The hurricane of the application process is long behind you, and the dust has finally settled as you pick up where you left off in your day-to-day life as if the application had never happened. You may even begin contemplating what life in New York City as a TC student would be like. “Perhaps it would be a bit like Sex and the City.” “Perhaps people really do just sit on the couch at Central Perk all day on Wednesdays, and sip on their coffee. I wonder if there even is a Central Perk…” Just at the moment you can smell said hypothetical coffee, you get an email (or a call, but hey, I got an email) that you’ve been accepted into the School Psychology Program. You scream. You smile, you call your mom immediately, and maybe even shed a tear. After you stop jumping up and down, you stop smelling the coffee and begin realizing you actually need to get to New York, as in, pack up your entire life within a matter of months, and somehow make your way to the Big Apple. Oddly enough, this was a minor thought pre-acceptance, but it’s now at the forefront of your mind, and you don’t know where to begin. Now, you really may just need that coffee after all. Whether you’re coming from Washington, Texas, California, or hey, even Alaska, it’s incredibly tough to move when you’re not just an easy car ride away (yes, Northeast I’m looking at you). This was me this past Spring while I was in Los Angeles, California. So if you, like me, need to fly (or drive 20+ hours) to make the move, here are some tips that can help lighten your load and be easy on your wallet, because let’s face it, moving isn’t cheap.
I was settled into an apartment in Los Angeles, furniture and all, when I learned I was accepted. Perhaps you don’t have furniture, but if you do, Craigslist is your best friend. If you are over a 20-hour car ride away, it’s likely not worth the freight costs of shipping the furniture you already own. Turns out, unlike what the side of the U-Haul vans say, they are actually quite expensive to rent. You end up having to pay for the hours used, the deposit, the gas, the miles driven… the list goes on. Not to mention the hotel costs if your drive will take more than a day.
Chances are, you have more than 1 suitcase worth of clothes to your name. If you’re like me, you have about 8-10 suitcases worth. How do you get all your clothes to NYC? Well, above, we (for the most part) ruled out freight options and U-Hauls, which leaves us with either shipping them through the mail or bringing them on the plane with you. To cut to the chase, USPS is notoriously unreliable with delivering packages across state lines. I personally have had at least 2 packages get lost, never to be found again, by shipping packages between Los Angeles and New York. You do not want this nightmare of a scenario to play out right when you’re ready to begin contemplating your first-day-of-school outfit. Also, USPS is surprisingly expensive to ship clothes, so you can only assume FedEx and UPS are out of the question too.
For most, especially those coming from California, the most efficient way to ship your clothes is to bring them on your flight with you. Every airline company is different in the amount of bags you can bring, and the price for each additional bag, but if you have access to a Virgin America terminal at your airport, you’re in luck. I hear Southwest Airlines is the runner up in this context, but I flew Virgin America so I will speak to that.
Additional bags (or in your case, ideally cardboard or plastic boxes) on Virgin America flights are only $25 each and can weigh up to 50 pounds. You can bring up to 10 boxes.
You’ve made it this far, and hopefully unscathed by the move. Now, time to move in.
Until next time.
P.S. No, Central Perk doesn’t exist, but you won’t have any trouble finding a coffee shop on just about any corner. Sans Gunther.
(This post was created by Courtney, a first year Ed.M. student in School Psychology)