I know that the high school graduates of 2016 are practically on their way to the college campuses but there are a few more things to consider before home becomes a place they only visit. What are they taking with them? I know that they have clothes, shoes, maybe a laundry basket, all their restroom toiletries, towels and maybe even a refrigerator and microwave. But what are some of the other things they need?
A link in one of my emails directed me to a YouTube video of a parent asking how to outfit her daughter for college. They interviewed parents who have students in college and a couple college students too. Most of them mentioned the things I listed above but they had other tips to help the freshmen students get off to a good start in their college adventure.
If you are going to have roommates, see if the college can put you in contact with them before school starts. You can work out a lot of the logistics of the room before ever meeting one another. There is not much room for furniture in a dorm and if you both show up with refrigerators and microwaves, the available space will be used up rather quickly. This can be an even bigger problem for rooms that house more than two students.
What’s the deal with laundry? How many of you parents have educated your young adults about how to sort their cloths for washing, the proper detergents to use for each load and what temperature is best for each load? I know that a lot of young men will be walking around campus by mid-semester with pink underwear and t-shirts if not warned about sorting their clothes before washing.
What’s going to happen at meal time? Is your child a breakfast person, do they graze all day, consume enough for two people or eat like a bird? Colleges have meal plans to fit any size appetite. Usually the plans that provide 20 meals a week are too much. Plans that provide a couple meals a day in addition to credit that can be used to purchase snacks and/or sandwiches work out well for most students.
Did you make your decision about which school to attend by tuition cost alone or did you actually research cost of attendance? Those of you who found out the cost of attendance will expect the sticker shock of the text books. Those who only paid attention to tuition may need a little oxygen after getting that bill. Be sure to look online for used books and explore the availability of e-books. There are even services out there that will rent books to students. Check them out to keep down those additional costs.
There is no way I could give you enough information to remove all the surprises and you wouldn’t read it if I did. Some of the surprises will become favorite stores that will be told for years; and all of them will work themselves out. Just be as prepared as possible and make that first year away from home memorable for all the right reasons.