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Parents’ Guide to College Campus Living

As we briefly touched on living arrangements, financial aid and college preparation, there are some logistics to keep in mind, for the earlier stages. This refers ti the move-in process, transportation, conduct in visitations, dealing with your child’s new found independence, and so on. Having a child head off to college is a huge change for many parents, no matter how independent their child is; if you’re experiencing it for the first time, there are many questions and concerns you may have even beyond move-in day like when you can visit. We are here to support and guide you as parents during this transitional time.

On-Campus Living vs. Commuting vs. Off-Campus Living

Deciding where your child will live during their freshman year is a decision that should be made early, as it’s a student’s first year at school that sets the tone for the rest of their college experience. If they experience poor living situations or unpleasant commutes, it's likely to contribute to postsecondary year experiences; unpleasant experiences may render a new application process if your child decides to transfer.

Moving In

Move-in day for freshmen can be fairly chaotic. Getting onto the actual campus will not be an easy task, considering the heavy traffic and everyone moving in. Even when you’ve made it to the dorm, there will be heavy wait times for elevators, difficulty navigating hallways and rooms, and lugging larger items into small spaces. Despite all the cramped space, the end result will be well worth it when your child is comfortably settled in for the next nine months.

Mom and Dad Go to College: The Art of the Campus Visit

Many parents feel a separation anxiety almost immediately. For many, this is the first time they will be away from their children, at least for an extended period of time. Good news: many colleges anticipate this and plan an event dubbed Parents’ Weekend– families can reunite on campus and take part in a wealth of activities. If you can’t make it for the festivities or simply cannot wait an entire month to see your child, don’t show up unannounced. Discuss with your child if and when their class schedule would permit a short visit and be mindful not to overstay your welcome.

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Last Reviewed: November 2019