Top of the Morning, Aug. 21, 2014

Top of the Morning, Aug. 21, 2014

How crazy is Move-In Day at Illinois?

"Happy chaos," is how Roy Myles describes it. "It's what we work all summer for. It's like opening night on Broadway. No more dress rehearsals, it's show time."

As general manager of Illini Tower, Myles is to Move-In Day what John Groce is to basketball: an expert. He took time out of his busy schedule to break it down for us via email.

In 10 words or less, what's your best advice to kids moving in?

Be open minded. Embrace the new. Challenges are part of growth. I cheated: that's 11 words.

Your advice for parents?

Stay hydrated and don't forget to eat. This is a big day for everyone involved — your student, your spouse/partner, extended family, etc. And the resident hall staff, many of whom are students too, we all want the same thing: a smooth start and successful school year. It can be very emotional so give yourself and your loved ones extra slack in the process. I say that as a father of college kids myself. Embrace the moment, even if it is a bit chaotic. You only get to take your kid to college the first time once. Don't miss the moment.

What's the biggest TV you've seen brought in?

Now that TVs are flat, it isn't as crazy as the old days with rear projection sets! I'd see these kids and think "Are you opening a sports bar up there!!!??' That said, a 50-inch TV isn't unusual anymore. On the flip side, lots of students just stream to their existing computer, phone or tablet.

Weirdest item you've seen?

Even though we warn them in pre-move-in packets and emails, we still have to send the occasional snake or iguana home. They tend to be pretty tame with what they bring. It's more what they acquire or 'create' once they are here. Engineers especially, they can be pretty inventive. One of the great items this year, and we love this kid's energy so much we hired him as a future entrepreneur with great potential, is from Patrick Taylor, a resident adviser at Illini Tower. The chicken head wouldn't fit in the clearance of the garage.

Everyone moving in this year will bring ...

Stuff to personalize your room, make it your own. You are throwing yourself into a new place and want to have some recognized comforts and also let visitors and new friends know a bit about you by how you decorate your surroundings. Sports team, music and movie posters ... that kind of thing.

What items are on the no-fly list?

Anything obviously dangerous ... weapons, that kind of thing. We love pets, but they aren't a good fit in our environment, so leave Fluffy home. That 10,000,000-watt stereo or amp probably doesn't make for being a good neighbor.

Any horror stories from past Move-In Days?

Families get all the way here and forget a student's Smartphone. GIANT PANIC. OMG!!! FedEx can have it here from home in a day. It isn't really "the worst day EVER!" A retainer or two have fallen down the elevator shafts. The worst is if a student or family isn't tolerant of a roommate situation. Often this isn't about the roommate, but some baggage of their own. We really try to encourage everyone to give it a chance. That's what college — and life — are all about.

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