The Reality of College

Each night before going to bed, my eldest would ask for a book, and for me to put him in his "taco shell". I remember that moment like yesterday. He was only about 7 years old and I remember him being smaller than the blanket that I wrapped him in. Today, he's 17 and now he's no longer asking for me to put him in his "taco shell". The asks nowadays are for a car, restaurant food and permission to stay out longer. 

Well, my husband and I realized that time waits for no one and college is suddenly around the corner. We are looking at colleges and looking at the possibility that this young person that was just in his "taco shell", is leaving the nest soon.

"Will they be prepared?" "Will they have all they need?" "Will every lesson that we teach our kids yet they may not put into practice at home come flooding back to our child's memory when they start their own lives?" "Will they make the right decisions?" These are the questions I believe every parent asks themselves when May 1st arrives. And if you don't know the significance of May 1st - it's when college season begins and reality sets in. 

The reality set in for us once the practice SAT began for our eldest.  We started looking for schools to settle on, scholarships, and thought about all the things he’d need to live in the dorm or in a college apartment - he’ll be living in a dorm btw.  We also realized that sometimes our children do not understand how much it takes to really live and have supplies that seemingly never run out. We then had to start making checklists so we wouldn’t forget things we need to make sure we make college transition smooth for our kiddo. Here are the top 5 things you’ll need to ensure a smooth transition to college living! 

  1. Essential documents:  Make sure your kid has the necessary documents that they will need to handle any administrative tasks that may arise on campus including: driver's license or state ID, passport/visas for those study abroad opportunities, health insurance card, student ID, social security card, and any relevant medical records. A box to hold all these items in may also be useful.
  2. Bedding and linens:  Don’t forget to pack bedding essentials such as sheets, blankets, pillows, and pillowcases. Additionally, include towels, washcloths, and a mattress pad to make their dorm or apartment feel like home. Opt for durable, easy-to-wash materials that will withstand frequent use and that you won’t mind if they get damaged in a community washer.
  3. Basic kitchen supplies:  Eating out is expensive! Supply your kid with the basics to prepare simple meals and snacks in their dorm or apartment. Essentials may include a microwave-safe dish, mini-fridge (if allowed by dorm), microwave, compact coffee maker or kettle, utensils, plates, bowls, cups, and storage containers. Encourage them to stock up on non-perishable pantry staples and easy-to-prepare snacks (sidebar - they may want to hide some just in case they get a roommate that decides that said snacks are community snacks - just saying).  Throw in some irritant free Dinobi Dish Soap for simple and easy, effective cleaning of those utensils. 
  4. School Supplies and Electronics: Fighting the lines at the local Wally World (Wal-Mart) for school supplies can be overwhelming, but they certainly have a plethora of budget friendly items that will ensure your kid has the necessary school supplies for their classes.  Don't forget notebooks, pens, pencils, and a sturdy backpack and or laptop bag. A hard cover folder (or what we would call a Trapper-Keeper) would help your kiddo to not forget those ever so important syllabi that the professor will refuse to give another copy of.  
  5. Personal care and health items such as soap, shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, toothbrush, deodorant, and skincare products. Additionally, there is nothing like getting sick when away from home.  Make sure to pack any prescription medications, over-the-counter remedies, vitamins, and first aid supplies they may need. Don't forget to include a laundry hamper and skin safe detergent like Dinobi for keeping their clothes clean and fresh. You can also give the gift of subscribe and save to get Dinobi shipped right to your kiddo and take one more thing off your checklist to replenish or lug around.

This is not a comprehensive list by any means but will help to get you and your kiddos to begin to get prepared to embark on this new journey of college life. In the midst of the excitement, give your kids the gift of preparedness as they embark on this exciting journey. Having the essentials in tow will help your kid feel confident and empowered to tackle anything college life throws their way.  Stay Dinobi!!

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