University drop off is fast approaching. It really is a weirdly, bittersweet time in the life of parents and students alike. When we dropped of our son on the other side of North America it was exciting, nerve wracking, happy, sad and oh so many emotions all tied up into one nervous Mama bundle.
To help you navigate this time, here are a few tips that we learned from this process.
1. Let them go on the Facebook Year Groups and start talking to different people as soon as they know where they will be heading. It can make a difference when they get there, and often helps them in finding their people sooner. This is where my son found his friends.
2. They may seem calm but they are nervous too. Try and focus on the positive and roll with the flow even if the room looks like a closet.
3. All the parents are nervous, and they really want to talk to you too. Try and make a connection, you never know what type of support that could be for you and your child.
4. Help your child to decide on room decor and a plan. Give them some boundaries and budget of course, but they really still want a little guidance. P.S - Matching slim hangers (not plastic) make a big difference.
5. Start thinking about items for a sacred space for your child: things that make them smile, bring them peace and make them happy. It's a long year and homesickness is real. It was our son’s favourite spot in his room.
6. Even though it says twin bed or twin XL, buy a full/double duvet or comforter. It will hang over nicely and hide some things packed under the bed! And who knows what size bed they will have next year!
7. Buy snacks, cup noodles, drinks — things they can eat if they get hungry and have no one to go to the cafeteria with! It's a hard few days of adjusting.
8. You can never have enough plastic container boxes to organize and store items. These also becoming useful for packing up at the end of the year.
9. Expect to spend at least 4 hours packing out and organizing. Plan accordingly.
10. Don’t over pack clothing from home and let them take their time shopping for appropriate clothing. Depending on where they are going, it can be hot for a short while and then it gets really cold. We may be afraid of the weather, but allow them to see what the trends are and what others are wearing. We may want to get them that goose down parka, but perhaps layering with lighter options that can move through the seasons is a better call. They will eventually figure it out and make a decision. A medium weight coat, hoodies and sweaters are good places to start. Also depending on their program, they may need to do presentations, so one “business attire” outfit should be packed.