". . . little shall I grace my cause

In speaking for myself. Yet, by your gracious patience,

I will a round unvarnish'd tale deliver . . ."

(William Shakespeare's Othello, I.iii.88-90)

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Sending a Kid to College

I always knew the day would come, but there was a part of me that didn't believe it. And now it's almost here. In about 3-1/2 weeks I will send my firstborn to college. In another state. Eight hours (plus stops) away.

I am actually feeling pretty good about it. Six months ago I was panicking over the prospect, but right now I am just so proud and excited that I think those emotions are overshadowing the sadness. We are keeping busy planning and preparing and I am trying not to think about that moment we hug him and actually drive away. But every once in a while it does creep into my mind and I momentarily lose my composure. It usually seems to happen when I'm alone, such as while taking a shower or driving in the car.

Anyway, in getting the college guy ready I have consulted several sources, including the school he is going to, a number of friends, and the Bed, Bath & Beyond store (they actually have lists tailored for most schools and they are happy to give you one when you stop in to shop). Below is the exhaustive list I have come up with based on all of those recommendations. My son will not have need of everything on the list--it would be too much!--but I thought I would include it here for anyone else who has a son or daughter going off to college in the near future. This list, of course, is intended for young people who will live in a dorm. Someone who is going to live in an apartment will need even more (and someone who is living at home won't need nearly so much).

I would be interested to hear any items you can think of that are not on this list!


Dishes/Utensils, dish soap, dish towel


Cleaning supplies: Clorox wipes, Swiffer, air freshener (also supplies for bathroom if the room has its own), hand broom/vac



Laundry supplies – hamper/basket/bag, soap, spot treatment, dryer sheets, quarters, iron, ironing board

Shower caddy, shower shoes/slippers, robe

Towels – bath & swim

Over-the-door towel rack/hooks

Bedding (check with college for bed size) – mattress pad, sheets, blanket, bedspread, pillows, pillow protectors


Small printer

Flash drive

Cell phone


Alarm clock

Music player



Photos/posters/room decorations

Desk supplies – stapler, pencil sharpener, paper clips, push pins, rubber bands, paper, pens/pencils, ruler, calculator, scissors, highlighter, tape, glue, white-out, desk-top caddy, drawer organizer, bookends, desk lamp, white board and/or bulletin board, trash can

Tissue/Paper towels


Stacking crates/cubes/chest for storage


Earplugs/Sleep mask

Extension cords

Nail clippers, tweezers

First aid kit – bandages, antibiotic cream, anti-itch cream, painkiller, cough/throat drops, Pepto-Bismol/antacid/ Immodium, antihistamine (Benadryl)/decongestant, vitamins, melatonin, hand sanitizer, thermometer

Small appliances: Hot pot/coffee-maker/crock pot/popcorn maker/hot plate


Can opener

Local honey from the area you are moving to—start taking months before

Water bottle



Sewing kit


Netflix streaming subscription

Under bed storage

Shoe storage

Tool kit or Multi-tool (like this)

Oodles of socks and underwear!

Telephone/Address Book/List of important dates

Local bank account

Credit card

Phone to plug in if there’s a land line

Light bulbs


Smart pen

Book light

Flash light

Lock box for cash/important papers

Money management software for computer


And of course—clothing, toiletries, personal belongings


Anonymous said...

Wow, Cheryl, that's quite a list! Do the dorm rooms not come with a landline phone anymore? My dorm had a phone AND each student had voicemail, too! I don't even know what a "smart pen" is. I'm glad you're enjoying the process of getting him ready to go!


Rebekah said...

Car crying is the worst. :(

Dave Lambert said...

Instead of a bank, check out the local credit unions. I would bet that the University has an excellent credit union that offers great deals for students.

Cheryl said...

Anne, I had never heard of a smart pen either. I do not see us investing in one. But apparently it is not merely a pen but a recording device. Here's a link: http://www.livescribe.com/en-us/smartpen/
Re: the landline, I'm not sure about this. Need to find out.

Rebekah, YES. You can't see where you're going, and your nose starts running, and you can't find a tissue to wipe it, and you figure the other drivers must think you're a total sap. :;sigh::

Dave, there is a Wells Fargo branch on campus that caters to students and he has already opened an account there. The benefit for Trevor is that he does not have a car so will need something he can walk to. He also has an account here at home and I think for the time being he will probably keep both of them.

I got one more excellent suggestion to add to the list. Something I had thought of along the way but then forgot: HEALTH INFO (insurance, allergies, history, etc.). The school Trevor is going to offers excellent health services. A clinic and pharmacy and even basic diagnostic testing right on campus. And basic doctor visits are free--included in student fees. Makes me feel better. One of the things that will drive home the point that he is really on his own is when he gets sick for the first time. And I know it will happen, and I won't be there to take care of him. :-(

Anonymous said...

I wanted to suggest a book, Thriving at College by: Alex Chediak - a Christian's guide to college especially geared to help college freshmen.