Do you have a high school senior who is college bound? Are you wondering what you should send with them? What to expect? And how to prepare? You are not alone sis! We have compiled some tips (from fellow brown mamas) on getting your graduate prepped and sent off to a good start. Check out the what other mamas have said are first time college essentials for their student.
Dorm Room Essentials
Stock up! If you want to cut down on your freshman’s miscellaneous costs, this is a good way to take the load off. Keeping a stock pile of supplies and perhaps replenishing it monthly, so they don’t have to worry about buying or taking up space storing. Because we know those dorm rooms are only but so big. Things like laundry detergent, bodywash, paper towels, disinfectant wipes, water, snacks are things to consider. In addition to bedding, desk supplies, toiletries, and decorative items to make their room feel functional yet cozy. Remember they are limited on space so they don’t need to bring a ton. Enough seasonal clothing to make it through the semester, with regular bi-weekly washing, should be plenty.
Another alternative to stock piling the supplies is to provide them with gift cards to nearby stores if getting there is not a barrier. Especially if your student is more on the independent side. And if gift cards aren’t your thing, there are so many methods to send cash these days, from linked bank accounts, cashapp, paypal, etc. Do what works best for you and yours, keep in mind best methods for sending cash quickly just in case.
Communication and Safety
Discuss with your student expectations for communicating. You don’t want to be overbearing but you definitely need to hear from them periodically. So whether you both agree to daily texts, weekly calls, or every other day emails, being on the same page is key. Having a copy of their schedule will also help in seeing what their day is like and give an idea of their busy times. Stay updated on the campus going ons. If the school offers it, you can sign up for parent communications. For safety concerns, it may be a good idea to have them keep their location services on. Make sure they are practicing safety precautions like being aware of their surroundings, knowing how to contact campus police, not walking around late at night alone, and so on.
Here’s another resource you can share with your student so they can read some first time college essentials or survival tips on their own.
Important Documents and Resources
Depending on how far your student will be from home, it can be a good idea to pinpoint clinics and pharmacies in the area. Make sure they have a copy of their medical insurance information. A list of important phone numbers, kept in an easily accessible place. Maybe a physical and digital copy, to cover the bases. It’s not a bad idea to get their roommate’s contact information just in case an emergency arises and your child can’t be reached. A good support system is a blessing. If you have family or friends that are in the campus area, building a connection there can help, even if it’s just for peace of mind.
Overall, you want your child to succeed and grow into a responsible, independent member of society. Encourage them to join organizations and clubs that peak their interest. College is a great place to network. Make sure your student knows the importance of building connections with faculty as well as peers. Now that they are living away from home, they should also be keeping up with their schedule, appointments and meetings. So, it may be beneficial to keep a planner, whether physical or digital, and practice those time management skills. Remind them to use their voice, they shouldn’t hesitate to have a boundary and expectation talk with their roommate(s). And speaking of using their voice, they should know their counselor(s) and get comfortable communicating with them as well as advocating for themselves when necessary with other faculty staff.
While they are gaining their independence, they should know you are only a phone call away. Loosen the reigns, give advice when requested and feel supported in their journey. Take a deep breath and trust you did a good job in raising them. They made it this far with your guidance. Feel free to leave your first time college essentials in the comments!