Okay parents of college-bound children, I bet you think that you have a few more weeks to put off acknowledging the certainty that your teenage son or daughter is in fact leaving the comforts (and boundaries) of your home and is beginning life’s next chapter.
This next step, per say, is essentially a new world, where proficient skills of autonomy, self-reliance and organization are paramount to their success.
Though most of the college transition will rest on your child’s shoulders alone, you can make the most of the remaining weeks of summer by providing the tools necessary to lay an organizational foundation.
I realize that while enjoying a relaxing summer routine, the thought of being trapped indoors searching stores for the “college approved” sized mini-fridge does little to motivate you to cancel your trip to the beach and head to IKEA or Target.
Your mindset may even be, “it is only the middle of July, and we have plenty of time.” However, if you haven’t started your back to school shopping just yet, I am sorry to say that you might be a bit behind.
Barbara Harris of IKEA-Stoughton says, “This year already seems to be busier than last year at this time...while students from out of state will come and shop when they are in the process of moving in, the kids that are local are definitely getting a head start!”
In fact, all of the items contained in the following checklist can be purchased at either one of these stores. (I would be remiss if I did not remind every one of my firm belief in shopping at “home” first, as the benefit of our dollars staying in Stoughton is obviously significant).
I would like to thank the Stoughton Recreation Department’s Playground Staff Members (currently enrolled college students) for providing this inclusive checklist for college-bound students.
Creating a Cozy Sleep Area:
- Twin Sheets & Comforter (extra long)
- Mattress Cover (a.k.a. Egg Shell)
- Alarm Clock
- Pictures of Friends and Family
- T.V. (small sized set is recommended)
- Fan (many dorms are not air conditioned)
Keeping Clothes Neat & Organized…
- Crates/additional containers-for clothing storage, as drawer space is limited
- Iron & Ironing Board
- Laundry Bag
A Kid’s Gotta Eat…
- Microwave Oven-as small as possible
- Mini-Fridge (check with your college as to specific size requirements)
- Plastic Plates & Silverware
- Food (think Easy Mac, Ramen Noodles, etc.)
Keeping it Clean…
- Trash Can & Trash Bags
- Cleaning Supplies (Magic Erasers, Lysol, Disinfecting Wipes, Febreze)
- Paper Towels
- Small Vacuum
Keeping Them Clean…
- Shower Caddy-with essentials; shampoo, conditioner, soap, toothbrush, toothpaste
- Shower Sandals-cheap flip-flops
Organized for Success…
- Typical School Supplies from High School
- Small White Board/Cork Board
Other Must Haves…
- First Aid Kit
- Sunscreen/Bug spray
- Small Lock
- Sports Equipment
The transitions a teenager will face as they embark on their college career are vast, which is why preparation is key. Since there is not a great deal you can prep for in regards to the anticipated emotional component, it is best to get the logistical pieces out of the way.
I hope that the above checklist and the websites listed in the additional resource section will assist you in, yet another, parenting milestone.
You can also print the above list of items to purchase, which is posted in the media gallery, for your convenience.