2: Move-In Day

2: Move-In Day

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Campus Chronicles

Move-In Day

The family — that dear octopus from whose tentacles we never quite escape, nor, in our inmost hearts, ever quite wish to.

~Dodie Smith

On Wednesday, August 20th, my life completely changed. I went from being a child living at home with my family to an adult living in my own apartment. Move-in day was filled with excitement, anticipation, fear, and sadness. While in the line at the Residence Life Hall of Prairie Crossing, I was smiling and talking about how much fun the next year was going to be. We were all joking and laughing, but inside my heart was breaking.

On the very first day of my freshman year in high school I started counting down the days until this moment, dreaming of how wonderful it would be to live on my own, away from my parents. The dream had turned into reality. Tomie, my Resident Assistant, handed me the key... but all I wanted to do was hand it back to her.

When I stepped out of the office, I had to put my happy face back on. I managed a huge smile as I showed everyone my key. Then my parents, my sister, and I started unloading the boxes and bags from my car and my dad’s truck. The entire time we were taking the pieces of my life, stuffed into cardboard boxes and suitcases, away from the cars and into the apartment, my heart was shattering into a million tiny parts.

I could barely contain my emotions when we gathered the last few things from my car. I walked into my new living room, set my belongings on the floor, crawled up on my new leather couch, and cried like a child. My mom and my sister came over and held me while they dried my tears in an effort to try and comfort me. My dad couldn’t bear to see my raw emotions so he walked into my new bedroom. The whole time we had been unpacking, my dad had been trying to hold back his tears as well.

I wasn’t ready to live on my own, and the freedom I had dreamed about felt more like a nightmare. My parents had known all along that I wasn’t ready — they’d told me so all summer — but I just didn’t listen. The thought of being away from home scared me to death. All of my life, my parents had been just across the hall and my sister just around the hall corner.

The whole event began in January during my senior year in high school. I had interviewed for a very prestigious and much needed scholarship package through the Honors College at Texas A&M University-Commerce. To be completely honest, I hoped in the back of my mind that I wouldn’t be picked to receive it — I would have to move away from the only home I had known for my eighteen years.

The interview went well and I was extremely impressed with the campus, as well as the apartments that I would potentially be living in. I vividly remember telling my mom that although the apartments were very nice, they would never truly be home to me if I were to receive the scholarship package. The weeks went by without a letter from the interview committee; although I knew that the scholarship would seriously benefit my family’s financial situation, I was happy that I would not have to move away from home just yet.

On February 13th that year, I received the best and, at the time, the worst news in my entire life: I had been chosen as one of the fifty scholarship recipients out of the hundreds of applicants that had been interviewed. My family and I were overjoyed that I would be able to receive a debt-free college education and I was overwhelmed with all the newfound freedom I would have. Now, on move-in day, I regretted ever going to that interview and receiving my acceptance letter.

After my family helped console me and calm me down, we started to put my things away and make my new bedroom feel like home. Once all the goofy pictures of my graduation dinner were put up in my collage picture frame, I realized that living away from home might not be as bad as it seemed. I was only thirty minutes from home, and I had my cell phone, so I could call anytime I wanted. When my family left me at my apartment that night, I cried myself to sleep once again.

I am writing this during finals week of my first semester, and I have settled into college life extremely well. My fears subsided after my first trip home during the first week of school. A few months ago, I feared change and new surroundings, but now I am saddened that I have to leave all my new friends during Christmas break. Moving away from home helped me to grow and mature as a person. I’ve realized that fears about moving away are normal, but trust me — living on my own has been great, and since move-in day I haven’t regretted receiving my scholarship package once.

~Kally E. Hinton

More stories from our partners