Even if it's not officially marked, Move-In is one of the biggest days on the calendar, for your family, your students, and the staff of Student Life alike. If you've done it before, you've had a glimpse of just how much happens over a few days, as the streets of Ann Arbor fill with students, parents, and beanbag chairs, crisscrossing town. If this year will be your first, you're probably deep into planning and wondering if there are any tricks.
Well, there are! And even the most seasoned parent can use some of our expert advice, especially this year when a few things about Move-In are changing. Here are our top five tips for making your Move-In as smooth as possible.
1. Stick to your time slot
If your incoming first-year student has already received their assignment email, they were invited to select a specific date and time window for moving in from available time slots on Thursday, August 28 and Friday, August 29. If your student is returning, they also have the chance to sign up for a timeslot. (It's not too late for your student to sign up for a time slot if he or she hasn't already: your student can view their information here).
Keeping to the timeslot helps us make sure we've got enough spaces for your car, as well as enough volunteers to help you when you arrive. It also helps to keep the lines a little shorter than they would be otherwise.
If your student is part of a program (such as ROTC or Marching Band) that requires them to be on campus earlier, check with that program for details.
2. Check in ahead of time
A lot of time and hassle can be saved by getting a few ducks in a row first, and you can do it all easily online. First, there's the Pre-Check-In form. With all that info already filled in with your student before you arrive, the staff at your building’s Community Center can turn over a room key quickly.
And if you're driving, your student needs to download and print out an unloading permit. Stick in the windshield of your car. It notifies our officers that you're ready to be directed to an unloading space. If your student has selected a timeslot (and we recommend it!), then the time will be right there on the permit. You can also download and print campus move-in maps, with the best routes marked.
Note: while we know a student's family is closely involved with the logistics of move-in, things like housing assignments, pre-check-in forms, and unloading permits all require your student to log in with their U-M credentials.
3. Keep that car moving
As far as vehicles go, think of move-in as three steps: first, pull up to your building for unloading. Budget only about 30 minutes for this, as all you really need to do is get things out of your car. Next, we’ll direct you to temporary parking, usually a couple of blocks away, where your car can hang out for about three hours, while you head back to the room for proper unpacking and decorating. Once the unpacking is done, you will want to take your car again and put it into a more permanent parking — there are lots all around the city, and it might make sense to hop on a bus back to campus or downtown for dinner.
4. Ask for help
If you arrive on our official move-in days on Thursday or Friday, your car will be surrounded by Move-In Makers, our teams of student volunteers ready to carry, tote, hoist, and roll anything out of your car right up to the room. Best of all, Move-In Makers have wheeled blue bins, which you fill up and roll into elevators and down to your room. So if you need some help — don’t be shy! The Move-In Makers are the ones in the bright blue Welcome To Michigan shirts.
5. Get live updates
The University of Michigan will be sending out live updates of all the move-in action, using the hashtag #moveinhome. Traffic information, brilliant ideas, last minute tips — as soon as we get it, we’ll send it out. And we’d love it if shared your move-in photos with us!
One last bit of wisdom: we know you can do this! In fact, with ten thousand undergrads living on campus, that means in the last five years alone we’ve seen fifty thousand move-ins. So we’re sure that when it comes around to your turn, you’ll do great. Remember, we'll be there to help.
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