In four short weeks, our oldest son will be moving into a college dorm. Somebody hold me, because I am having a really hard time dealing with that fact, m’kay?
And, in typical “me” fashion, since I don’t want to face reality and deal with it like a big girl, we’ve gotten precisely nothing done about it. Nope! No shopping, no packing, nothing. In fact, it wasn’t until yesterday that I made myself sit down with my future Clemson Tiger to work out some details. Talk about an eyeopener!
Now, I guess that’s not exactly true. Of course we’ve done some things to prepare for his move to school. He’s already picked his roommate and together they picked their dorm room. He signed up for a dining plan and a parking permit. Even his room here at home got a good clean-out already! So, the next logical step, then, was to start the process of shopping and packing. And thanks to the help of an extremely detailed spreadsheet from a veteran college-mom, we got down to business.
K.I.S.S – Keep it Simple, Stupid!
I am a big fan of the KISS method of approaching new tasks. What is the absolute easiest way of accomplishing this thing I don’t really know how to do?
Well, with moving a teenager into a dorm room with another teenager he’s never met in his life? And when said dorm room is a 10’x14′ shoebox? That can be a little tricky, especially in this time of coronavirus! There are so many things to consider! Such as…
- How can we keep what he takes to the absolute bare minimum?
- What does he need to take to make his new surroundings feel like home?
- Does he actually need what he’s going to take?
- How much of it can he fit into his car and bring home on his own should school shut down again?
- Exactly how functional is, well, pretty much anything he wants to take?
With these questions in mind we set to work. We examined that spreadsheet and made notes all over it. We looked up other packing lists from the school and generic ones we found on Pinterest. And with all that in mind, we set out to make the simplest, most detailed-yet-generic college packing list known to moms anywhere.
First, we shop. Then, we pack.
Here it is, folks! As comprehensive, yet bare bones as we could make it. That said, though, here are a couple caveats to note:
- This will work best for someone moving into a traditional dorm that’s already outfitted with a bed, dresser, desk, shelf, and chair.
- Girls will typically want to decorate and personalize their room more than guys will. Therefore, you’ll need to add more stuff to the list.
- This assumes the student will be using a hall bathroom and will not be in a suite situation. (Ha! Suite situations are sweet. See what I did there? Sigh…)
If that works for you, feel free to print out your own version of the checklist here –> AWG Dorm Checklist
Next Stop: Dorm Room
Now, I’d be remiss as a blogger if I didn’t tell you the emotional side of all this, right? Because right now there is a huge weight on my chest about this whole “move my kid out of my house and into a dorm room at a university where God only knows what can happen.” Holler if ya hear me, other college moms!
As my mom told me the other day, even in the best of times, it’s gut-wrenchingly difficult to move your first baby to college. But y’all, these aren’t the best of times! They’re scary and uncertain and, yes, unprecedented! I just don’t understand how to be OK with this!
Yet all I can do, in fact the best I can do, is to pray.
Dear Lord, I pray that my son’s dorm room becomes a real haven for him, a home away from home. Thank you for the gift that is Amazon Prime for all those things I know we will forget to pack, but will be able to send him anyway. I pray that he will make good friends and that they will be smart and strong and safe together. In light of that hall-bath situation, God, I pray that he doesn’t get some nasty foot fungus and that he never ever drops his toothbrush on the ground. I pray that he sleeps well and doesn’t fall off of his lofted bed. I pray that he has the best possible college experience despite (maybe even because of?) the changes made in light of the current health crisis in our country. God, I ask that he misses me just enough. I pray that he stays safe and healthy and happy as he works hard and plays hard. But most of all, Lord, most of all, I hope he remembers that You love him and are always by his side no matter where he rests his head at night. Amen.