College Move In Day- Freshman Year

Hello Everyone!

For those of you with a high school student that will be heading off to college in the fall, how are you doing? It doesn’t matter if it is your first or your last child (or one somewhere in the middle) to go away for college, there will be a range of emotions, that mostly you just have to power through.

Last August, we moved our newly-turned 18 year old son, JP, into his dorm at Sonoma State University, in Northern California. By we- I mean my husband and I, my mom, AND our good friends with their 12th grade son. It was definitely a bittersweet experience, as I could remember my parents moving ME into the dorms at SSU when I was a freshman.

The word for the move-in itself was HECTIC! It started when all 3 vehicles pulled into the lot. Even though we were given some directions on where to park, there were so many cars, parents, and students, and no spots available close to his dorm. That meant we all had to park somewhere different, which made the unloading of the trucks quite unorganized. Basically, everyone just grabbed a box, or a trash bag garment bag, and started making their way to his room. (We did find out where his room was located before we started the unloading process.)

During our many trips back and forth, we met the only unknown roommate and his parents (he knew the other 2 as they all attended the same high school). Leaving the heavy lifting for the others, I started to help my son get through the accumulating boxes and bags by making his bed. (It helped that we had labeled all of the bags, so we knew where to find the sheets!) While I worked on this, the rest of the trucks were unloaded. It did help having so many people. One worked on setting up the printer in the living room, one unpacked all of the snacks into the pantry/hall closet, and my son was able to put all of his clothes into the dresser and closet. Surprisingly, we were done unloading and unpacking in just an hour!

Now at this point, what to do next really depends on your student! SSU offered a parent/new student BBQ that afternoon, but JP didn’t really want to go. He told us that he would be just fine hanging out with his roommates. Taking his lead, we all said goodbye, and actually went to do some sight-seeing along the beautiful Bodega Bay coastline. We did text him a few times throughout the evening to check in, but basically started the giving-him-space-adult thing! We were available then, as we are now, but can’t/won’t pry into all of the details of what he is doing. That is definitely the hardest part of sending your child off to college; you go from thinking you know everything as they are living under your roof, to realizing that you don’t know much, and learning to be happy with the snippets that they do share. (We are pretty lucky though, because our son texts or Facetimes us almost everyday!)

The next day, as we had a 7 hour drive ahead of us, we got an early start. Before we left, we did stop by the dorms for one last hug, and a goodbye. The feeling of driving away and leaving your child behind to start their adult life is overwhelming…so many emotions go through your head! Mostly we as parents just felt excited for his experience…we had done all that we could, now HE gets to make his own path, and learn even more along the way.

*Update: JP is doing well in college. He just started a job at Chick-Fil-A, and picked his on-campus apartment housing for his sophomore year. He continues to make us proud!

5 Things You Might Know about Sonoma State…and 5 Things You Might Not!

College Visits are a great way to check out a college for yourself, and see how you feel on the campus. Summer visits don’t give you the usual hustle and bustle feel, but there will usually be some students there, and a quiet, subdued visit is better than no visit at all!

If you are a junior in high school right now, it’s definitely time to start thinking about your college visits – a perfect time to see what a school you might be considering is really like without solely relying on their website or brochure.  Seniors might choose to make a visit before they send off their applications, or wait until they have been accepted instead.  With all of the colleges out there, how do you begin to narrow your college search?  Check back with our blog frequently (or better yet-sign up to get our blog sent straight to your email), as we will be posting things we have observed on our most recent college visits.

Today, the KaMi Spotlight is on Sonoma State University, located in Rohnert Park, CA.



5 Things You Might Know:

• A 269 acre campus, in the wine country of Sonoma County.

• Division 2, Sea Wolves, and part of the California Collegiate Athletic Association (for 10 of their sports).

• Enrollment for 2013-2014 was approximately 9,000 students.

• Cost to attend (2014-2015) for a California resident is $23,665 a year.

• The student to faculty ratio is 23:1, with an average class size of 25, but “101” classes (general ed.), which students take about 4 of, average 150 students.

5 Things You Might Not Know About Sonoma State (SSU):

• The Jean and Charles Shultz Information Center houses the 3-story library, where students can get free coffee at the Charlie Brown Cafe during finals.

• There are pools by 2 of the dorm buildings and an Olympic-sized pool for athletics.

• A student’s ID card lets them fish at either of the 2 stocked lakes on campus.

• The Green Music Center, only 2 years old,  seats 1,500 inside.  Upcoming performers for Fall of ’14 include Frankie Valli, Bill Maher, Diana Ross, Trace Adkins, and the Santa Rosa Symphony.

• If you have a 3.0 GPA or higher in high school, you are eligible to apply for one of the 150 SSU scholarships.

Sonoma State is considered a “hidden gem” of the Cal State system, go see why for yourself!


Kate visiting her Alma Mater!


The beautiful, new library.


Stevenson Hall


Brand new recreation center


Indoor track in the Recreation Center


Indoor basketball courts


Rock-climbing wall


Zinfandel Village, one of the many housing options on campus


Two rooms (2 students in each room) that share one bathroom and a living room


Living room


One of the pools at the dorms, next to Zinfandel Dining Room


One of the lakes on campus, and also where graduation ceremonies are held


Tennis courts


Baseball field


The door was open, so we snuck a peek into the indoor baseball facility!