By Willow Logue
Your Gator. Your Seminole. Your [Insert Fabulous School] is packing up and going off to college. Willow has a few tips based on her recent Gator drop off.
A few weeks ago, our family said “boy bye” to my oldest. This was our first time, and while it was not exactly painless (read: sobbing alone in the car on the way home), there were a few things that made it okay.
We set expectations
I had no idea if we should be going out to dinner with the new roommate and his parents. Should I drop his stuff at the curb and peal away? Since I had no clue, and he had no idea of what he wanted, we decided together before we left to just see how the day played out. I would help him bring his stuff up; if we were hungry we would get food; and if we needed supplies we would go to Target. It’s seems stupid simple, but it helped me (and him) take on the day and not feel pressured. It also helped that it was only the two of us, so we only needed to worry about what we wanted (he wanted).
Don’t bring/buy everything**
It’s tempting to want to decorate and accessorize, but until you actually lay eyes on the room, you don’t know the space you are working with. We brought a floor mirror, and there was one in the room plus the bathroom with mirrors was literally right next door. I was also happy we waited to buy the rug because I didn’t know the floor space was going to be so large.
What we did bring that I would bring again
- Two sets of clean sheets. My grandmother told me years ago it’s good to have two sets so you have time to clean the other without having to make the bed right away (a true first world struggle for me as an adult).
- A large Jags flag. There is nothing like a little hometown pride, and the flag was light enough to stick on the wall with command strips. Plus, it instantly made the room feel a little homey.
- Scissors and cleaning supplies. I did not leave either of these behind, but it’s amazing how many things we bought at Target that we needed scissors to open. And even though the room was “clean,” it made me feel better to wipe everything down before we moved his stuff in.
Speaking of Target…
We went on a sweep after dropping bags and getting lunch. We got drinks for the fridge, snacks, school supplies, lamps (way to many but that is a personal problem), a rug, and some bins/containers for more practical storage. I still ended up having to do a return (again, the lamps), But, once we had seen the room, we had a clearer idea of how many storage bins he wanted or other supplies the room could hold.
This is not the time for anyone to be getting HANGRY. Early on, my son realized if we didn’t go get a decent lunch – and soon- the rest of the day would devolve in a to petty, snippy, cranky mess. It was nice to get out of the room and re-charge.
Clearly this is not comprehensive list. There are a few key elements that will make it different for everyone. Two of which are: I have a boy, and he is only 90 minutes away.