How to Prepare Your Student for College

How to Prepare Your Student for College

Help your child make the transition to college with these essential back-to-school tips.


When your child is getting ready to head off to college, school supplies and preparation take on an entirely new meaning. Check out these tips so you can send your student to school prepared.

College Supplies
Your college student will essentially be living on her own; therefore, the list of must-haves encompasses everything a young adult needs day-to-day:

  • Bed linens, blankets and pillows
  • A laundry bag, plenty of extra hangers and detergent
  • Shower caddy with all of the essential toiletries
  • Towels and washcloths
  • A first-aid and medicine kit
  • Desk lamp
  • Plates, cups, bowls and utensils
  • Water bottles
  • Backpack with school supplies
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Top 5 Lessons for Your College-Bound Student
If your child is headed to college, you can set her up for a successful year by teaching these top five lessons.

1. Teach Housework 101
Before your student leaves for college, ask if she needs a refresher on housekeeping basics such as laundry, ironing, dishes and cleaning. Give a demonstration of each. This makes housework less scary.

2. Pack Early and Pack Light
Packing too much stuff might be a hassle when moving it, and it can make the dorm room seem small. Your student will collect more items as the years go by. Pack in advance and store everything in one room so your student can visualize how much she is bringing. Don't forget: You can always mail items later.

3. Talk to the Roommate Before Move-in Day
Communication is paramount in a good roommate relationship. Why not start early? Have your student contact her roommate before move-in day. If her roommate lives close, suggest meeting ahead of time. This eliminates a lot of stress on the first day. They can also coordinate items to eliminate duplicates.

4. Don't Break Your Back
Purchase sturdy boxes with handles and write your student's name and room number on them. When packing, don't fill them to the top. Break down and store the boxes for moving out later. Get a collapsible dolly or handcart to move heavy items. It's a good investment, because you'll probably be on the moving crew for the next few years.

5. Let Her Run The Show
Move-in day is your student's big debut. Let your student check in, delegate tasks, handle issues and make decisions. Be there for help and support, but don't baby your college student. You'll feel better knowing that she can be independent. Be a proud parent and watch your student take the lead — especially on moving the heavy stuff!

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