Inside: When sending your big kid back to college, there might be a few important things you want to make sure they have that you missed the first time around.
Your college kid has been back home for break and it’s getting close to time when they need to head back to school. You may already be shedding tears about their impending departure, wishing you had more time and loving every minute. OR while you may have enjoyed seeing them, you might be more than ready to ship them back(you might even be packing them up to get a head start). No matter which scenario you identify with most or perhaps you’re somewhere in between, we all love these college kids of ours and we want the best for them.
This means that we want to send them back to school with all the essentials they need to be successful, healthy and safe. Sometimes in the rush and craziness of sending them off that very first time, we overlook are are just too overwhelmed to deal with All. The. Things. This is totally understandable. However, now that you’re both seasoned pros at this whole college thing (it’s okay to laugh), maybe there are a few essentials you want to consider adding to that back to college packing and “to do” list.
Here are 5 Important Things You Don’t Want To Send Your College Kid Back To School Without.
- Power of Attorney Forms
When our kids turn 18, everything changes regarding access. As a parent, you no longer have the right to access your child’s medical information without your now “adult” child’s permission. It also means in a medical emergency, you may be unable to easily or readily find out what is happening and will have almost no authorization to make treatment decisions. So if your adult child becomes incapacitated, medical professionals do not have to tell you what is going on or allow you to make decisions on their behalf.
Healthcare power of attorney forms and financial POAs give you as the parent the ability and authority to receive the necessary information to make healthcare and/or financial decisions for or with your child. It does not mean you override your 18-year-old’s decisions. But without these forms, a state may appoint a guardian or conservator for you if they are not in place. Or, a hospital or doctor may be unable to share medical treatment information with you. Power of attorney forms eliminate these concerns.
Mama Bear offers an all-in-one package of law firm quality, state-specific documents that are easy to create, simple to download, and incredibly affordable. The power of attorney (POA) templates and healthcare POA forms can be customized for your children and state(s) of residence. The Young Adult Power of Attorney Package includes all three documents your college child needs for only $79 – a significantly lower price than the average attorney fee for preparing such documents. (P.S. Use Promo Code PTTCOLLEGE20 and get 20% off!!) And if your child is going to college in another state, a second set for that state is included in the price.
If you want to learn more you can read our full post: Why These Legal Documents Are Important When Sending Your Teen To College
- Portable Car Battery Charger
If your college kid is driving back to school and keeping a car at school, than a portable car battery charger is a MUST have item. We can’t tell you how useful this portable battery has been for our so many families. When traveling many miles, knowing your college bound child has this as a backup can provide some much needed peace of mind.
It’s also useful just bc young adults have a tendency to be a bit forgetful, like when they leave their lights on and find their car is dead the next morning when they are already running late for class. It’s also just a super handy device to have around in other situations, like using it to charge a laptop or cell phone in the case of a power outage at your student’s dorm or apartment.
We love them so much we gave them as graduation gifts last year! It is much easier than traditional jumper cables where you need another car for power, and multi-functional. This is a must-have and we keep one in every car.
If you want some other ideas of important safety items your college kid should have in their car read the full post: Put These 11 Things in Your Teen’s Car for Peace of Mind
- She’s Birdie Personal Safety Alarm
The She’s Birdie alarm is a must have for college students today. While they are more common for female students, maybe it’s the name, they are really not a gender specific item. College kids stay out LATE and they walk around in the dark, we’d like to hope not by themselves, but again… college kids. And as safe as many college campuses are these days, they aren’t the bubble we wish we could put our kids in.
Also many college students are working on or off campus in areas that may not necessarily be as safe as we’d hope and this personal safety alarm makes them (and us) feel more confident. The alarm is activated by simply pulling a pin (and it’s about as loud as a jet engine), and a bright strobe light goes off.
The She’s Birdie+ is an upgraded model that is Bluetooth-enabled and can be used through an app. Pushing a button can also send a fake “excuse-to-leave” call if your son or daughter is in an uncomfortable situation or can share their location with emergency contacts. Use our code PTT15 to get 15% off your order here.
- Anxiety Coping Tools
Whether we want to admit it or not, most college student today are dealing with higher than ever levels of anxiety. College is supposed to be “the best time of their lives”, but really, think back to when you were in college. Some parts were great, but there was also a TON of stress. And that was before the world lost its mind, we lived through a pandemic and academics became The Hunger Games.
If you are truly worried about your college student’s mental health in a serious way, you should make sure they have the contact information for their school’s counseling services and work with them to set up an their first appointment before they even get back to school (then follow-up to make sure they go).
However, if they are just dealing with the common level of stress and anxiety, providing them with some simple tools to help them manage can be hugely helpful. You might consider a weighted blanket or these anxiety rings are really popular with teens and young adults.
For more ideas, check out this post: Comforting and Stress-Reducing Gifts to Help Your Anxious Teen. Another option to consider is a mindfulness app, check out our suggestions here: Six Of The Best Mindfulness Apps For Teens To Help Them Manage Life
- A Single Serve Coffee Machine and Snacks
Okay, hear me out on this one, or at least about the coffee machine, which may have you rolling your eyes. Many parents discover that their college students blow all their spending money and then some buying fancy coffee at the various fun and funky coffee places on campus or simply at Starbucks. Yes, college students run on no sleep and lots of caffeine (and snacks, but we’re getting to that).
They may not even realize how much that coffee habit is costing them (or you) and while an occasional splurge seems okay, it’s probably best if they start working on reducing the “coffee” budget line. One easy way to do this is with a single serve coffee maker and the hottest one on the market for young adults today is this Mr. Coffee Iced and Hot Coffee Maker. It even comes with its own reusable coffee tumbler. It’s easy to use, it’s fun and the best part is it will ultimately be WAY cheaper than a fancy coffee or two or more per day bought at the local coffee shop or Starbucks.
Okay and now the snacks. This might be something you want to send once they’ve gotten back to college as a sweet surprise. A little reminder that you love them and will keep feeding them even when they aren’t under your roof. Amazon had tons of different options for college care snack packages. Here are a few of our favorites:
The Ultimate Snack Care Package for College Students
Premium Healthy Snacks Care Package
Granola and Breakfast Bars Care Package With Greeting Card
There are about a million more college care packages to choose from so you are certain to find one that is a fit for your college kid. Oh, and if they happen to be living in their own apartment or have a kitchen in their dorm, you might find this post on helpful: 15 Easy Recipes for Teens to Help Them Learn to Cook
Hopefully, you’ll find some of these ideas helpful as you send your college kid back to school. For many parents, each time feels like the first time. If that is you and you’re needing a little extra support, you might want to read these popular posts – You Will Feel Joy and Heartbreak When You Leave Your Teen at College and Dear Mom of Teens: Don’t Worry, Your Kids Will Never Outgrow You.
Are you in the thick of raising your tweens and teens? You may like this book by Whitney Fleming, the co-owner of Parenting Teens & Tweens: Loving Hard When They’re Hard to Love: Essays about Raising Teens in Today’s Complex, Chaotic World.
Parenting Tweens, Teens and College Kids is HARD, but these popular posts other parents found useful, might just make it a little easier.
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