When it’s time for your child to head to college, it can be logistically and emotionally overwhelming for everyone. As a parent, it can be difficult to let go of your child. You may have fears about how they’ll handle being on their own, and aside from that you’re, likely just going to miss them.
For new college students, it’s a time of excitement, but it can also bring a sense of fear or apprehension.
While there’s no way to fully prepare for this new chapter of your family’s life, there are things you can do to at least make sure your child has what or she needs to leave home. The following are some tips and things to keep in mind as you help your child prepare to head to college and leave home at the end of the summer.
Unless your college student is also going to be working, they’re likely going to need spending money. While most of the essentials will likely be taken care of, such as meals in the dining hall, you may want a good way for them to get a treat occasionally.
College students may not yet be great at managing money. Sometimes something like a Flipkart gift voucher or another type of reloadable gift card can be a good option. This gives a college student the flexibility to spend money on what they want. As a parent, you can add money when you see fit, but there’s not the fear of things like overdrawn checking accounts or credit card debt.
While your college student might not yet be ready to tackle things like managing money and expenses, the summer before college is a good time to help them start learning these skills. Many new college students find that they’re overwhelmed with their new sense of responsibility, and this can lead to them making decisions that might not be ideal. For example, credit card companies often target new college students.
It’s good to work with your soon-to-be college student on things like managing money, using credit cards, and also managing responsibilities such as school work. Time management skills can be something worth discussing as well.
If your future college student is going to be living in a dorm room, it’s best to keep the items they bring to a minimum. Most new college students make the mistake of bringing way too much, and just not fully grasping how small the spaces really are.
Also, there may be options for renting certain items from the school. For example, some schools will let students rent things like microwaves and small refrigerators, so they don’t have to bring their own. This can make things less expensive and can make the move-in process easier.
It’s better, in the beginning, to go to school with fewer things than what you think you might be needed. Then, once your student gets into the swing of things they’ll know what they need versus don’t need.
Organization is key in every aspect of college and dorm-living. Most parents and college students agree that one of the best things you can buy beforehand are plastic bins. Plastic bins that stack are even better. This is where clothes, shoes, toiletries and pretty much everything can easily be organized.
Bins also make moving in and out easier. The bins can just be packed up and taken wherever your student is going. When they come home in the summer, you can store their college items easily and then they’re ready to go once it’s fall again.
A few other things you want to think about sending with your student include first, a fan. Dorm rooms, even when air-conditioned, can get stuffy and hot. A small desk fan can go a long way to making the room more comfortable, and if there are any odors that aren’t ideal, it can help with those as well. A few extra sheets and towels can make for fewer trips to the laundry facility.
A lamp can be something worth buying before heading to campus as well. Most dorm lighting is overhead and fluorescent, and it doesn’t create a great environment. Plus, dorm-mates may have different schedules. One person may want to read or study while the other is sleeping, so a smaller source of lighting such as a clip-on lamp can be great.
Finally, think about getting an area rug. An area rug can warm up the space, and make it feel more inviting. Plus, it’s more comfortable if your child or their friends are hanging out and might have to find a place on the floor.