Whether it's parting ways with friends and family, the anxiety that comes with a new school and new environment, or even simple uncertainties about where the bathroom is, first-year move-in day is a momentous event for everyone involved.
As a first-year, the mix of emotions bounces from fear of the unknown, to excitement about the possibilities of college. The mind is barraged with thoughts of meeting new people, going to parties and how mean those professors are going to be. It's chaotic to say the least, and that's not even considering the thousands of other students going through the same thing all around campus.
The next three years of move-ins will not look like this.
The sadness of leaving friends at home is replaced by the excitement of seeing friends in Oxford. The fear of the unknown is quashed by a year or more of experience.
The excitement of first-year dorm living far outshines the severely limiting square footage that will be called home for the next year. But the climax of first-year move-in comes with that last hug goodbye and the teary-eyed mothers leaving their babies to fend for themselves for the first time.
Move-in day for the next three years will be easier, faster and more enjoyable each time. And the ability to move in anytime, and with anyone, provides a far more relaxing experience.
Dorm life becomes desirable with the ability to select the best residence halls, and the opportunity for off campus living caters to those who prefer a little distance between work and home life. During their first-year, students acquire invaluable knowledge as to how things work on and off campus, selecting living options much more practical in their time to come.
After a year of Miami and Oxford, it is nice to know what comes with move-in weekend. Whether moving in takes a back seat to seeing friends and going Uptown, or the project of setting up the perfect living space is of the utmost importance, having the option to choose the layout of this time is a welcome luxury.
However, all these benefits that come with moving in for the second or more year create a sort of paradox of choice. Of course there are a lot of choices that come with physically moving into a place, but there is also the choice of how much time you're going to spend with your family before they leave.
It's a difficult spot to be in. Having waited all summer to get back to Oxford, it's natural to want to bang out move-in, and get to seeing friends. But for parents, it's the last time they're going to see their children for months.
If parents stay all day, the student won't be able to hang out with friends or go uptown. But if parents are asked to leave too early, students run the risk of feeling guilty about shooing their own parents away so they could go drink.
Either way, it's important to make sure parents know that they are loved and appreciated before sending them off. They did the same for you as a first-year, back when you didn't want them to leave.
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As first-years, it's not returning to Oxford, it's coming to Oxford. Freshmen don't have that safety net of friends and memories to fall back on, they don't have favorite places or favorite bars yet, all they have is their parents on move-in day to make themselves feel as comfortable as possible.
For first-years who already can't wait to move into houses or apartments; enjoy your dorm time for now and get to know campus, the next three years will provide ample time for independent living.
And for those who love their dorms; congratulations, being happy with your living situation is a huge bonus to the great year ahead.