I wrote about Simon’s journey to College – here is the link: Life in the States – He is Off to College! I also did a separate post on how we prepared for Operation Move-In (OMI) – here is that link: Preparing for College Move In Day
Now, I’m sure you want to know how the actual move-in day went, so read on!
Travelling to College
Simon’s move in timeslot was scheduled for 12:05pm on Saturday and we decided to leave a day earlier on Friday. Since everything was nicely packed and ready in the foyer, it was fairly quick and easy to load the vehicles and get on the road.
We only stopped once on the way and besides getting caught in some really heavy rain the last 30 minutes or so, made good time to Statesboro. The first order of business was to check into our hotel. Now, I will admit, while looking perfectly fine online, our hotel ended up being not the best when seen in person. While I did book about 2 weeks ahead of time, options were already limited. This is one of the busiest weekends of the year and places fill up quickly. While our hotel was very close to campus, it just wasn’t the greatest. But, it gave us a place to sleep and shower and with no other options, we settled in.
We unpacked some of our items – didn’t seem like a good idea to leave the valuables in our cars – and headed out for a drive around campus and also to grab some dinner. You could see students everywhere. Everyone looked very friendly and excited to be there and it was easy to see why Simon picked GSU. We didn’t stay out too late and went to bed much earlier than we would normally do on a Friday night. Might as well get some rest before our big day!
Getting Started on Move-In Day
You can’t move in on an empty stomach, so after a lazy morning in our hotel room, we headed out for a late breakfast/lunch. It was my turn to pick, and we headed into town and to the Sugar Magnolia Bakery & Cafe. A hidden gem in my opinion. Simon and Pieter each ordered Breakfast Waffle Sandwiches – a sandwich made with a thick waffle, filled with bacon, ham & scrambled eggs. With whipped cream and syrup on the side, of course. The mimosas looked good, but I stuck with coffee and an English Muffin with Eggs on the side. If you are ever in the area, go check them out! I will definitely stop by again and this time, I will have a mimosa!
After breakfast, we headed back to campus and the football stadium to get Simon’s room key and some paperwork. So well organized! Officers were out directing traffic and the roads had plenty of signs guiding you. There were separate lines for each residence hall and we quickly drove through, handed in our identification printout and got his key. I hope they keep this “new” way of checking in since everyone stayed in their cars and could social distance instead of lining up in person as they did pre-COVID.
At the Residence Hall
From here, we just had to follow the road signs for Kennedy Hall. We were greeted with more organization in the parking lot. Students and faculty members were directing cars into parking spots, where other students were waiting with carts to help collect all Simon’s belongings. After unloading everything, Pieter parked the car while Simon and I followed our helpers to his new room.
Apartment doors were already marked with student names, and inside was another sign to show which room he was in. We arrived a couple of minutes before Simon’s roommate, so quickly started with his bed and unpacked some of the odds and ends.
Since I am short aka vertically challenged, and the bed is raised, Pieter and Simon both had to help get the sheets on the bed and the bedding in place. The odds and ends included bathroom and kitchen items, so I unpacked those while Pieter and Simon started setting up his computer. It soon became apparent that we needed a longer ethernet cable, so it went on our shopping list for later.
Remember the special box I packed for OMI? Well, we watched as Simon opened it and he was so happy about all his South African snacks and treats! He even looked happy about the picture frame – the one with me, Pieter and Sidney – and immediately found a spot to display it. Who knows how long it will stay there though, haha.
Roomies and Campus
Soon Will and his mom arrived and also started unpacking all of his belongings. Simon walked back to their car with Will to grab more items and I helped unpack some of his clothes. By the time they came back, we were mostly done and decided to walk to campus to look around and see some of the buildings where Simon will be attending classes. It also gave Will and his mom some time to get settled in the room.
It’s not a far walk, but the heat and humidity Saturday made it a bit of a tough walk. We took some pictures while walking down the treelined central path and ended up in the Russel Union Building for some cold drinks and much-needed air-conditioning! We stayed awhile and then ventured back out and past the University Store and Dining Commons. This is where Simon will be spending his meal plan credits.
We got back to Simon’s room just as Will and his mom returned from a shopping trip. They also brought back a longer ethernet cable, and we could complete the computer setup and see if everything worked as it should. It was at this point that we realized a) we did not pack a special connector that was needed between the computer monitor and the pc, and b) one of the internet wall jacks weren’t working. We needed to go shopping.
Walmart seemed the most logical option if you needed computer parts and groceries, but by this time we heard that it was crazy busy with other students and families picking up their last-minute items. Without other options, we headed over anyway and were not disappointed with the level of activity. I’ve only seen other Walmarts this busy on Black Fridays, which use to be a popular shopping activity when we moved to the USA 10 years ago…
We divided shopping responsibilities and I grabbed groceries while the other two got the computer parts. All in all, it wasn’t too bad inside the store, but a lot of shelves with obvious student items were pretty bare. We got what we came for (and some additional items) and headed to check out and back to the residence hall.
The Final Push
While the monitor connector did the trick, we still couldn’t get Simon’s computer connected to the college network. Pieter and Simon tried for a while, but it was getting late and we wanted to have dinner together before Will’s mom had to drive back to Atlanta. So getting internet figured out became Simon’s responsibility for the next day, and we all left to grab some pizza.
It was great to sit down and relax after a very active (and warm) day and it was easy to tell that both Simon and Will were really excited about their new college adventure. We stayed as long as we could but did realize that it was time to say our goodbyes and give our students some space. Nothing like goodbye hugs in the Mellow Mushroom parking lot! Pretty sure we are not the first families to do this and definitely won’t be the last.
Back at the hotel room, it just didn’t make sense to stay another night. The move-in paperwork included a schedule of student activities on Sunday, so Simon and Will would have plenty of things to do and see on their own. We grabbed our luggage, checked out and headed back to Simon’s residence hall for a forgotten phone charger drop off, before settling in for the drive back home.
We now have a successful college move-in experience behind us and there is a bright college future ahead for Simon. Now it is time to adjust to this new dynamic at home until Sidney can spread her wings and leave the nest.
Next OMI in T minus 12 months! Can time slow down a bit now?