Vanessa Thompson and friend during Freshmen Move In at Michigan State, 2003.

I have been to my share of on-campus move in days: as a resident, as student staff, and as professional staff! Though it may be extremely stressful, there are some things that you can do to help make the day run a little more smoothly.

Know your time. If you are a freshmen, you may come at a different time and day as an upperclassmen. Be mindful and respectful of that. If you come before your time, it could throw the Housing staff completely off. The schedule is there to have things run as smoothly as possible.

Know where to park. Parking can be the biggest hassle during move in day. Make sure that you and your family know where you can park and for how long.
Know what you get. Make sure you understand what comes basic in your room. If you have an apartment-style residence hall, then you don’t need to bring a refrigerator. Also, check to see if you live in community-style or suite-style apartment; both can definitely impact how close the toilet and shower are to you!


Know what to bring. This goes a little bit beyond talking to your roommates before move in day. You may have gotten a letter that says what you can and cannot bring. Candles, decorative swords, and George Foreman grills are just some of things that are considered banned. It is also important to know the watt limit, so you don’t bring something that can cause an electric surge.

Know what you signed up for. Some schools may have lifestyle choices, like alcohol-free and quiet floors. Those floors have tighter guidelines and not following them could result in you moving out. As an NSCS member, you may have the opportunity to live on an Honors floor – check out those opportunities and see if they are right for you!

Know the Housing Guidelines. This document is like the rules at the playground. It is what the Housing staff is going to hold you accountable for. Also Housing policies, like switching rooms, etc., will be included in there. There should be a copy in your room when you move in; I would also check to see if it’s online.

Last but not least, Know Your NSCS Chapter. During Move In and Welcome Week, there are tons of amazing events to attend. Check to see what NSCS is doing on campus!

Hopefully these tips will help your move-in on campus run a bit smoother! When in doubt, always call or email your school’s Housing office.


VaNessa Thompson is a graduate student at Lawrence Technological University majoring in Technical and Professional Communication.  She graduated with a BA in Communication from Michigan State University where she was a NSCS member.  Also at Michigan State, she was an RA for 3.5 years.  Currently, she is one of NSCS’s Social Media Ambassadors (tweets, posts, and everything in between) as well as an employee for LTU’s University Housing.  She hopes to get her PhD in Communication and become a professor.