The Baylor University campus is already a buzz with anticipation. We can feel the energy and momentum building more each day. With August comes the start of a new school year and of course brand-new freshmen descending upon Waco to start their college journey. So here are some thoughts for the parents of those incoming freshmen as you sojourn to Waco with a car full of “stuff,” complex emotions and your child who was 2 years old like five seconds ago.
Move In Day Tips: Moving your student into a residence hall is a well-orchestrated and intentional process. The line might look long at first but hundreds of Baylor faculty, staff and student volunteers choose to serve incoming families by helping with Move In day. Volunteers will unload your car in no time when it’s your turn and literally carry everything to the room for you. So, label everything with the room number and group as much as possible in easy-to-carry boxes or crates. Because parking is encouraged at the Ferrell Center, designate a driver to park the car and shuttle back to the residence hall while another person stays in the room. Oh, and bring lots of water. It’s like a million degrees in Waco in August.
Shopping Options: You can’t remember everything and won’t remember everything. Fortunately, Waco has lots of stores to help you fill in the gaps. We have THREE Walmart’s within 15 miles, Target, Bed Bath and Beyond, Best Buy, Office Max, Marshalls etc. Expect at least one run on Move In day. Waco stores are prepared for you even if they appear crowded! Target starts setting out extra storage bins and residence hall necessities at least a week before Move In day.
Eating Options: Expect crowds at restaurants. When over three thousand students, parents and siblings descend on Waco, there is definitely an uptick in traffic. Here are some helpful Waco Moms Blog posts on local restaurant/food happenings: New Restaurants in Waco; Food Truck Scene; Places to find great Coffee; Where to Eat Non Chain Pizza; Best Cupcakes; Brunch Places. Exploring downtown and venturing into the suburbs is a great way to get to know different parts of the city and the place your kiddo will call home for the next four-ish years.
Saying Goodbye: It might feel a little anticlimactic. You raised your child and you’ve done all the million things for eighteen years to get them here. Yes, IT IS a defining moment. But try to take the pressure off yourself even it doesn’t go exactly as you envisioned it. Your student will be assigned a Welcome Week leader and will probably already have dinner plans and activities lined up for them that night. So the moment will quickly come when have to say good bye and leave….and try not to cry until you get in the car. Even if your kid doesn’t express it, their heart will ache too when you walk out the door.
One Final Thought: You couldn’t have left your child in a better place. Get ready to be helped, encouraged and welcomed with open arms as you join the Baylor family. Baylor may be your alma mater or it may not, Baylor may be close to home or far away, the Baylor campus might be familiar or brand new, but now you are part of the Baylor community too. The faculty and staff are committed to making this an exceptional experience for you and your student that will shape and mold their transition into full adulthood. They are in good hands—I promise.
So take a deep breath and embrace the day. And enjoy Baylor.
Here are some extra links to help you plan your next trip to Waco. “Move In Day” happens at lightning speed! You may not have time to fully embrace the Waco/Baylor experience this round.