Orientation sessions are a terrific way for new students and their parents to learn about academic and student life. Just don’t spend all your time on that jam-packed itinerary. Carve out an hour or two and get some other, less obvious questions answered.
Campus Bookstore Accounts:
Even if your child buys the bulk of his books online, he’ll still end up making purchases at the campus bookstore. Find out whether you can prepay the tab via a Barnes & Noble gift card, or if your child can charge purchases to his student account. If you’re planning really far ahead, you might also want to look for stocking stuffers – mascot keychains and such – now.
Dorm Room Measurements:
Measure the distance from floor to mattress to figure out how tall your child’s underbed storage bins can be. Look at the cupboard space. Check of there’s a mirror and a bulletin board. Look in the restrooms – do students store their toiletries in the restroom or shlep it back and forth?
Ask about tech support options for students, including the availability of help when a student’s laptop crashes at 2am.
Some colleges offer special order birthday treats through their dining halls or student life services. Scout out the possibilities on campus and via nearby bakeries or even florists.
Coffee Houses, Movie Theaters:
Pick up a few gift certificates to student hangouts near campus and you can surprise your little darling with them later. A $20 gift certificate to the pizzeria near campus or a $5 at a latte hotspot are great things to drop into a college care package. While you’re at it, look for a decent restaurant for yourself.
Big Box Stores:
No dorm move-in is complete without making at least two trips to a local big box store for forgotten items. Find them now.