Move-in week can be both an exciting and stressful experience for freshmen Cougars and their families. It’s hot, boxes are heavy, the halls are crowded, and then there are the emotions connected with leaving home for the first time. Thankfully, many parents have experienced this and are happy to share advice to help make the move smoother. Here, Cougar families share their tips for making the transition into a residence hall.

1. Write your student’s name and room number, in large letters, on everything. Boxes and bins start to look the same with everyone moving in all at once.

2. Remove items from the original box or plastic wrapping before packing for the trip. This makes the move-in go faster with a lot loss trash to deal with.

3. A small tool kit can be a life-saver when it comes to installing shelves, assembling furniture and hanging decorations around the room.

move_in24. Space bags and suitcases work well.  Rolling suitcases make it easier to get things to the room, and the empties can be taken back home.

5. A rolling handcart or dolly can make the move into residence halls easier. As one thankful parent noted, “It was worth every penny of its $50!!”

6. Work as a team — either two or three people. Designate one person to drive while the student goes to get their key. When moving items to the room, designate one person to stay with the boxes and belongings on the curb.

7.  Think about leaving a first aid kit for your student. From one parent, “My kid laughed at me because I made up a small plastic box filled with band-aids, antiseptic, antibiotic ointment, Tylenol, cough drops, sinus/cold meds, Tums, etc. etc…all in travel size packages. She stopped laughing when she caught her first cold/flu and it was all right there, in her room, close at hand saving her from a walk to CVS for a shopping trip while running a fever!”

8. Plan for rain. Charleston weather can be unpredictable. Think about investing in a pair of rain boots for your student.

9. Plan for heat. Charleston summers are steamy — stay hydrated.

10. And one last piece of advice from Janice Allen, mother of a 2014 CofC graduate son and 2016 CofC graduate daughter: Savor  this moment.

“In 2012, I dropped off an 18 year old girl that I was not sure was going to make it. She was not sure she was going to make it! There were some bumps in the road along the way. but in two weeks, I will be picking a 22 year old mature, responsible, compassionate, adventurous young woman up from the airport after a 2 month post graduation internship in Taiwan. The transition has been amazing. Best of luck to you all. It really goes by quickly.”

Read more great advice from the College’s residence life experts.