In case you didn’t notice I was away for a few days doing what many of you have done in the past or will be doing in the future: taking a child to college. 

In this case we spent the weekend moving my daughter into her dorm room at Penn State University where classes began Monday.  Alex is now a junior and we are pretty experienced with the move-in procedure, having done it not just with her but our son Brandon who graduated from PSU in 2008.

At least in our case it is quite different as by the time he was a junior our son was pretty much on his own.  He would fill his car and make the trip by himself while Alex would not think of doing this without us.

We do have it down pretty well though and spent most of Friday moving bins and boxes into the second floor dorm room she shares with Nicole, a Long Islander who has been her roommate since their freshman year.  Their entire floor is made up of girls in the Kappa Delta Sorority as there are no sorority houses on the campus; I think it’s actually a Pennsylvania law.  So many of the girls stay together in dorms until their senior year which makes for a tight-knit group which is something that is comforting for parents.

After lugging a van load of stuff into the room and wondering where it was all going to fit it was time for trips to Wal-Mart and Target.  I’m sure the same scene was being repeated at college campuses across the country and I can tell you that for the local economy move-in weekend is like Christmas coming early.  Cash registers seemingly never stop and people are pushing carts loaded with everything from school supplies and food to futons and rugs.

Back at the dorm room we managed to pretty much get everything done and somehow there was a place for just about everything.  All during this time girls would be arriving and friendships were quickly renewed even though most of them had kept in contact during the summer.  While Moms and Dads were assembling desk chairs and hanging pictures our daughters were already making plans for their first night back on campus.  This falls under the category of “you’re better off not knowing.”

It was a busy weekend but also a fun one which included a surprise tour of the Penn State football facility which I will save for tomorrow.   Meanwhile I miss Alex already but the knowledge that she is happy in Happy Valley brings a smile to my face.