College Shopping List: 20 Dos And Don’ts That Will Make You Smile

Yesterday I checked another big life event off the list.

Something that you hear about other people doing but don’t really think about doing yourself until you are in the middle of it.

College freshman in her dorm
Moving into the dorm was a major undertaking. (Michelle Newman)

Botox? Colonoscopy?

No, I crossed off all the items on my daughter’s college shopping list.

You know, the anticipated trip to Target to get all the cute dorm room things that will never actually fit in her new room and/or things that will never be seen under all the piles of crap that will litter the floor by mid-September.

And while it was an exciting and fun day, it didn’t come without a few lessons.

Since I know some of you have your own college shopping list to tackle either in the coming weeks or years, I wanted to share a few of them with you.

If you want to thank me, send cash.

I’ll need it now to pay her tuition.

Note: We are a reader-supported site and receive compensation for purchases made though some of the links in this post.

College shopping list dos and don’ts

1. Do get her two sheet sets so she can change her sheets while one is in the wash.
Don’t think about the fact that the second one will probably never be opened.

2. Do get her at least 18 good hangers. Don’t tell her that only 10 will fit in her closet.

3. Do get her the mattress cover that protects against bed bugs, allergens, and other contaminants. Don’t think of what “other contaminants” might mean.

4. Do encourage her to get the cute dry erase board for her dorm room door. Don’t tell her that by the end of week one someone will have drawn a penis on it in Sharpie.

5. Do buy her cute, colorful towels. Don’t think about the fact that boys will see her wrapped in them as she walks back to her room from the communal bathrooms.

6. Do buck up for a good mattress topper. Don’t get one that will comfortably hold more than her body weight.

7. Do buy plenty of Command Damage-Free hooks and wall adhesive. Don’t mention that nothing sticks to cinder-block walls which is precisely why they use them in prison cells.

8. Do tell her that having a communal bathroom won’t be nearly as bad as she thinks it will be! Don’t vomit in your mouth when you’re telling this to her.

9. Do treat her to a nice lunch. Don’t let her know it’s the last time she’ll eat real food until Thanksgiving.

10. Do listen when she admits she’s getting a little scared about leaving home. Don’t throw your arms around her, lock her in her room, and Google “Home-Colleging.”

11. Do make sure to get her this inexpensive “sound grenade” to put on her keychain.  Don’t even imagine a situation where she’ll need to use it.

12. Do get her an umbrella. Don’t mention that no umbrella in the world will keep her dry when walking half a mile to class in the pouring rain.

13. Do get her a microwave. Don’t think she’ll ever use it for anything other than popcorn.

14. Do let her splurge on an item or two on her college shopping list. Don’t let her know it will be the last time you’re paying for it.

15. Do tell her how darling the mini-fridge is! Don’t point out it won’t hold more than two bottles of water and one cheese stick.

16. Do tuck a couple of surprises into her bags. Don’t consider yourself a “surprise”.

17. Do put a box together of necessary pain-relievers, band-aids, a thermometer, and any other medications she takes regularly. Don’t put an alert in your phone to check to make sure she took them.

18. Do remind her to plan for space for the million things that are currently littering the floors and flat surfaces of her room that she must take with her. Don’t panic when you realize she will be leaving it all behind.

19. Do be understanding when she is contradictory of your many helpful suggestions. Don’t laugh in six weeks when she calls to tell you that you were right.

20. Do have fun and remember the day together. Don’t look at it as an ending, look at it as a beginning.

This Post Originally Appeared on You’re My Favorite Today

More to Read:

Move In Day: 12 Things That Will Save Your Live We asked our Grown and Flown community what made the biggest difference in their move in day. Here are their best ideas.

Top 12 Dorm Shopping Mistakes  Here are the classic mistakes that are so easy to make.  Avoid these to save time and money.

You'll find lots of college shopping lists, and dorm ideas, but this is the list you REALLY want to read. A real mom's list of dos and don't to do on that moving day that will make you smile. #parenting #collegelife #parenthood #motherhood #college #dorm #dormlife #collegeideas #dormroom #dormdecor

About Michelle Newman

Michelle Newman is one of the hosts and producers of The Pop Culture Preservation Society, a podcast dedicated to preserving the pop culture nuggets of our GenX childhoods, from Barry Manilow and the Bee Gees to Battle of The Network Stars. She’s spent the past nine years writing for publications like Grown & Flown, Entertainment Weekly, and The Girlfriend, as well as for her (now silent) blog, You’re My Favorite Today. A recent empty nester, Michelle finds immense joy connecting with others through the memories of their 70s childhoods. Follow the Pop Culture Preservation Society on Instagram and listen wherever you get podcasts!

Read more posts by Michelle

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