Here is what I learned yesterday:
1. The same kids who can't be bothered to take their dirty dishes to the sink at home, will jump up from the lounge couches and rush to unload your car. With a smile and what seems like boundless energy.
2. Pack a cooler. That quick run you thought you'd make upon arrival is not going to happen.
3. Wear comfortable shoes. There is a lot of line waiting for first timers. And there's a lot of walking, too.
4. Make copies of everything and take them with you. Two copies - leave one at home for your files and take one along just in case they haven't received the one you mailed and insist you fill out the information again. And irritate you because they insist you fill it out completely when you don't have the facts with you and don't seem to hear you when you say you mailed it.
5. Re-read the school's immunization policy and get the shots done a few months before. Because no matter how prepared you think you are, you might miss one and then have to wait in another line, and then finally reach the end and find out you were supposed to pay first and now you have to go back to the desk, pay, and get in line again. Mail the health form to the school at least a month before so you can skip that line, but take your copy along just in case.
6. Be prepared for your college kid to become cranky and irritable at some point. Whether it's because she didn't think she had a roomie and upon re-arrival in her room discovers that, in fact, she does have a roommate and that the roommate has four times as much stuff, and has claimed the closet and the desk you wanted. Do not take this crankiness personally.
7. She does not want your help to set up her room. The only thing she needs from you is your skills at hanging cork boards and white boards and pictures.
8. Don't cry when she texts you to tell you she's kind of lonely.
It was a long day. A long, tiring day. The dorm does have air conditioning, which is good. Her room is the smallest one in the building, which was fine when she was alone, but now that she has the uber-stuff roomie, they might be moving to a bigger room today or tomorrow - a bigger, cheaper room. And she likes her roommate. The "kind of lonely" text turned into hanging out with her RA's until midnight and laughing so much she barely has a voice.
This is definitely a learning experience for all of us.
...and that is all for now...