Collegiate Olympics – for Parents

I just completed moving my daughter for the 5th time in 2 years. Out of our house – into the dorm. Out of the dorm – into our house. Out of our house – into her apartment. Out of her apartment and into both our house and the sorority house (‘cause there ain’t no way all that stuff from her apartment will fit into ½ of a room in the sorority house).

Over the past 2 years I’ve attempted to warn (I mean encourage) other parents around me as they enter into this place that only the strong survive – the world of collegiate moving.

Now I’m gonna exempt all you mommas and daddies of boys out of this competition, ‘cause no boy brings as much stuff as a girl does to college. No how, no way. I’m gonna go out on a limb and guess boys don’t arrive with 2 upholstered chairs, a futon and a monogrammed fabric headboard to haul up 7 flights of stairs in the Mississippi summer heat…

So anyway, now that we’ve pretty much completed the latest move I had a BRILLIANT idea. Someone needs to create a series of athletic events known as The Collegiate Olympics for Parents.


I’ve given this some serious thought. Events could include:

  • Mattress Squats – Competitors will squat while holding a twin mattress by themselves on their heads. Winner is the parent who can come back to a standing position after 3 minutes (yeah, you just think 3 minutes ain’t long).
  • Refrigerator Lifting – A team event. Two people must pick up and carry the large version of a dorm fridge (‘cause you know that’s what we bought) up the 7 flights of stairs, then maneuver your way through the obstacle course of broken furniture, trash and extra stuff other girls had to bring but have nowhere to actually put in their room down the dorm hallway to your child’s room. First team to set the too-big fridge down without it slipping out of one competitor’s hands and knocking the other member down a flight of stairs will definitely win.
  • Carpet Haul – In this event, a parent must haul a 6 X 9 carpet up 7 flights of stairs and then unroll the carpet, lift up two twin bed frames and get the carpet under those frames so that the U-Haul double parked in front of the dorm can get unloaded. First parent to get the carpet down and bedframes back in place without the beds collapsing on top of themselves wins.
  • Storage Bin Organizing – I’d win this one every time. Whoever can completely maximize the space under a raised twin bed with cheap plastic bins from Wal-Mart wins. Unused space will be measured and points will be deducted based on the measurement of the unused space.
  • Technology Set-Up – The first parent to locate and unpack your child’s computer and printer in the midst of the dump of stuff out of the U-Haul, connect it to the dorm’s wifi and actually get the visitor parking pass to print before you get a ticket will be declared the winner.
  • General Contracting – This one is a bit tricky and you really need to think about the person you are registering for this event. Competitors should be trained and ready to install window treatments, rig 14 extension cords to plug in 37 electronic devices, assemble MDF bookshelves and evenly space out Command Strips on the dorm wall so that all pictures will be aligned and evenly spaced.

So I may not bethe most physically fit person, but I’ve learned a lot over the past couple of years moving my daughter from place to place. Two things I’ve learned are imperative to surviving these moves: I have to ramp up both my stamina and my sense of humor. Moving is stressful. Moving your child into college is extremely stressful because not only are you pushed to physical activities you had no idea you could still perform, but there’s the emotional side of leaving your child in a new place – a dorm, an apartment or in my case this year, a sorority house.

Physical exhaustion + emotional drainage = potentially psychotic behavior.

If you’ve got a child going to college (no matter what year they are) praya lot. Pray for them, pray for yourself. Pray for their protection, pray for your sanity. Pray they will make good decisions, pray you will stop making decisions for them. Pray for God’s will in their life – and yours. Pray for anything and everything you can think of.

Don’t worry about anything, but pray about everything. With thankful hearts offer up your prayers and requests to God. Then, because you belong to Christ Jesus, God will bless you with peace that no one can completely understand. And this peace will control the way you think and feel.” (Philippians 4:6-7, CEV)

Prayer does help tremendously – I can attest to that. Many days it’s the only thing that keeps a new collegiate parent from slipping into the dark hole of depression.

So yes, prayer helps.

And so does a rigorous pre-move work-out routine.



One thought on “Collegiate Olympics – for Parents

  1. Leigh,
    Thanks for your inspiring and funny words of encouragement. We are on our second college move this year and will have 2 attending different colleges next year so it’s easy to relate to your college moving post. It’s also true that prayer is sometimes the only thing that gets me through the day. Have a great Monday!

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