Monday, March 31, 2014

Moving out of college, permanently!

Senior year, graduation....moving away from college!
There's a lot talked about and written about when it comes to graduation from college, but not a lot about moving from college permanently. Here's how it seems to go: The same issues are present and arguably more exaggerated as previous years: papers, finals, lots of partying, no sleep and deadlines to be out of your living space. Now add in emotion. Goodbyes are tough and they tend to take time. The colleges have this down to a science, but from a parent's vantage point, it's a whirlwind!
All of the graduation pomp and circumstance, the receptions, the celebratory meals, the nice clothes, the cap and gown...and nine times out of ten, the kids have to be out of their dorm rooms, graduation day!
Our last graduation went like this: all of the above happening; our son was high five-ing his friends, talking to everyone as we slowly walked across campus and suddenly, he looks at his cell phone, checks the time and "S@#t! I have to be out of my dorm by 5!" It was 3:30 and not a box or bag was packed. (Note, some schools accrue an hourly fine to help get those kids moved out in time.) Everyone switched into high gear. Of course, these kids completely under estimate just how much stuff they have accumulated over the years and just how long it takes to get the stuff moved out and packed up. (In our case, the grandparents' giant Town and Country wood paneled station wagon and a Subaru Legacy sedan. Keep in mind that people had to be transported as well, so there wasn't the ability to just jam stuff in from floor to ceiling.) It was nuts. Of course the outside temperature is soaring, everyone is totally pitted out and we all are wearing our "Sunday best."
Some takeaways from this insanity:
(With any luck, you as the parent are NOT involved in this phase. You've told your college grad that you'll meet them somewhere in a couple of hours and let them deal, but no such luck for us, foolishly, we got sucked in.)
Comfortable shoes to change into.
Ideally, a change of clothes (certainly for Dad and the brothers, sexist, you betchya!) Most likely there's a long drive ahead of you, or dinner at a restaurant or a plane to catch, so this change of clothes is simply because of the physical labor involved in moving all of the stuff out of the dorms.
-What's always surprising is the overlap in stories I hear from other parents about their kids' move out.-
As I stated in my last post, being the last one to leave the dorm/apartment is the worst. And when it's graduation, it's even worse. It's not likely they'll be seeing that roommate any time soon to give them whatever they left behind and sending it can get really expensive.
Now some of this stuff may horrify some of you and for those of you that have been through this, chime in please! You may hear a roommate say, "well, I'm all set, I've got everything, gotta go! If you find anything of mine, either keep it, give it away or throw it out. I don't care." Handshake / hug goodbye. Quick and dirty. Heed this as a warning!
Your kid goes back into the room/apartment and there is a ton of stuff they've left behind. Not only does your son or daughter have to take care of all of their stuff, suddenly there's the addition of their roommates', which of course involves more time and trips to the dumpster. You can NOT believe the stuff these kids throw away, perfectly good stuff....couches, mattresses, tables, chairs, electronics, clothing,'s frightening!
Now some good news I've heard, is some of these college grads are more organized and have yard sales and sell this stuff. Or they contact the upcoming seniors that will be moving into the space the following fall asking them if they're interested in anything: first attempting to sell it to them, and then if that doesn't work out, they'll just "give it to them." Now that's not always ideal, if you're the upcoming student moving in, so if you have an upcoming senior and they don't want the bed, bureau, whatever, they really need to spell that out to the grad that they want THEM to move the stuff out, they have NO interest in having the stuff be there in the fall when they move in, because suddenly THEY have to deal with it. Huge pain in the neck.
Another interesting idea: You've graduated and you don't yet have a plan. You pack up your car, you store it in a reliable / safe, secure location (ie., a nearby friend's driveway) and you head home with your family. You spend the next several days/week recuperating, making a plan and then you go back, pick up your car and your stuff and with luck, you move it to your new location/job. Why drive and move everything home if you may be moving elsewhere very soon,especially if it's to another state or on a different coast.
Before I left for their graduations, I made room for some of their stuff, but I must confess, I underestimated the amount accumulated and I also didn't realize how long their stuff stays in your home... Maybe someday they'll move into a home of their own where they'll want their stuff?!? Hahaha...why do I think that could be YEARS away???

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