Moving Across the Country as a Grad Student
June 04, 2020
How can you make moving as a grad student easier? Especially if it's across MANY state lines?
Moving can already be tricky, but when you're a grad student with not a whole lot of money to spend on a moving crew and nice stuff for an apartment, what do you do? In my process of figuring this out for myself, I've come across some ideas that may help others handle this same issue.
One idea that I immediately knew to utilize was to split up which of my roommates and I were bringing what stuff for our apartment. I currently live on the East Coast of the US, so moving all the way to the middle of the country is proving to be challenging. I'm lucky enough to be living with two other roommates, so we decided to get together what we all had for our living room and kitchen and use that rather than buying new, fancy furnishings. One roommate is bringing a small couch and end table, another is bringing a microwave and dinning table, and I'm bringing a tv, a dvd player, and a trunk to set it all on. This tactic saves students money for at least the first few weeks of grad school life.
Although it may be tricky, another idea I've been using while packing is to (to some extent) pack light. Now, I don't mean bring a single duffel bag of stuff, but instead just don't bring totally unnecessary things you know you won't need. I had many miscellaneous stuff packed away from undergrad and old clothes I never wear anymore when I was getting together stuff to bring to my new home. When packing, I've found old documents to throw out and make more room, clothes I can donate instead of take them with me, etc. Packing lighter will definitely help make the initial trip up easier, as it'll provide you with more space to fit boxes and whatnot.
Lastly, start packing and preparing for the move ahead of time. Unlike a day trip to the beach, my move to grad school is much more long term and intense. So, I can't just throw my stuff into bags and drive on out to Minnesota. Although I have two more months until I make this move, I've already started to pack up my things and consider what else I would need to get before I actually move, and even what I would need to get once I am out there. Planning ahead, especially during a major move, is definitely your best friend.
Moving out can definitely be intimidating and stressful, but I hope that these ideas may have helped you out, fellow grad student. Definitely be smart about moving away for grad school, and don't take it lightly at all.
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