Though going to college in a different state isn't anything new, The Washington Post reported that prominent schools across the U.S. are putting more focus on this student population. In 2014, federal data indicated that 43 out of the 50 colleges known as "state flagships" enrolled fewer in-state freshman that in the 10 years prior. Meanwhile, data provided by College Xpress shows several schools across the U.S. have percentages of out-of-state students as high as 30 and 40 percent.
This shift means more kids are moving farther from home to pursue their degree, and families need to take steps to ensure as smooth a moving experience as possible. Here are four tips for any interstate move you and your family should study up on:
1. Look ahead
Moving out of state is a big deal, with plenty of driving and opportunities for something to go sideways. That's why it's so important for college students and their families to lay out a master plan. That should include dates and times to leave and travel, maps for everyone to reference, a list of all belongings, and contact information. If everyone's on the same page, there is less chance for issues when you're on the road.
2. Bring the essentials
College is the first time many young people are living on their own. This might cause them to overpack, but it's important they bring only the essentials. Not only because dorms often have limited space, but because it's less for the family to move. The most important items for first-year college students include:
- Mattress pad
- Bowls and plates
- Sturdy utensils
- Can opener
- Measuring spoons
- Desk lamp
- Laptop computer
- Dry erase board
3. Never forget!
Sometimes in the moving process, important steps go by the wayside. One that happens all too frequently is students forgetting to bring personal documents. When you're in a completely different state, it's a good idea to ensure you have a state ID, health insurance card and a copy of your birth certificate or social security card. That way, you won't have to rely on your parents in case of an emergency. Similarly, many students forget to contact their future roommates. Not only is this a way to ensure you don't bring duplicate items, but it's a chance to get to know someone you'll be spending heaps of time with.
4. Plan efficiently
As mentioned above, dorm rooms are small, and you won't be able to make a trip down the street if you forget something at home. It's important to remember a few handy tips when packing up for college. For instance, use boxes to move larger or heavier items like books. You can also cut down on space by putting small items into larger objects. If you don't have enough packing materials, you can substitute linens or towels. Speaking of plastic wrap, it's the easiest and most effective option for securing your belongings.
For many college students, the end of their first year means it's time for another move, this one into an off-campus apartment or home. If you have similar plans in mind, you can always rely on Atlas Van Lines Agents. With years of experience, Atlas can help plan your move and make your first apartment your very own.