Life is funny, during those months and months of preparation and anticipation of their impending departures – THEIR LEAVING occupied my every thought…every moment was “THE LAST TIME” sniff, sniff, sniff, and simple events took on extra significance…
…but NOW that we have successfully launched them both – I see that IN TRUTH, while they are achingly far away at times and absent from the day-to-day workings of our family life – they are STILL IN OUR LIFE! Now that I know what that looks like and feels like it is not nearly as difficult. Though I miss them terribly sometimes – My daughter and I talk almost daily for a least a few minutes, I visited a her few times during the year and she came home a few times and so we saw each other a good amount.
You get to be excited for the weeks before they come home…instead of so sad that they are leaving ….My son, who is at school in our town but might as well be out-of-state – he and I touch base often and I have even found a moment when I am running errands to drop him off at a class, meet him for lunch or bring bagels by his apartment. He needed more space his first year but LOVES the free meals and Mom time now!! I send care packages and treats from Amazon. The opportunities are there to create the NEW NORMAL and in hindsight – the hardest part of them leaving was the summer PRIOR to their departures (RIGHT NOW for those of you sending children off to college this Fall) and all the EXTRA attention their leaving gets.
I asked Phoebe if she could list for me, in NO particular order, ITEMS (in addition to the basics ) which over the course of her first year…made a big difference, made her life easier and helped her feel at home. This is no way intended to be THE DEFINITIVE LIST – but instead – One college girls suggestions based on her first year!
Clorox wipes – “You use them for everything!”
EXTRA hangers – those skinny metal ones covered in “velvet” – no room to hang stuff.
BISSELL Natural Sweep Dual Brush sweeper – This is the best $28 you will spend. Phoebe said hers was being borrowed constantly
Rolling drawers – these are good for everything
Less is more with clothes. bring bins with stuff you may want to send home.
Shower caddy that it water proof and will not get moldy
Shower shoes – the showers are gross
(If in a cold climate) More winter clothes that you can layer – cause you walk to class. And some of the classes are cold…and some get hot so you need to be able to remove layers!
NOT a lot of purses, no storage
Waterproof speaker for shower
Extra charges (10 ft to reach up to your bed) and extension cords and surge protectors
A heavy metal safe to put important things and money
Small blanket or throw that can be taken down to the lounge.
Go easy on the decorative pillows…there is just no room, send “head” pillows not throw pillows. They just end up on the floor
Rug for floor, but a cheap one because it will get ruined
NO Iron OR Ironing board – no room and someone will have one – but we ALL do everything wrinkled.
MY FAVORITE SOURCES for almost everything were:
DO YOU NEED GIFT IDEAS FOR YOUR COLLEGE KID???
I ASKED PHOEBE WHAT WERE HER FAVORITE GIFT CARDS TO GET WERE?
“Amazon and Target Giftcards – my Dorm friends and I took Uber trips to Target to get supplies all the time!”
Phoebe also recommends you explore what food options are near your student and provide them with Gift cards to their favorite places. There are always going to be a Starbucks and Chic Fila on every corner – but local hangouts are fun in College towns! There is a wonderful coffee shop named AROMAS in Williamsburg that Phoebe goes to with her friends… and Tate has a favorite place which is local to Charlottesville called Bodo’s bagels. They have one on campus and he eats there ALL the time. We are giving him a gift card for his birthday!
Hope this helps! Trust me, those of you in this boat, especially for the first time…you have my heart ….it ain’t easy. Add to that the fact that your child is trying to cram in as much friend and social time as they can before they leave…in my experience I was doing much of this prep…by myself …..because they were focused on other aspects of leaving home. Which is as it should be….This experience is so different for us as it is for them….but….
In the end…do everything with LOVE and an open heart…it will be okay. It really will.