Is Moving Ever Fun?

Stupidity is one of my pet peeves.

So is disorganization.

Imagine my “delight” at finding both — in plenteous amounts — this past week when I helped My Favorite Domer move back to Notre Dame.

I don’t mean to sound petty. Truly I don’t. But the “powers that be” have known for a long time that these kids (and their parents) would be descending on campus this week. They’ve had more than a century to get the “move in game” down pat.

Yet they still can’t seem to make it work.

Picture dozens of cars lined up single file in a parking lot “staging area.” Said cars are loaded to the roof with Junior’s stuff — guitars, TVs, clothes, refrigerators, plastic storage crates — or with Princess’s stuff — ginormous stuffed animals, clothes, tennis racquets, futons, shelving, area rugs. You get the idea.

Now picture a bunch of elderly volunteers, walkie-talkies in hand, trying to move these cars from the parking lot to the dorms in a semi-regulated way.

Now throw in a major campus construction project, just to make the ordeal more memorable.

That’s what we faced. And Domer got to move in early because of Band Camp, so we didn’t even have to face the tsunami of regular move-in.

Maybe we were the guinea pigs.

The day we moved, at least five different “ushers” gave us five different sets of instructions on where to go to unload Domer’s stuff. One said here; one said there. Finally, another suggested we drive up a gravel road closer to the dorm. As we were doing that, we noticed cars that had been behind us in the parking lot queue were now ahead of us; in fact, many had already unloaded and were driving off before we even got to my kid’s dorm!

How had that happened?

To sweeten the experience, another usher was on hand to remind us not to leave our car unattended, to unload right onto the grass, then move the car to a faraway lot, return on foot, and haul the stuff inside.

Up three flights of stairs.

Without air conditioning.

And only a freight elevator that’s on the temperamental side.

Did I mention it was HOT, too??

Still, the kids were great — greeting friends and parents alike, offering to help, stepping aside for those carrying precarious loads. They lofted furniture, started setting up TVs and laptops, even hung up their clothing.

In preparation for a new school term.

New classes. New friends. New memories to make.

Perhaps it’s a bit like giving birth — you don’t remember the pain of move-in day, in the wake of the clean slate which awaits.

But honestly, couldn’t someone have done a trial run in a golf cart beforehand??

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24 thoughts on “Is Moving Ever Fun?

    • It was very poignant, a fact we both acknowledged. This is his senior year, our last move-in day, and while we know there probably will come many move-in days in his future, there won’t be more undergrad ones. Sniff, sniff!

  1. Every time I see a moving truck in Chicago at the end of the month I am grateful I’m not the one moving and my friends are too old to move. Having said that my best friend is taking her daughter to college today and my way of helping is to keep her precious fur. . .when I saw that car I gasped. GASPED and closed my eyes and will not think about two years from now. WILL NOT.
    Moving day needs to be organized by moms who have learned to be in two places at one time, preferable a mom with 3 children, 4 years apart with at least one kid in college.
    Glad the good parts outweighed the bad. :-D

    • You’re wise to steel yourself against the day, two years from now, when you’ll be part of the moving pack! Surprising how many moms showed up in sun dresses and sandals — I’d have expected that at an SEC school, where fashion trumps comfort, but not at ND. Even a blind, one-armed monkey could have done a better job organizing this thing (though a mom practiced in taxiing kids to school and lessons and sports would work, as well)

  2. Oh my gosh, Debbie, this takes me back to my own moving in days as well as my children’s moving days with all the glitches,obstacles and frustrations=exhaustion!. Moving is never easy even under the best of cirmcumstances. I’m sure there was a bit of nostalgia (along with some relief) too about this being his senior year.

    • You’re so right, Kathy. It’s funny, but I don’t recall my own college moving-in days to be near as confusing — probably because I was the kid and unaccustomed to worry, ha! Of course, I didn’t have near the “stuff” these kids today have, either — wouldn’t it have been nice having a computer instead of a typewriter (oops, guess I’m aging myself there!)

  3. My daughter’s first move in day last fall went pretty well. But it was HOT! Like sweat running down my back hot. She’s heading to a new school this year. We’ll see if the experience is any better or worse! I keep hearing stories from other parents of college kids and none of them are great!

