Posts Tagged "what do you need to take to university"

College Shopping, Orientation Exhaustion, and Pre-minders

tired puppyDear Kid,

Shopping for college is an endurance sport and I have just completed a double marathon.

You were there too, but you are young and strong and for the most part not paying. Picking up the bills should qualify me for a spot on the Olympic weight lifting team.

Linens? Check. Laptop? Check. Shampoo? Check. Beanbag chair, memo board, iHome? Check, check, and check.

And by “check,” I mean that I wrote a lot of them.

In truth, we were wildly efficient and while we certainly did our share to stimulate the economy in southwest Ohio (yes Carley, southWEST), we didn’t spend anything like the national debt of a small country. Score one for making lists, checking them twice, and shopping for bargains.

Extra points to Pi for cheerfully managing the lists.

And a big Thank You to Grandma for finding you the perfect sewing kit so we didn’t have to look for one. (And a small growl in your direction for not telling me about the sewing kit until I found it by accident as we were organizing our purchases.)

Important Item to Add to Your ToDo List: please arrange for good (or at least decent) weather the day of move-in. Unloading everything during a monsoon, snow storm, even a moderate drizzle will add considerably to the stress and I-may-have-to-kill-someone factor.

I can’t get over how exhausting orientation was. In a good way, but exhausting. It wasn’t that we were staying up half the night at some over-the-top parent reception or anything. We weren’t even out all night perfecting our version of Who’s on First? I think it was all the newness. And the learning. And the walking up hills.

I point this out not just for the sympathy you are supposed to show me (hint, hint) but as a pre-minder (that’s a reminder only in advance) that you should plan some significant sleeping during the first few weeks of school (big hint, big hint). You probably won’t want to – you’ll want to stay awake enjoying your freedom and your TV and your laptop and your new friends. But like a puppy who gets exhausted from lots of new sights and smells, all the new and exciting can wear you down quickly.

Exercising a dog’s mind wears them out MUCH faster than exercising their body for most breeds.

There won’t be anyone there to give you A Look and say something sage like “Come on, kid. Enough already.” And I am NOT one of those moms who will text you or call you to remind you to brush your teeth and go to sleep. (You are SO lucky.) I will remind you here. (Maybe not so much on the luck.)

So plan to clean up your toys and head to bed at a reasonable-ish hour those first few weeks. You’ll need that down time to process all the new and interesting in your life.

Just don’t forget to set your alarm. Because even though the University considers it optional (HA!), we bought you one and it works just fine.

I need a nap.

Love, Mom

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What to Take to College | According to the University


Seriously? Ironing at college? I doubt it.

Dear Kid,

The university sent  a list of things they think you should bring when you start school in the fall. Whoever authored the list completely ignored the whole clothing angle—which I think was quite bright on their part.

What intrigued me was that they had thoughtfully gone through the list and put an asterisk next to items they considered essential.

Speaking for College Student Moms everywhere, I’m not sure they got it right.

For example, the essential list included a DVD player (but a tv was optional) and a music/MP3 player. The non-essential list included an alarm clock, ironing board, hangers, writing implements, and notebooks.


I can’t imagine you wanting to take an ironing board to college. Most of your clothes are permanent press, and I just don’t see wrinkles as being a big concern in your life. Even if you wanted to take an iron (which I doubt), I assume you’d figure out a way to press clothes without an ironing board. Caveat: On Pinterest, I saw clever interesting desperate way to heat up pizza using an iron and a hairdryer, since you have no need of a hairdryer the iron seems pointless. Also the list included a microwave.

An alarm clock, however, is (imho) an Essential Item for College Success. Yes, I know your phone has an alarm feature on it, but I just don’t think it’s the same. Maybe I’m old fashioned (OK—I’m definitely old fashioned) but there is something about an alarm clock that is different from a phone alarm. If nothing else, you can put an alarm clock on the other side of the room (where the snooze button is out of reach) for days when you Must Get To Class On Time. I can’t see you doing that with a phone.

They also left Oreos and Doritos off the list, and if there is a way to get through finals without those I never figured it out. Maybe they figured you could purchase those closer to exam time.

Looks like we’ll have to put our heads together and work on a revised/supplemental list. <grin> And find some current college kids who can provide Useful Insight about the essentials for dorm life.

Although regardless of their opinion, you’re still taking an alarm clock.

Love, Mom

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