Skip to main content

If your son/daughter is off to college for the first time, you must have a "college corner". That's a part of a room in your house where all of the college "stuff" is being acumulated. Big Grin If it is not the first time your child is leaving, then the college corner maybe a bit smaller.

Since son was going off to a small town, we wouldn't see him for awhile I was obsessed with getting everything he needed. Believe it or not, they do have Walmarts, Targets, CVS, walgreens, grocery stores in Clemson! I loaded him up with a year's worth of everything, only to find out that there wasn't much room in his room. And lo and behold, since he did have transportation, he could have bought whatever he needed when he ran out!
Most schools will send a college check list, they will also try to get you to buy lots of things through vendors they do business with. Sheets, towels, comforters were not of the quality I bought through the mail, no matter how much I thought I was saving!

If your college student has an option to "loft" their beds, it's a great idea. Gives more room and I think a wise investment. My son couldn't loft in the dorm he was staying, so two really tall boys had barely enough room to turn around.

Some don't forget items: those plastic drawers they sell in every store, served as a bed stand and he could keep everything he needed for everyday in there as they don't provide much drawer space, or when sharing a bathroom, not too much space either. And plastic crates came in handy for storing blankets and extra sheets, towels under the bed. Those are must haves.

I won't get into the change the sheet thing, but I found one set of sheets were not used at all. Eek

The neatest thing almost all schools have is prepaid cards. This is usually their student ID card. At sons school it is called a Tiger card and you can load it up with a credit card. I don't usually put much on it, but son finds it handy to use in some places on and off campus so he doesn't have to carry his wallet. It can be used for snack machines, and for laundry. You can check the balance yourself too, I usually put 50 dollar increments on the card. They can get a balance each time they use it. Since son is on the commuter meal plan, and an added incentive is 300 paw points, to be used just like cash in the cafeteria when his card runs low at end of semester. And cafeteria meals, when his plan is used up , 7 dollars a meal, all you can eat, for me is a bargain.

I know Cleveland Dad provided some links on another thread, didn't read if this was what it was about, but other items that come in handy in the dorm are flashlight, can opener hammer and nails and egg crate (or one of those foam things) for the bed. My son preferred the memory foam one, the dorms beds are really not that comfy. Also be aware than many universities do not allow halegon lighting for safety reasons.
Hope this helps, remember, it can be expensive sending them off to school, but I think we sometimes go a bit overboard, and don't have to send lots of things that we really think we need too. Besides, I thought I spent a lot the first year, moving into an apartment the second year was the killer. Thankfully, his third year, he only requested a new set of sheets, and I was happy to oblige! Smile
Last edited {1}
Original Post

Replies sorted oldest to newest

LOL about the sheet thing. A few years ago when the oldest was a freshman he came home at Thanksgiving and washed his sheets for the first time. Eek Eek The second set had never been used. We had a quick talk about the need to wash sheets, towels, etc. regularly.

Of course, there was also the bat bag that he brought him that we didn't unpack for weeks -- I just threw most of the science experiment gone really bad out. Wink

After his first year of apartment living, I thought about writing a book titled, "Mom, how do I....." that would have answers to all the questions he had during his first year of living alone. Like removing gum or wine (don't ask), from carpet or the couch. Or, how long after the expiration date is milk still good? Or, how long does left over chicken stay good? Or, how do I sew on buttons that have come off my shorts. Or, how do I keep the spaghetti from sticking to the pan? Or..... you get the idea. Happy to say that he cooked Valentine's Day dinner for his girlfriend and she reports that it was really good!

Our second leaves this month and he and we are much better prepared. Tips from this website were really helpful.

Best of luck college Moms.
Our son lived in apartments all three years as the coaches preferred the players NOT stay in the dorms for various reasons, not the least of which was difficulty with the way food service was handled and the players not being able to get late meals after practices. Our son learned how to do some basic cooking and got pretty good at it ... now when he and his wife are in their own apartment (they are with a host family right now) he does the cooking and laundry (he thinks he does a better laundry than his wife) and she does the cleaning and bill paying (she keeps a better checkbook than he does). If he hadn't had that apartment experience in college, I am not sure he would have made such a desireable husband
Awesome pointers TP Mom and others! I too have a to-be Junior in highschool,...but am printing off this thread and saving in a safe spot!

My oldest went straight into the military,..we couldnt give/send him anything, all was ussued to him,...three pairs of perfectly rolled underwear and two pairs of boots and thats about it! ha!

