Essentials for CollegeMany of us have sons that will soon be headed off to college. Preparing our boys for this big transition is  totally different that sending them off to say, 7th grade was. Not only do the supply lists change dramatically at college, but I think as parents we feel this sudden panic as we wonder if we have taught them all the basic things they need to know before moving away from home.

Essential Things Sons Going to College Need to Take

  • Computer – This is a definite must for college kids these days. If they are on an old one it is time to upgrade before they head off to school. Think about their needs for it educationally as well as for entertainment and get a good quality machine that will last them a while. A machine that they can use for work, plus to watch TV/Movies, and to game on is perfect.
  • Mini-fridge – Teenage boys are always hungry! Make sure you check dorm room limitations before you buy one though.
  • Twin Long Bedding – the beds in dorms are generally the longer version of twin size (Twin XL). Make sure you get the right size sheets to fit the bed they will have. Plus pillows – bring your own!
  • Tools – Make sure they have a few basics: hammer, screwdrivers, pliers, and don’t forget the duct tape!
  • Trash Can – this is one of those odd things people don’t think about, but it is a necessity!
  • Surge Protector – Our kids have a lot of electronics these days but dorm rooms still have relatively few plugs. I suggest a “squid type” device which makes it easier when you have a bunch of the little ac/dc adapter boxes for charging things up.
  • Command Adhesives Assortment – Generally you can’t use nails or thumbtacks on the walls in the dorm. Command Adhesives have a lot of different variations that you can use to hang up posters, mirrors, whiteboards, they even have hooks and caddies. At the end of the year students can easily remove them without damaging the walls.
  • A Good Razor – Make it easy for our boys to look their best and get a nice razor for them to take instead of just using disposables. College kids keep odd hours and he can do a quick touch up anytime with an electric razor.
  • Refillable Debit Card – Our boys will have a lot of miscellaneous expenses while they are at school. Get a refillable card set up so you can add money as needed on a schedule and on an emergency basis.
  • Shipment of food and supplies – Instead of packing up a bunch of food staples, health and beauty items, and cleaning supplies, order them online and have them shipped directly to your son at school to get him started. He can shop locally after that to replace things as needed or re-order online if that is easier for him.

Essentials Sons Going to College Need to Know

  • Money Management – This is a problem area for me, but I have tried to do better with my son. Make sure your son understands his budget for his spending money, how to balance his bank account, how to use his debit card, and how to save money
  • Relationships – If you have never had “the talk” (I hope you have by now) with your son it is not too late. Make sure that he understands about things like protection from STDs, birth control, and personal grooming as well as a talk about the emotional side of relationships and how to treat a date.
  • College is for Learning, not Partying – yes, we know the kids are going to have some “fun” at school, but make sure they have a healthy understanding that the primary purpose is their education and to not lose focus on that.
  • Support System – Going off on your own to school can be emotionally tough. Make sure you let your son know that you and your family are still always there for him and find out what support services are available on campus so that he knows they are there if need be.

These are obviously just a few of the essentials for our boys. Philips Norelco would like to know what you think are essential items also. Tell me what you think below to be entered to win a razor from Philips Norelco to send with your son to college this fall.

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The Giveaway: One lucky reader will win a Philips Norelco Razor

Required Entry: Leave a comment telling me an essential for boys going off to college, an item or a piece of knowledge they need.
Winners notified by mail only, so make sure I have a way of accessing your email address when you comment.

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Rules: Only one of each entry method listed per person/family/household. No entering on behalf of others, using extra identities or others identities, no automated program entries, etc. If I catch you cheating you will be banned from this and all of my future giveaways! This giveaway is only open to those in the USA, ages 18+. All entries must be received by 11:59 pm Central Time on Tuesday, September 4, 2012. I will pick a winner and email them and they have 48 hours to claim the prize. If no response, I will pick a new winner. Good luck!

All current giveaways can be found here

Disclosure: I received a product as a thank you and Philips Norelco is also providing the prize for the giveaway. The opinions are my own.