Preparing Your Incoming Freshman for College

One of the most dreaded days in a parent’s life is the day they drop their child off for the first day of college. The idea of sending your child away to live on their own and take care of themselves can be very daunting. Before you pack up the car and drive your child off to their new life, make sure they are fully prepared for the journey ahead of them.

Preparing Your Incoming Freshman for College
What to Buy Your Child for College

Many times, parents assume they need to buy thousands of dollars worth of items to send their child with; however, most of this stuff just goes to waste. When deciding what to buy your child for college, only buy the most essential stuff at first and realize that you can always pick up stuff later. To give you some assistance when trying to decide what to get for your college student, we have come up with a list of our top ten essential items. 

Ten Essential College Items:

  • Computer – although many schools have computer labs that your child can use, having their own computer will be a necessity when their doing work late at night when those labs usually are not open. You don’t need to buy an expensive model, you can pick up a good laptop for under $500. Make sure you ask for a student discount as well, which can save you around $50-$200. 
  • Bedding – many of the beds in dorm rooms have been used for years and provide very little support. Buying a bed cover and padding will help your child sleep infinitely better and protect them from whatever previous students left on the mattress. Buying your child some cheap, but comfortable bedding is a must as well and can help them make their room their own. 
  • First Aid Kit – an item that few college students remember to bring, a first aid kit is something that will come in handy. In addition to band aids and ice packs, stock it with a flashlight and batteries in case of a power outage and medicines for those times when your child falls ill. 
  • Tools – another item that most students forget to bring, tools such as hammers and screwdrivers can make college a lot easier. These tools may only be needed a handful of times, but you will be glad you have them. 
  • Bathroom Items – most freshmen dorms have communal bathrooms and showers. With that being said, it is essential that you send your child off with their own bathroom items such as shower shoes, soap, shampoo/conditioner, toothbrush, toothpaste, and bath towels.
  • Essential School Supplies – college is no different in the sense that your child will still need their stock of essential school materials. Be sure to send your kid on their first day with plenty of pens, paper, pencils, notebooks, a calculator, and anything else they may need for class.
  • Mini Fridge – having a small fridge in their dorm can be a lifesaver. You will save money by keeping them from having to visit a vending machine every time they want a soda and they can keep fresh snacks in their room. Finding a cheap fridge is easy and one can be purchased for just around $50. 
  • Laundry Items – now that your child is on their own, they will have to tackle the task of doing laundry. Give your child the tools they need by providing them with a pop-up hamper, detergent, dryer sheets, and stain remover. The good thing is once they come back home, they can do their laundry themselves! 
  • Light – most dorm rooms are very ill lit and may only have a small window. For those nights when your child is up late doing work, provide them with a small desk lamp that will help them avoid damaging their eyes. Also, make sure to send them with an extra power strip or extension cord to be sure they have plenty of places to plug in their electronics. 
  • Snacks – when dropping your child off, head to a local bulk store (such as Costco) to load up on snacks. By buying a bunch of their favorite food items, you will save money and provide them with something to snack on during late-night study sessions or fun movie nights. 

While it is easy to buy your child a car load of items to take with them to college, just be sure to get the essentials first. Your child will quickly realize they don’t need as much as you might think and you will end up saving money. Dropping your child off at college may been a sad day, but if you send them with the right items, you will know your child is taken care of. 

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