Grown & Flown: Moving Away & Fostering Independence

Rowan parents and their children stand on Bunce steps.

The Grown & Flown series features wisdom and insight from parents of current Rowan Profs, to help parents of new Rowan Profs. The transition of parenting a child at home to parenting a young adult at college is an important one, and Rowan parents are here to help our community. 

Today we’re taking a look at some helpful advice, tips, and tricks Prof parents have suggested when packing for that big move-in day to a first-year residence hall, helping students get acquainted with their roommates, and ensuring students’ safety while on campus. 

What’s valuable to bring? What’s not? Best way to comparison shop? Secure hand-me-downs? Anything you’d like to share.

“Less is definitely more! Often what we as parents think is ‘needed’ oftentimes isn’t even touched. Must haves for freshmen: fans, twin XL sheets 2 sets, bedding, foam mattress topper, toiletries, laundry detergent/laundry bag, laptop, desk lamp.” ~Kim Bicknell, ‘24 Parent

“A full length mirror that can lean against the wall (do not get over the door); a tray that hooks on the bed works as a nightstand; a surge protector, a strong shower caddy; under the bed storage. We put the dressers under the bed and then used flexible soft bins for clothing. A small lock box for valuables; a good light and fan.” ~Beth Kaniewski-Moller, ‘24 Parent

A student and their family standing outside of Holly Pointe Commons.

How involved were you in facilitating a relationship between your student and their roommate, if at all? How involved were you in the decorating process?

“Very much in the room set up, not so much facilitating the relationship.” ~Scott Schweiger, ‘25 Parent

“I was not involved in facilitating identifying a roommate or determining a decorating process. That’s best left to the students as they discover themselves.” ~Lori Bathurst, ‘24 Parent

“Roommates should ensure they have a roommate agreement for study times, stay-overs etc. Remind your child that this may be the first time their roommate has been away from home. Find commonalities and build off of those. Invite each other’s friends and build a small group. Go to events together to get to know school activities and people. Use your CA’s if there are any issues.  Be respectful to each other!” ~Beth Kaniewski-Moller, ‘24 Parent

Two admissions ambassadors give a campus tour to prospective students and their families.

How do you balance fostering independence vs. safety concerns – aka, do you require check-ins with parents? What’s your stance on Life360?

“Fully supportive of independence and own decision making.  I never required ‘check ins’ for my student, but certainly loved check in calls or return texts.  We still had the Life360 app from when he first started to drive, so in the beginning I would check but it was more to see if he was actually getting out of the dorm.” ~Kim Bicknell, ‘24 Parent

“The family is on board with Life360 and it helps cut down on the need for constant check-ins.” ~Beth Marchese, ‘26 Parent

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Story compiled by: Connor Bicknell, senior communication studies major