Goood advice, to hear about others experiences!!! I am taking notes with a highlighter for my second son,..and daughter!!
Just sent my "baby" away to college. I tried to smile as he drove off into the sunset, but my parting words were..."I just dropped you off at kindergarten yesterday!" We had previously gone to his apartment together and he agreed to let me "do" his bathroom and bed, and I know that color coordinating his shower curtain, hooks, towels and mats was much more important to me than him. For eighteen years, he was my first and last thought in every situation, every day and now he's 540 miles away. A friend tried to put it in perspective for me by saying, if 16 years ago someone would have told you that your son would graduate with honors, play for a State championship and go to a great university with a baseball scholarship, you would have been ecstatic. Then I talk to him and I hear the excitement in his voice...But I STILL MISS HIM!
puma1 - I know exactly how you feel right now.

We are 750 miles away and I'll never forget the feeling last year - how empty we both felt when we left him at school and drove home. Time will take care of these feelings as it did with us. Fungo is right, the cell phone helps remain connected in a big way.

You will be shocked at how much growth your young man will experience and be surprised at how proud you are because of his growth. The only way for that to occur however is for him to go and learn some things on his own.

Here are some postive thoughts I can leave you with. He is with a baseball family/fraternity down there. They will help look after him, make sure he gets to class, make sure he studies, and provide an instant social network that the general student body does not enjoy.

They will keep him busy at the ball field and socially such as going out and doing good works in the community and attending church as a team. In short, the team atmosphere will help him adjust being away. As for you, it just takes a little time. All is good
Thanks for your encouragement. It does help alot knowing that he is going to encounter such a positive experience. When he was growing up we travelled everywhere and were always ones to hop in our car at a moments notice and drive to Texas, Atlanta etc. Now those wings have taken him a little too far away. But it is all good and I will be going up for his 18th birthday over Labor Day weekend, so what the heck am I whining about...right??
It's hard to beleive that mine is going into his third year. Eek

After being away from home for 8 months he made a trip home, not because he was homesick (his home now is where he goes to school) but to see his old friends before they headed off to school!

Just to let you know in the next few weeks you will be thinking more about him that he you and his family at home. He now becomes part of a different family and everything will revolve around that, for the next 3,4 maybe 5 years. You will learn not to take it personally when he calls home, for something he needs, the hello how are you coming second..and that he doesn't call as much as you would like. The first couple of months is the hardest, a bigger adjustment for us than them actually. Then spring comes and you are so busy following the team, either online or traveling and then you turn around and the school year is OVER.

Ours also is very far from home, he can't jump in the car and come home for a weekend or mom and dad can't "drop" in. I think being so far away has made him much more independent than he or we realize.

The first year the stuff for the bathroom was more important for me too than him, the second year his imput was a bit more as it was "his own" place. Now it's a "go get what you need yourself" type of arrangement! Big Grin
Puma - You will be absolutely amazed at the friendships and bonds that your son will develop this year! My son is switing from a JUCO to a four year after one year at the JUCO. There are boys there that he will be lifelong friends with. Just as in HS, being a teammate means special things and they do look out for one another. A special blessing that many college kids don't have! Smile
What a wonderful thread to read. I have the college corner for my son who I am dropping off this coming Thursday. I thought I was keeping it together pretty well until my son laid down next to me yesterday and said"Well old lady I am gonna miss you most" We have done everything we can to prepare him for this upcoming day, owever as I read this thread I realize the only thing he can cook is scrambled eggs and they are not that great...thank goodness he lives in a dorm his first year. Well I better put a box of klenex in the car for the ride home....after I remind him of the importance of washing his sheets
"I thought I was keeping it together pretty well until my son laid down next to me yesterday and said"Well old lady I am gonna miss you most"

Oh can I relate to that. It sounds like the same kind of relationship I have with my son. Always been close and it is hard to have him 12 hours away! On Tuesday (first day home after taking him down) I kept finding myself about to say "Hey JJ can you come here a minute...." then realizing he wasn't here.

It's not easy but I am glad to report - it's going to be ok! He has vaccumed his room twice, (he told us how great the new vaccume was - that's scary) done laundry, gone for more groceries, and cooked for himself - and not just Kraft or Chef boyardee either! He did burgers and a salad, bbq chicken, brocali and rice and heated the manicotti I had sent down.

