I counted down the days from when I committed to the University of Iowa in Spring to move in day: August 20tth. On August 20th, I would be moving four hours away from my town in Northern Illinois to Iowa City to start a new chapter in my life. I worked my summer job, day in and day out, knowing that each day I was one step closer to saying goodbye to my friends and family for the school year. (I was bound to come back for Thanksgiving and Christmas).
It never really completely hit me how much my life was going to change in just a few short days. It would hit me in little doses: shopping in bulk for dorm-friendly foods at Sam’s Club with my mom, and driving away from the houses of my best friends for the last time for a couple weeks. Those are the moments where a tear would be let loose. I didn’t really cry until I hugged my mom the morning of move in. She was unable to accompany me due to work obligations so my dad would be taking me. Our first hug was fine. She wished me luck and to not get into trouble. The second hug before I jumped into the car was the worst. We hugged tightly and cried.
Fact: it’s completely okay to cry on move in day. In fact, I encourage it. It helps get out all those nerves and lets you know that you and your parents are on the same page: you’re growing up.
My nerves and feelings of anxiety stayed with me for the first hour of my drive to Iowa City. I had a fun playlist going; summer hits from Iggy Azalea and Beyoncé, and thought ahead to the future that awaited me.
Ninety degree weather was predicted for Welcome Weekend. And for what a relatively not hot summer this was, it seemed extremely welcomed. I was wrong. Iowa City was humid, a million times more humid than the current weather at home, and I had to make it to the fifth floor of Burge Hall. Thankfully, I wasn’t doing move in alone. On Iowa! Staff, Resident Assistants, and miscellaneous staff are on hand to help move in to all residence halls. They helped streamline the process and helped my dad and I unpack the car in two trips.
Fact: Over-packing will happen. Try to be aware of what you need and don’t need so your parents will be able to take some stuff back home. If you end up needing something you sent home, your parents can mail it to you or you can pick it up when you visit home again.
Sweat is everywhere. The humidity is beating down on everyone and their mothers alike and it doesn’t help the move in process. Burge luckily has a bigger elevator than say Mayflower so all the sweat isn’t quite as crammed in together. It’s nothing to complain about as everyone is glistening and still excited about Iowa.
The glory part of move in is after all your parents leave, your eyes are dry from all your tears, your room is unpacked, and all the hustle and bustle of move in has settled for the day: You have so much freedom. The end of that first day signals the beginning of your transition into official young adulthood. You are free to make all your own decisions: whether they be good or bad, and to learn from your mistakes. College, and especially at the University of Iowa, is an opportunity all in its own. Embrace everything that comes to you during your time here.
And don’t forget your toothbrush.