The Day is Swiftly Approaching
Sending your children off to college is a mix of happy and sad emotions. Luckily I have been through it before and I’m more prepared this time around. I will share what I’ve learned and tell you about helpful essentials for their new college life.
They Grow So Fast
Before you know it, your little baby has graduated. I remised about my sweet infant, then toddler who grew up to be an amazing young adult so full of life and happiness. All of those late nights studying and all of those sports activities have culminated in the moment she moves out. As I write this, fond memories flood me in a sea of emotions. It is a little easier this time around. Last time, one of my children went away to college, I was pregnant and flew to the other side of the country to help with the move.
We have all heard of “Empty Nesters” or “Empty Nest Syndrome”. Instead of classifying yourself as such, think of it as a time for growth. It’s time for you to get back to doing things you love. I enjoyed this book, From Mom to Me Again: How I Survived My First Empty-Nest Year and Reinvented the Rest of My Life. It’s a close up view of what it’s like to suddenly be an empty nester. It’s a new chapter in our lives when our house becomes a little quieter. We can then reflect more on what it is we want in our own lives and do something about it.
I believe that one of our important jobs as a parent is to help guide your child to become a successful, accomplished independent individual in what they pursue. Another job is to help them discover and nurture natural talents and joys in their life. All along, we are striving to help our children, but many times, they learn more when they fall. Encourage your child to find safe outlets for their emotions such as talking to a friend, counselor, excercise or yoga.
You need to have outlets for your own creativity and well being. Some examples are: yoga, running, exercise, knitting, quilting, scrap booking, ect. These are things that you do for YOU. Just because we have children doesn’t mean totally ignoring what makes brings you joy creatively and mentally. With new found time, you may be able to restart that book you have been meaning to finish!
You may or may not have heard how expensive textbooks can be. I remember hearing recently that a book was $400. Luckily there are companies that rent textbooks and send them directly to your address. Here are a couple of links to book rental companies: Chegg, Campus Book Rentals.
Dorm Room Essentials
Every college supplies your child with the basics for stocking their dorm room. I suggest having your child reach out to find dorm mates early and try to have them meet up if they don’t know each other before the semester starts. First impressions are lasting. So, last weekend, the girls met each other in person and they hit it off. It looks like we are off to a great start. My oldest didn’t have the opportunity to meet his dorm mates in advance. Because he was a recruited athlete, they were assigned dorm mates. Have your child check to see what their dorm mate is bringing. You can get carried away and you don’t want to have to return a ton of things. For example, my daughter and I went shopping a couple of weeks ago and found a cute area rug. Well, her dorm mate already bought one and it was even cuter. Since then, they have talked about necessities such as a microwave, coffee maker and refrigerator. We bought a mini vacuum at Target and it was $20 off! Don’t forget to bring a vaccum. In most instances, dorms do not have vacuums that students can borrow.
I suggest a rolling cart that folds easily check it out here. This will make it a breeze to get laundry, groceries and new things to the dorm room without multiple trips (as long as there is an elevator or first floor privileges). I strongly encourage you to have your child journal now if she or she hasn’t started already. Going away to college is a serious culture shock. It is therapeutic to write it all out, play up the benefits. A four- year college journal that I like for college students is Q & A a Day for College: 4 Year Jornal. Check it out HERE.
What Will My Young Adult Eat?
There are many options for dining in the meal package at school. We opted for a minimal package since my daughter is finicky. She isn’t a breakfast eater either. There is a common area shared kitchen available on each floor. A staple in the house and in her dorm room will be the Kind mini variety pack bars. They fit in her purse or backpack and stave off hunger. I’m curious to see what she will cook as she isn’t into cooking at all. Some schools give meal plan packages and other offer special “bucks” for their fancier restaurants or coffee shops.
When we spent the night at the school for accepted students, we joined a fellowship gathering. We were told that there would be some refreshments. To my utter surprise, all they had was about 25 bags of chips piled on a table and two full sheet sized boxes jam-packed with pastries. One of the students kept saying “free food”. This prompted my daughter to say, “That’s why they gain the freshmen fifteen.”
Be sure to talk with your college student about the importance of nutrition and a well balanced diet. They are still growing and developing. A good well-balanced diet is essential for their health and a life long need to be cognizant of a healthy lifestyle. I strongly encourage sending your student off to college with a huge container of multivitamins because of possible poor quality food choices. I suggest searching for multivitamins from eVitamins for up to 70% off.
Two Days Left
We only have two days left before she is off to school. She will be playing her sport in college as well. Athletes typically move in earlier due to the workout and practice schedules required for the team. She’s moving in a month and a half before students who aren’t athletes. This will help her bond more with her team before her dorm mate arrives. We are off to shop again for a few last minute items. We got her car tuned up and ready for school yesterday. I will surely miss her being around. As she heads off to college, I know she is prepared. We did the best we could this time around to get her ready for this next exciting chapter in her life. I’m moving on to the next chapter in my life too. I will miss our weekly mother-daughter outings but I know that they will be so much sweeter and much more appreciated when she comes home.