We will survive! and be better for it! I just have to say I don't post much but this is kind of like therapy for me - so thanks to all for listening!
I'm relating too, to the previous posts.But, I never had any doubts that my son would survive and prosper and was me that is in question. It's been over a week and I've actually stopped going upstairs to get him up in the morning. That's a big step! And,I've doubled my income by working overtime,but I know that too will pass.
I think the hardest is the reality for us they CAN survive on their own.
I sent mine off today quite a bit differently from the first two years. First year the truck was packed full, last year groceries mostly, this year, some pretzels, peanut butter crackers, water and bananas.
Reason, he now knows where the local Wal Mart is, much easier just to use the debit card than mom running all over the place filling up the cart. Big Grin
If this is your only one or last one leaving, it leaves a hole, for a while. But then all of a sudden you realize that there is less laundry, less food to buy and dinner doesn't have to be at a certain time. There is less to clean and more time to sit and watch a show, read a book or post on the HSBBW! If this is your first leaving, you will find that your others will appreciate the time you have for them now (no more basebal schedules to adhere to), less sibling arguing.
Last edited by TPM
I just have to say I don't post much but this is kind of like therapy for me - so thanks to all for listening!

Hoovmom,....ears open,..hearts open...on this forum. This is a greeeat spot to be in! We welcome you,...write away,..vent away,...therapy is free here!

We dont charge and always love to read what others have to say. Its therapy for us to read as much as it is for you to write. We all do it and we are so glad to have you here!!! Smile

You'll find we have yummy food here, ( fajitas cheetos,...just found out that GOT2BMe makes world famous chicken and dumplings,..YUM!! )free kleenex when one of us is sad, we pass the tiarra to those who need/deserve it, cold smoothies,..and just added mood music and singing ta' boot! Now, wont find THAT anywhere else on the HSBBW! tee hee!!

Keep postin',...
Son left this morning.....and this time it was a little easier. Neighbors decided we needed a cookout yesterday....we started grilling at 1pm, and finished the marqueritas and sing along at 10pm...... One neighbor plays a mean guitar..... another makes the best marqueritas this side of the border.....

.....hubby and I are now sitting here this morning.....talking about how much we are going to miss the neighbors once we move in a few months.....

Hang in there does get easier.....and they are so much the better for it.
One surprise for me when our first son (Joe, 04) left two years ago, was seeing his younger brother (Tony, 06) walk in the house after school and wander around looking lost. None of us had guessed how much he would miss his big brother! But now Tony is heading to college in two weeks, and we can see how ready he is to be on his own, live in a dorm with 900 other college students, and be INDEPENDENT!
We got our girl delivered back to school yesterday. After two years of dorm life she is now in an apartment (4 plex - 2 up and 2 down). Brother hauled in the couches and mattresses and a lot more. He has plans to camp out on her couch occassionally. The stairs to their place are actually inside the front door - so you enter at ground level. As I went to bed last night I realized there is only one exit in case of fire or emergency. I just placed an order for a fire escape ladder - lightweight and non tangle. It will be here in five days. As my daddy would say - "I may just look like I'm sitting here, but I'm always thinking." Pass the Oreos!
Redhead, Do you mind sharing where you ordered the fire escape ladder from? My son was in a house with all baseball players at his JUCO last year, but will live in a dorm this year. I had the same thoughts as I left today - what if the frig/electrical cords which are by the door caught on fire. Only way out would be out a third story window. Confused
Thanks Shortstopmom it's nice to know I have someplace to go and vent. The husband is just too male and doesn't always get what I'm trying to say or the way I feel. And most of my sons friends have stayed pretty close to home for College so none the other moms are really going through the same kind of emotions or feelings.

By the way - if we need a chocolate fix I make "The best **** toffee" - (that is the actual name of it). Please add that to the buffet of goodies you all have here. It might not go with some of the smoothies though! But it might go with a mudslide!

edit - I didn't mean to swear and had no idea that it would automatically turn to ****. That's a great trick!
Last edited by Hoovmom15
Thanks redhead - I'm going to check that out!

When they were doing inventory of son's room today, I pointed out that the glass in the exit directions on the back of the door was broken and a large piece could easily slide right out. I told the guy, "I'm a mom and a nurse and I can see a chopped off toe from that". The young man looked at me like "we have one of those" and said he'd list it on the form. Always better safe than sorry!

Add Reply

Link copied to your clipboard.