Confessions of a ResLife Spouse: Freshmen Move-in Day edition
Today the Freshmen move in. This once quiet building will be filled with first-time college students from all backgrounds, experiences and walks of life. Some will come with way too much stuff – like pick-up truck too much or small Uhaul too much. Little do they know how much space they do NOT have in these rooms. Others will come with only the essentials, not nearly enough, and parents will therefore make a million trips to Wal-mart (which will be swarmed by the way).
Oh the parents. I really feel for them on this day. Seriously I couldn’t do it and I don’t even have children. I think at many other colleges the vibe may be different. Maybe the parent’s can’t wait for the teen to be out of the house. But the vibe is so different at a place like JBU. This good-bye is hard for parent and child. Parents have a hard time leaving their children behind. It doesn’t matter if this is your 1st, 2nd or 3rd. Each one is unique and these parents leave a piece of their heart on this campus. Don’t worry parents. You are leaving them in good hands.
Move-in day causes mixed emotions for the student as well. You are starting the next chapter in life and a very exciting one. You are finally starting out on your own. But its scary to not know anyone, to completely start over. And its lonely, especially once you say good-bye to your parents and you are really on your own. I remember gearing up for my good-bye with Mom and Dad my Freshmen year. I had seen this done with my sister and it was a bit traumatizing (that’s another post for another time). So I wanted no tears or sadness. Just a quick and easy see-you-later. Let’s just stay strong. But it didn’t work. Not for 2 seconds. It was horribly sad and I cried for days (full disclosure: I lived an hour away). Needless to say I will be avoiding all good-byes between parents and children today. I don’t need to be the creeper wife watching and weeping in the corner.
But I think there are lessons here all around. Parents: be excited and encouraging to your child. Tell them they can’t come home until Fall Break because they need to stay and make friends and be involved. Going home every weekend is the easy way out. My Mom made this deal with me and I’m so glad she did. I would have been home every weekend if I could have been. But instead I stayed until mid-October and by then, I had great friends and connections. I am convinced that if a student goes home the first two weekends of school, the less involved they will be. And to students: seriously?! Just call your moms. That’s all they want. To know your alive. It doesn’t have to be everyday. Even just once every week or two. You will make their life. Also its ok to be homesick and to miss your family. That means you have something back home that you care enough about TO miss. Not everyone has that. Talk to someone about your homesickness – I guarantee you are not the only one.
I’m excited to have each of these new faces on campus. There are lots of good people who have worked diligently to make this happen and are now here to welcome you into our community. You bring such life, joy, and laughter to our empty halls. Here’s to the class of 2017!
Now let’s see how many questions I get today that I CAN’T answer. I just live here people!