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A Parent’s Guide to Moving Students into NYU

November 06, 20235 min read

If you are reading this article congratulations are in order—your child will be attending New York University (NYU) this fall! You have likely (and successfully, we might add) navigated those 2 a.m. feedings, the terrible twos, many first days of school, and the tumultuous teens. You are now gearing up for that next big transition. Sending them off to college is an exciting and emotional time for everyone involved whether your child is a New York native, traveling across the country, or from the other side of the globe. Parents who have survived this rite of passage agree: the best advice is to do your research, plan ahead, and be prepared.

The Washington Square Hotel is a long-time favorite basecamp for NYU students and parents alike. Conveniently located at 103 Waverly Place in Greenwich Village, its proximity to NYU dormitories, public transport stations, and convenient shopping make Washington Square Hotel the perfect location for helping families smoothly navigate the transition. With years of experience hosting NYU students and their families, the hotel team has put together some helpful hints and suggestions (along with links) to help you make this milestone a memorable moment—for all right reasons.

Do Your Research
NYU has an abundance of online resources available to first year parents of NYU students. This year the official 2019 NYU Welcome Week begins with Welcome Day and Move In Day on Sunday, August 25. This semester kick-off includes the official Parent Welcome and Information Fair with a chance to meet representatives from university departments, and refreshments to keep your strength up for the big move. In the evening, most dorms hold mandatory floor meetings for students, so plan accordingly.
Although NYU sends out necessary and specific dorm assignment information to incoming students in advance, much of that information is also currently available on line. Depending on your child’s  dormitory assignment, you can count on each dorm room to include a:

Twin bed
Drawer space
Place to hang clothes


The majority of dorms come with extra-long twin beds measuring 39”x 80”. Dormitory living varies from traditional rooms with no kitchen facilities, to apartment style suites complete with kitchenette, stove, and refrigerator. The dormitory link also contains specifics and suggested packing lists and restrictions on what to bring, and what to leave at home. The link also provides a wealth of information on other important items like campus cable, internet, phone, and safety information.

Plan Ahead
NYU provides check-in information necessary for navigating the move-in process. Pay attention to procedures and specific check-in times for each dormitory (and even specific floors) when making your travel plans. Veteran parents and students of move-in day agree that arriving early is key.

Make any travel plans ahead of time. Whether you are coming from near or far, consider reserving a hotel room or two. Combining your kid’s college-launch with some family sightseeing will be a great farewell adventure. Plus, as long as you’re in the iconic, historical Greenwich Village, you may as well enjoy some of what the neighborhood has to offer.


Parking on move-in day is limited and competitive. This is critical if you are driving your student in a personal vehicle, as law enforcement issues tickets for double parked vehicles. Whether you are parking your own vehicle, commuting via taxi or Uber, or arriving on public transportation, the second best piece of advice from former parents and students is: snag a transport bin during the check-in and key assignment process. These carts are necessary for hauling your student’s belongings to their assigned floor and dorm room. If you have a cart at home, bring it with you to expedite the move-in.

Be Prepared
With limited space in most of the dormitories, adhering to the rules and regulations on packing is crucial, even for parents in the tri-state area who choose to drive their student’s belongings to campus. But those traveling long distances will face stricter limitations on what they can bring.

Fear not; there is no shortage of retail stores in NYC. The area around campus has an abundance of businesses catering to college kids’ needs. NYU student favorites include Bed, Bath, and Beyond for bed linens and towels, and The Container Store for innovative organization and storage options to make the most of limited dormitory space.

When it comes to prescriptions, over-the-counter medicines, health and beauty aids, and other incidentals; nationwide chains such as Walgreens and CVS, along with local Walgreen family company  Duane Reade stores, abound, and are easily located online. For those with prescription drugs, plan ahead by transferring prescriptions in advance. Most stores offer online purchasing with shop-and-hold options, so students can travel lighter and pick up supplies when they arrive in the city.

Enjoy the Time
Moving into NYU, whether it’s your first time or fourth time, can be a bumpy ride—don’t let the chaos cloud your “goodbyes.” Take some stress off your shoulders and savor the remaining moments with your family. Plan on staying at Washington Square Hotel to ensure a good night’s rest, a delicious hardy breakfast, and plenty of time to navigate the neighboring NYU-owned facilities. Only a two-minute walk to several NYU dormitories and a subway station, and within 15-minutes walking distance to all the necessary retail stores, Washington Square Hotel is by far the most convenient place to set up “basecamp” during the big move.

Remember, although your child has left the nest, there’s no need for you to rush back to it. Celebrate your new found parental freedom by experiencing Downtown Manhattan, and turn the event into a personal celebration of a job well done raising a smart, soon to be independent, young adult!
Visit the Washington Square Hotel Web site for reservations and a variety of blog posts detailing things to see and do while visiting the area!


Anthony Butler

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