Depending on the personality of the future college bound freshman, creating a college dorm room that is both unique and comfortable may take some planning and time. A smooth transition into college requires an organized plan. We have revamped our college dorm room packing list for 2017 and added a few more items. It is a great starting point for families as you begin the process of collecting items for college.
For college freshman, the first step of college independence is quickly approaching. Before you go out shopping, I would suggest contacting your future roommate. Technology has made this step easier for the college bound freshman. Use Facebook and social media to initially contact your roommate and take the initiative to communicate how you want your dorm room to look. You want it to be comfortable and feel like home! Decide who will be responsible for what items in your dorm room. No sense in bringing two of any item.
It is also always beneficial to check the college website. Here a student can check the dimensions of the room and find out what will fit. For many students the dorm room will be a small space and understanding this will help them organize the room comfortably and not overstock the room with items that will not fit.
We have created a detailed checklist that you can download for added help in this area. Here are the major categories to consider when building your own list.
College Dorm Room Checklist
- Shared Appliances
- Personal Organization Items
- Cleaning Supplies
- Health and Personal Care
- Study Materials
- Seasonal Clothing
- Snack and Food
Some of your planning will be highly dependent on how far from home your child will be and whether you will be able to transport these items. In some cases, a purchase once at college will be a better option. Before you travel to the college, it is a good idea to find out the location of the nearest Walmart and Bath, Bed and Beyond where you may be able to purchase many of your dorm room items. You may even choose to have these stores directly ship your items to the dorm room. Either way an organized plan will minimize the stress of this major transition for both the student and parent.
As part of the planning, parents should also create a legal checklist of items to complete this summer. In most states, the legal age to be considered an adult is 18. Many parents do not realize that they lose some of their legal rights once their child enters college. Parents are unable to see the student’s grades or have access to their medical records, if something should happen.
Here is a list of the major legal documents you will need:
It is recommended that you contact the college student life office to confirm if there are other documents that you may need. Some states and colleges do require multiple forms or versions of different documents. You will also need to get access to your child’s grades. This permission is often an option listed on the student portal of the future college and needs to be activated by the student. First time college parents often do not realize this.
Colleges now require healthcare insurance before you can enroll. In many cases, this is part of your billing from the college and is not removed until the student’s healthcare insurance is verified. Paying for dual insurance is a waste of money and should be part of your review of your bill.
This article was a brief summary of both the material and legal items parents and students need to review and put into place before college begins. Here are links to a more detailed description of both lists you will need. Good luck decorating the dorm room and we hope it will feel like home when you are finished!