Back to School for the Big Kids!
3 mins read

Back to School for the Big Kids!

Having six kids close in age meant that for a long time, “Back to School” involved purchasing countless little backpacks, pencil crayons, safety scissors, easy-to-open lunch containers, new shoes and uniforms. I did a lot of shopping, organizing (and yes, labeling!) all the items I purchased for my crew of elementary school aged school-aged kids.

Fast forward a few years, and I am now preparing to send my fifth child off to college. I have now acquired a lot of experience with birds leaving the nest as they embark on their post-secondary education.

Back to school looks very different for our big-sized kids, but there are still must-have items and things to consider when you have a kiddo heading off for dorm room living.

Upon high school graduation, my teens have always gone off to a traditional residence hall style in a double room with a roommate who is a stranger. For kids in a family of our size, they found only having to share a room with one other person quite civilized. With social media and all the apps available now, kids can often connect with their future roommates prior to moving in, which is helpful when deciding who is bringing what. You certainly don’t need two of everything in those small rooms.

Here is my list of must-haves for dorm life in the first year of college:

(To shop the whole list at once, check out our Amazon College Back to School Essentials)

It is equally important to consider what NOT to pack. Leave these items off the list:

  • Candles and incense
  • Space heaters
  • Loudspeakers
  • Drinking/Drug paraphernalia

Most importantly, send your kids away knowing that you are confident in them and that you will honor their independence while providing support. The transition can be tough. This will be a big change for everyone in your family, including you, the parents. Think of yourself not as an empty nester, but as a bird launcher. You’ve got this!

Julie Cole is the Co-founder of Mabel’s Labels Inc, a parenting author, and mom of six.

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