What To Buy Your College Freshman And The Conversations You Need To Have Before They Go

I am sending my second son off to college in a few months. I have picked up a few tips from my friends and from my learning experience with my first son. Here are a few things you should start buying now. First, buy a mattress topper. I buy mine at Land’s End when they have a half off sale. I noticed today that Amazon is running a special on them. I buy my towels at a discount store like Tuesday Morning, Marshall’s or TJ Maxx. Same with the sheets. Buy two sets of sheets and four towels. Once the discount stores start stocking winter items you need to buy your child one or two frackets-frat jacket. Those are coats for under $50 and you won’t be mad if they get stolen at a frat party or somewhere else. Forget sending expensive jackets with your child. If you have boys you will need many pairs of pants because the bottoms of the pants get stained at parties. They also need a pair of rain boots to get to class in the pouring rain. I buy the LL Bean duck boots. They are unisex and comfortable. Send a rain jacket as well.

Other needed items are an air freshener, plastic or metal trash can, detergent, step stool, hangers, belt hanger, tie hanger, flip flops for the shower, posters or something to hang on walls, a bin for under the bed to store extra sheets and towels, many pairs of socks and underwear, froes or freakers-shoes or sneakers that will be ruined when they go out on weekends, a power strip, pens and pencils, scissors, staple, paper clips, gloves and hat, bedding, pillow that can be washed, comforter, blanket, shower bucket to take to and from the shower, if in a business school you will need a business suit for presentations, shampoo, toothpaste, deodorant, shelf that tucks into bed for your phone and small items, laundry bag, overnight bag if they travel to visit friends on weekends, a low tiered shoe rack or a hanging shoe rack and plastic hooks that you can hang on the wall. I also sent a compact cushioned mat for kids who visit and need to sleep over.

You will also need to send medicine and a small first aid kit. Pack Tylenol, Advil, cold medicine, band aids, first aid ointment and whatever other medicine your child needs. I went to the health center during orientation and gave them a copy of my son’s insurance card and filled out any necessary paper work.

Here are a few tips on things to discuss with them before they leave.

Please talk to them about safe sex. Don’t have your head in the sand. It is better to have them safe than sorry. Send them with condoms if you have to. This goes for boys and girls.  It doesn’t mean you are condoning it, but you want them to be safe, if they are engaging.

Most importantly, have them watch this video. It is long but worth it and you should watch it with your child. This helped my son make some very good decisions this year. You need to have them knowledgable about when someone is in trouble. I know my son’s school has the Good Samaritan Law, click here to see the list of states that have it. Every state should have it in my opinion. If you don’t see your state on here, call your college and find out how they handle it. Your child should know if they are in a position to help a friend without getting into any trouble themselves. I tell my kids, if someone is putting a backpack on a person to make sure they don’t choke on their vomit then you need to call 911. That is called jansporting in college. I tell them no jansporting just call 911.

It is a great time for everyone so enjoy the process. You will feel better knowing you have prepared them as much as you can.

p.s. Book your hotel rooms and flights now for parent/family weekend.


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Author: amynidds

Amy loves to help you find the best deals out there or something she thinks you just have to have! Content and Finds Editor