The back-to-school list used to include notebooks, folders, mechanical pencils, glue sticks and maybe a box of Kleenex. Packing your child for college includes some of those items along with an entire different list that varies for each university.
For instance, every dorm room on Kent State University’s main campus is equipped with a mini refrigerator and microwave. At Walsh University, freshman rooms do not have refrigerators or microwaves.
Walsh and Kent State each have partnerships with companies where students can purchase package deals that contain all the bedding, pillows, mattress covers and bath towels that come in a convenient storage trunk rather than purchasing these items individually at local retail stores. But the key is to check and compare prices before making a purchase.
"For every student, the items they are bringing to campus are different," said Bryan Badar, dean of students at Walsh University. "There is the technology piece – a PC, laptop or tablet. And of course, just about every student has a phone.
"But one area I caution students is to bring something to secure valuables. The rooms at Walsh do not have an area to lock up valuables. I tell students you are coming from a home environment where your parents or siblings walk in and out of your room and take and return items. You are now living in a community where your roommate’s friends, who you do not know, enter the room and could take something of yours. I recommend a secure firebox safe that has a key, lock or code to undo."
In addition to the standards of toothbrush, toothpaste and other toiletry items, Badar advised about medications. Parents and students need to make sure if students are taking a specific medication that they have the right supply and keep locked up. Medications are kept in rooms and do not have to be reported to anyone.
Both Kent State and Walsh advised that roommate communication is the key when preparing which items to bring to campus.
"When room assignments are made, we highly encourage students to speak with one another through phone, text or social media," said Badar. "By making contact early, you are able to plan who is bringing what and in some cases share the expense of providing for the room. In those discussions, students can also discuss what will be shared and what will be off limits. "
At both Kent State and Walsh, many freshman rooms are the older style residence halls. In some cases, those dorm rooms are not equipped with air conditioning. Taking a small fan may be on the list to pack for August and September. Students may also want to consider bringing a TV or using a streaming device on an IPAD.
In a Destination Kent State orientation presentation, Dean of Students Dr. Lamar Hylton said bringing personal items from home will help with home sickness. Items could include pictures or other personal items. And remember to pack a few of the student’s favorite snacks.
This almost goes without saying; know the climate of the university you will be attending. Closet and dresser space will be somewhat limited compared to home. Know the clothing items you will need including shoes and coats.
Each campus also has washing machines located on each floor or in the dorm. Students should be prepared if they need quarters or not to operate the washer or dryer.
On move in day, parents need to remember to let the student make the choice on how and where they would like to put away items. This is their home for the next year and another step in their independence.
Both campuses do have a bookstore that carry items students may have forgot to pack and both universities are located near drug/convenient or grocery stores as well.
When preparing for move out of the house day and move in day at the school of choice, pack away the tears, have patience, smile and provide a reassuring hugs to your student.