USC Move in day for on campus dorms

What is the process like?
How close can you park to the dorms to unload?
How long does it take?

Thanks goodness it is my twin son and not the daughter. Boys are easier with this as they are good with a lot less stuff.

Super easy actually, but still exhausting. You will get move in packet with clear instructions where to park and how to move in pretty soon. Plan two hour minimum, up to 4 or 5 depending on how much you help versus let them do things on their own. Get a great meal together after you are down for a reward! They have it set up for you to pull up right in front of most dorms. You just park there to unload. So you get there and pull in, and your student goes to the building check-in, gives them his ID (license of school ID if he has it) and gets a big rolling bin/cart to put their stuff into. In the meantime, you are unloading the car onto the ground (over the sidewalks please, don’t block them - so annoying)! He comes back with bin and while he loads the that, you move your vehicle to the nearby parking garage. You park car, come back to bin and one or both of you take it up. Boys - yes, much easier. My daughter had a single last year and brought everything - 5’ bean bag, rug, shelf - the pile we made out of the Suburban was embarrassing - took many bin trips to get it up there. We had sister with us so I stayed with the stuff, while they took bin runs up. To avoid judgement, we had this story made up that they were both living there and it was actually two girl’s stuff, but it was shamefully not, ha.

The most challenging part is getting a bin and waiting for an elevator, it is nice if people are efficient with them and turn them in quickly. Just relax and breathe. It isn’t a race, try to enjoy the day no matter how it goes. But plan to sweat and feel slimy - even when moving in a boy. It’s still a lot of back and forth to get things. The Target at the Village, while soooo convenient (than years ago when you had to drive miles to one) is utter chaos. I would avoid that at all costs, if nothing urgent they can get it later or my preference - Amazon prime.

I can tell you, there is nothing more entertaining than waiting by the stuff between bin loads and watching other families interact on move in day. The first timers, the experienced, the helpless, the bossy spouse, the stressed spouse, the high maintenance girls, the boys who look so young as freshman compared to seniors, the fun parents, the only child families, the younger siblings being disregarded for this one day…so much to see! I was likely as crazy as a lot of them for my first, but because this was my fourth I sat back in the grass on my elbows and just enjoyed it all with a smile on the inside. :slight_smile:

@CADREAMIN Great info, thanks. Any idea on the best time to go? Is it crazy to try to be early when everyone tries that or is it better to go a little later like 10 or 11? I’ve also read that people get stuff up to the room then go shopping for more stuff if they need it? I was thinking either that or buy stuff and return it if not using it.

If you don’t have a room fan, buy it before you get to LA. I’m sure there will be sold out everywhere.

Time wise is a personal preference - if you are driving in and have to travel hours, if getting there early means leaving at 2am then being exhausted and miserable the whole day, that is not worth it. Entrances are actually spread out, this isn’t UCLA with everyone on the hill and one way in. There are several access points/entrances used and they keep the drop off moving the entire time. I guess it get’s busier from mid morning till around noon (then super slows down around 2pm), but it’s not like any time you pick is gonna make a huge difference. Part of the experience is having some chaos, it’s a bit like shopping on black Friday - knowing it will be a little crazy going in will make it easier. Have a good breakfast and approach the day like a milestone versus a race, regardless of the time it works best for you to get there. Upper classmen come into town days earlier or later so it isn’t that many students in the scheme of things. Because it is USC, it is a very organized process (they are masters at events) - being rested and happier going in is better than being tired and stressed racing to get there.

I am flying in with my son in and we are staying in Pasadena the night before move in. How long a drive from there to USC on a Wednesday worst case?

Typically 35-45 min which could be closer to an hour or a little more during prime time or if there is issue on road… Could count on the 35-45 min say at 10am-2pm. So worst case would be an hour and 10 minutes or so, I would guess.

@CADREAMIN Hey, do you know how different the spring semester move in is? I’d assume that its not as bad right?

Actually move in at usc is a breeze logistically speaking for both fall and spring. Very organized and you can pull right up front and drop off your stuff then move your car. Spring will be super duper easy. Buildings are always close to an entry point by a vehicle.

My kids didn’t want to wait for the elevator when we moved S into the dorm, so I watched his stuff and they carried nearly everything up all the stairs. I did wait for the elevator and brought up a few items that they hadn’t gotten to yet.

We flew, so we didn’t really bring THAT much. We did go to Costco, Target, Office Depot, WalMart and Frye’s so S could get a few more items (didn’t really need to go to so many places—Amazon Prime or similar works well for many items).

This might be a dumb question… but what do I need for my dorm? Obviously my personal stuff like clothes etc… but what else?

You should have received a check-in guide telling you what you should and should not bring.

Yes the elevator wait is the worst part. My D was on 8th floor so sometimes it took awhile, but we weren’t hoofing up 8 flights of stairs. :slight_smile: But this won’t be an issue for spring admits.