Parent to Parent
UI parents share their advice for move-in day and the big good-bye
Moving a child to college is a big transition for everyone. To help ease what’s sure to a busy and emotional day, we asked a few parents who experienced move-in last fall to offer words of wisdom to the parents of this year’s incoming class. Here is what they had to say:
"Based on our experiences moving three children in and out of college dorms and apartments, perhaps the best thing I can tell parents is something they already know:
As we raise our children, we hope we have taught them the means by which to stand on their own two feet. Have patience and let it happen. There will be frustrations with roommates. There will be homesickness. There will be classes that frustrate the most gifted student. Let your students stumble, fall, and figure out how to get back up again.
The point of all those difficulties is that our children learn how to function in real life. Give your children room to make mistakes and room to figure out how to fix them. Empower them to solve their own problems, and support their efforts. Don’t step into the fray unless your child has attempted all other avenues to resolution and can support those claims. Even then, remember the best lessons in life are those we’ve learned from our own mistakes."
Cindy Fishburn, Freeport Ill.,
'When packing, be organized. Large totes are a great way to transport items.
Be prepared for some delays when arriving at your child’s residence hall. The move-in crews do a great job, but cannot control the volume of students arriving at any particular time—or the amount of items they are transporting.
We have done the process of move-in with and without a designated move-in crew. The university has made this process so much easier by providing this assistance! Be appreciative of the staff assisting you."
Sue Connell, DeWitt, Iowa,
"The good-bye is always hard. We have sent four children to college. Jack was the last. It never gets easier.
I suggest trying to avoid saying good-bye in their rooms. It was fortunate that our son had a couple of friends that went away that year too, so we were able to say good-bye after a nice dinner, and drop him at his friend’s residence hall. It seemed to lessen the intensity, make it less dramatic. It’s hard on both ends, and I think if you can avoid leaving them in this strange new building alone, it lightens it for everyone.
Scheduling a future visit before you leave also is a
Peggy Horvath, Roselle, Ill.,
The Office of Admissions offers advice for parents of first-year students at admissions.uiowa.edu/parents-family/tips-making-transition