    • I’m glad to know I’m not the only one suffering with this, Terri. I think some colleges could do a lot more to make this easier on everybody. We all know and expect that moving is difficult, especially when you’ve got about a million emotions running through you. And the physical exertion isn’t exactly easy either. Still, before they undertake extensive construction projects, somebody should have done a run-through to make sure loaded up cars could get where they needed to be. Hope your move-in day turns out easier and that Kacey loves her new “home”!

  4. I feel your pain, Debbie. When my daughter went off to school freshman year, I helped her with the move-in. Why is it that these dorms don’t have elevators–and she was on the 3rd floor. Well, needless to say, I haven’t helped her since. She’s about to enter her senior year. ;)

    • This is Domer’s senior year as well, and despite the headaches associated with moving, I know I’ll miss it when Fall 2013 rolls around! I think dorms don’t have elevators because most of them (at ND, at least) were built decades ago, when kids didn’t have as much stuff. And now, the administration wants to capitalize on today’s health kick (oh, and probably save renovation expenses, too!)

  5. This doesn’t sound fun. I went to the state university in town, and didn’t live on campus, so this will be totally foreign to me if my kids choose dorm life. It doesn’t sound fun, though. I’m thinking my boys need to make some muscular friends (who are willing to help move for a few slices of pizza) because I don’t think it’s for me. The chaos and crowds would likely send me into an anxiety attack. I’m glad you survived and that it’s the last year you have to do this…but I’m also sad it’s the last year (if that makes any sense!)

    • It absolutely does make sense, Janna — I’m feeling a bit conflicted, too. Domer chose not to have a car, or he’d have been hauling stuff alone (or bribing his friends with pizza!). In all seriousness, if your guys want to try dorm life, it can be fun — there’s a lot of camaraderie (at ND, at least), and the kids do tend to look out for each other, comfort each other, encourage each other, etc. Of course, ND doesn’t have fraternities or sororities, which is a whole ‘nuther ball game!

  6. I’m glad to see it isn’t just me thinking this. And I had the same thought, what circle of hell must this be for people who don’t get in early like we do?

    The worst part for me is some other parents. Move in is a hassle for us all, is being rude going to make things that much better for you?

    But welcome back to marching band season, the best part of the year!

    • Marching Band and football ARE the best part of the year! Domer’s Memory Books weigh heavy with “band-ing.” You’re right about moving in early, too; I’d hate being in the last wave to arrive (or maybe by then, the ushers have all the kinks ironed out??) The ones I feel sorriest for are the kids whose entire family shows up to help move — everybody from the tiniest sibling to grandparents. Hate to say it, but those folks are just in the way!

  7. Well, I’ve moved so much I don’t really think about it much. And after moving my mom three times, there are stories that might be pretty funny to read – except I’d rather just forget them.

    Actually, your description sounds pretty much like any trip to the DMV for a new driver’s license or any trip to any governmental office. Think of it as Life Skills 101 (no credit for practicum). I still remember the cold chills that ran up my spine when someone in the midst of hte Obamacare debate suggested the DMV offices could handle a lot of the paperwork for health care. Right. ;)

    • Thanks for weighing in, Linda. Moving rather feels like the tail wagging the dog — it’s the confusion that’s so maddening! Just when you should have it down pat (after three years!), somebody comes along and changes the method. Probably best to simply roll with the punches, but I had to vent instead!

    • Perhaps because the lion’s share of the work and worry was shouldered by our parents?? Things have changed, though. Kids today bring everything but the kitchen sink — they can’t afford to be without their “stuff,” even for a short few months!

  8. Lady, I’m like a kid in a candy shop! I don’t know whether to start reading the posts that I’ve missed front to back or back to front! It’s good to be back! I’m sorry you and Domer had to go through this. Why, oh why, do things like this happen? Three flights of stairs? Oh my! I’m out of breath reading about it! Thank goodness for the element of nostalgia! :)

    • It’s great having you back, my friend! I, too, took some time off and thought I’d never get caught up reading blogs and e-mail! It’s a sobering thought to realize that life does go on, even without our presence on the Web, isn’t it? I’m glad you had such a wonderful vacation, but I’m even more glad to have you back!

  9. Pingback: Thank You, My Friends! | Musings by an ND Domer's Mom

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