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Moving into College Sophomore Year

Mother's Take / Daughter's Take

Dropping off a sophomore at college is definitely different than dropping her off a freshman. There is no big parent event and your child does not need you to stay. If you are lucky, she may want you to stay a bit longer though.

Having one year under her belt, she did all her own packing. She didn’t need mom to help. She knew what she needed and what to bring. However, that did not mean that she didn’t forget a few things still.

Moving to college this year was different than last year in most ways, but similar in some. I spent a few days before my move-in day packing, and I was able to make a really comprehensive list of things that I needed after experiencing what it is like to live in the dorms last year.

The process of moving in can be a challenge. You are sharing a small space usually with another student, and both roommates are moving a ton of things into that small space at the same time. Add in parents and possibly other siblings and you have barely any space to unpack. I spent my time trying to get things out of suitcases and boxes to just get the big items out of the room and clear space for organizing. However, this stressed out my daughter as she really wanted to do it all herself. I think it works best if you can get your son or daughter to be the “foreman” per se...and direct those in the room to the places where things are put. They can rearrange later and make it perfect later.

The actual process of moving in sort of stresses me out. When I unpack, I like to put things where they go. I generally organize and unpack at the same time. My mom doesn’t do it like that. She just wanted to get everything out of my suitcases and put it wherever so that I could move it around and organize it later. Having my stuff taken out and placed throughout the room randomly generally results in me having a hard time finding things, but it isn’t the end of the world I guess.

I was able to move in at the same time as my roommate this year, which was nice because we were able to work together to move the furniture around and put the room in an arrangement that we both agreed on and liked. Now that I’ve been here for a week, I’ve totally organized and decorated my room. and I LOVE it! The decorating of my room is definitely one of my favorite parts of the year (very type-A, I know).

As for COVID, moving a child into college in the fall of 2021 was much different and much less stressful than moving into college in the fall of 2020. Move-in times were staggered to allow for social distancing, and we were not allowed to be in the room with her roommate or her roommate’s parents. We also were not allowed to go into any buildings after the first day and this stayed the case all year! It was tough not meeting her roommate or really seeing much of her new home away from home, but we were glad that she was one of the lucky ones to be on campus.

This year, social distancing is basically no more on campus. We have to wear masks when we are indoors, but we don’t have to wear them outside or inside any of the actual dorm rooms. The dining hall is back to normal for the most part, too. The tables are all back to full capacity, all areas are open again, and the food is served buffet-style, we get to grab our own food this year! I definitely prefer this because I get to customize what I grab and decide on my own portions rather than just taking what they give me like last year.

In 2021, masks are still worn indoors but social distancing practices have eased up. We were able to meet other students, go into the buildings, and act normally. The kids are allowed to hang out in each other’s dorm rooms like normal. It felt much better leaving her there knowing that she will (hopefully) have more of a normal college experience.

I’ve been really busy with dorm responsibilities this week but moving in already feels much more exciting than last year. This year is going to be full of fun activities, and I am pumped.

The first few weeks of adjusting to life with my kids in college are hard, but with texting and weekly calls, it doesn’t have to feel so lonely and weird. I am sure that they are just fine. But, if any college kid is reading this -- Call Your Mom!

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