Mod Squad Pete is five days away from moving into his dorm and — no surprises here — still working on his shopping list.
He started early with a laptop purchase in June. We decided against purchasing the full dorm-room bedding set offered by his college (and I wrote about that here), but it took until yesterday for us to get to the store to buy sheets (and mattress pad, foam layer, duvet, duvet cover, etc.). Today he’s out with Mod Squad Dad picking up a refrigerator.
While I sought out lists and advice online (see What to Pack When Heading to College by Kelci Lynn Lucier, who also writes at College Parent Handbook), Pete said he had a mental list. I let that go until a week ago when we returned from family road trips and looked at the calendar.
Then Pete looked online for help and typed up a page full of items. He didn’t organize his list into categories, but Bed, Bath & Beyond offers this breakdown:
Last night Pete started looking through his closet, thinking about what clothes to bring and what to leave. We’ve read college student advice against taking an entire wardrobe, so he’s leaning toward taking the variety he wants, but just enough for about three weeks or so, guessing at how often he’ll do laundry. Since it will still be warm here for a few more months, he doesn’t need sweaters or jackets or many jeans and chinos, for that matter. He’ll take a navy blazer and a tie, but no suit.
From Ms. Lucier, cited above:
Call me old-fashioned, but here’s the deal: Your student should be able to fit everything they need in your car. Yes, your car. (Exception: If your student is moving into an apartment and you need to furnish the place, you can break this rule.) Your student can get by with much less than they might think, and too many students bring too much stuff at the beginning of their first year in school.
Pete also has the advantage of parents living nearby. If he needs any particular item, one of us could drop it off.
[I won't go into detail here about the potential disadvantages of parents living nearby. Pete knows we will not be dropping by unannounced nor uninvited.]
Pete has coordinated large-ticket items with his roommate: Pete’s bringing the fridge and microwave, his roommate is bringing the printer and a TV. They have not discussed color schemes — one more thing I think might be different when M.S. Julie starts packing in a couple of years. Yet, to turn the stereotype on its head, Pete has the greater need for a shoe organizer.
Oh, yes, this week is all about focusing on the details and putting off thinking about that bigger picture: he’s leaving home.