The summer before your student leaves for college is a “rite of passage” whether they are your first or your tenth. Yes, it is possible to run out of Bed, Bath & Beyond coupons and temperaments will be tested in your household.
Alas, no one has published the book on “What to Expect 18 Years after Expecting” yet, however these are some tips that the George Mason Parent and Family Council suggest:
1. Stop doing your student’s laundry and waking them up – No one does it for them at Mason.
- If they do not currently do their laundry, teach them how to do it.
2. Your student is THE Mason contact. ALL communication goes through THEIR Mason email account. If they applied for housing, they have an account.
- You may need to remind them to check it.
3. The George Mason Family Association Facebook group is a GREAT Resource.
- Please use the “Search This Group” feature on the left side as most of your questions have already been asked and answered.
- The Photos section has a number of graphics; under the Albums Tab are many albums of each residence hall with dimensions and decorating ideas.
- ASK Your Questions – Everyone was a new Mason parent or family member once and had the same questions/concerns as you.
Freshman Move-In Day is Wednesday, August 21!
- It is Virginia and will be hot. Dress appropriately.
- There are lots of people moving in, so assume you will be walking up stairs.
- Mason does a great job at helping Freshman students move-in, but if you own a handcart, it is a great idea to bring it along.
- You will receive more specific details about Move-In Day as it gets closer.
Residence Hall Room Suggestions:
- Coordinate with roommate(s) on shared room items.
- Rug, curtains, microwave, fridge, Keurig, mirror, bowls/utensils
- If there is something you think your student needs/wants for their residence hall room AND you can afford it, BUY IT, but save the receipt to return if not needed.
- i.e. Loft bed supports, Command Strip shelves for closets, adjustable curtain rods
- Target and Walmart are within 6 miles of Mason’s Fairfax campus, but with NOVA (NOrthern VirginiA) traffic, it is a 20-25-minute drive.
- Shower shoes, shower caddy, bathrobe
- QUALITY mattress pad/linens – Your student’s bed is the central point of their room.
- Mattress toppers are a good investment and can be resold after your student moves out of their residence hall.
- You will need to purchase twin XL to fit residence hall beds.
- Power strips (2) – one for each outlet on their side of the room.
- There is no such thing as too many Command Strips.
- Curtain rod holders and closet shelves are available as well.
- Your student may appreciate a rain jacket/boots – sweatshirts are not waterproof.
- Label EVERYTHING with your student’s name and residence hall room information.
- Housing and Residence Life requires ANYTHING hung on the walls to be fire resistant (i.e. curtains, tapestries not including bed linens). The Resident Safety Program is a FREE service offered during Move-In Day to make items fire resistant among other things. Pack the items and send a parent or family member to have the process completed while the student is unpacking.
- “Ikea”-type zipper bags are optimal for packing. A number of companies offer them on Amazon. These are so much better than plastic tubs/cardboard boxes as they fold up for easy storage. Use masking tape/label to mark what is in each bag.
- Pack clothes on hangers and store in plastic garbage bags OR Dollar Store garment bags.
- If bringing “drawer containers” for under beds or nightstands, pack items in drawers and wrap drawers with plastic wrap to secure. You can use bubble wrap, plastic wrap or Walmart sells rolls. (one roll should last 4 years).
- Space saver bags are great for packing linens.
- When you are done unpacking, put ALL of your packing materials together in one bag and store away until it’s time for your student to move out at the end of the year.
- Door stops are a MUST. Residence hall room doors are heavy and slam shut.
- Send your student with the over-the-counter medication you use at home, but ‘explain’ how to use it.
Parent/Family Member Move-In Bag
We recommend a parent or family member be in charge of a bag that contains the following:
- Alcohol Wipes (to prep walls for command strips)
- Command Strips (This way you know where they are.)
- Clorox Wipes (to clean anything and everything)
- Doorstop (comes in packages of two, share with another room.)
- Mallet (to adjust bed frames, hammers will bend frames.)
- This is a frequently borrowed item, so be sure to label it with your name.
- Paper Towels
- Phone Charger
- Scissors/Masking Tape/Sharpie
- Tape Measure
- Trash bag(s) (big black ones)
- Cold water/soda (small cooler)
- Snacks (energy/break if frustration hits)
- And most importantly, a reassuring smile and patience.
Parent and Family Council
*To receive more articles like this straight to your inbox, sign up for the Mason Family Association at masonfamily.gmu.edu/mason-family-association.