sports media at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism.