5 Tips for Your First College Move-In Day

by Ashley Eneriz

College move-in day is finally here, and while you might not feel completely ready, this is one of the most exciting times of freshman year. Remember: most other students feel exactly as you do, so think of move-in day as an opportunity to connect with people who are in the same boat. Snap a few move-in selfies to remember the occasion and lean on these five tips to help ensure smooth sailing.

1. Pack a Support Bag

You’ve already packed all your essentials, but keeping one bag on hand to help support your needs while you run around on move-in day can save you a lot of stress. There’s nothing more frustrating than having to dig through your moving boxes to find what you need, so include anything you might want easy access to on your first day. This might include:

  • A notebook or folder with important information
  • A campus map (try taping it on the cover of your notebook)
  • Snacks and drinks
  • Cleaning wipes
  • A doorstop
  • Basic tools and approved adhesives (for decorating your room)
  • Over-the-counter pain or allergy medicine

2. Say Your Goodbyes before Move-In Day

Moving into your new dorm can be physically straining, which can make saying goodbye to your loved ones more emotionally draining. Set aside a few hours to spend with your family and friends before move-in day to say your goodbyes. If you’re going to college near home, plan a family dinner a few days after move-in day so you have something to look forward to if you’re feeling homesick.

Scheduling a weekly video or phone call is another great way to check in and connect with your loved ones while still allowing space to make new friends.

3. Provide Conversation Starters

If your roommate is willing, attach a small whiteboard to your door with three facts about you (e.g., “loves sushi, chem major, has too many shoes”). Consider taping up a photo of yourself as well. You’ll be in and out of your room on move-in day, so this can help establish a connection with your neighbors before you get to meet them in person. The visual cue will help them remember you, and your fun facts will provide them with easy conversation starters. Invite your roommate to add their information, too.

4. Introduce Yourself

Most freshmen feel the same way on move-in day: overwhelmed by the amount of stuff they brought and overcome by the new-student jitters. Knocking on your neighbor’s door to introduce yourself is not only acceptable but encouraged. Don’t feel like you need to prepare a monologue—simply letting your neighbors know your name and where you’re from can be a good starting point. Remember, you’re all in this together.

5. Get to Know the Campus

You should have a few days to explore and enjoy your new home before classes start. Even if you’ve already attended a campus tour, exploring the campus by yourself or with your roommate can help your new stomping grounds feel more like home. This is a great opportunity to check out the on-campus coffee shop and library.

Make sure you know where each of your classes are and do a practice run before your first day of freshmen year. Check the university calendar for any upcoming events or workshops so you can plug into campus life.

Settling into Your New Home

As you embark on your first college move-in day, remember to embrace the excitement of meeting new people and exploring your new home. Azusa Pacific University’s Welcome Weekend is designed to make your college move-in day experience fun and stress-free so you can feel confident and comfortable in your new space.