It seems like only yesterday you taught your son how to ride his bike and let your daughter get her ears pierced. But the day that once seemed so far off into the future is suddenly staring you right in the face: your loved one is finally headed off to university — and you may be wondering how you’ll ever survive without them.
But don’t worry, mums. While your child may not want to admit it, they’re secretly contemplating the idea of being hundreds or even thousands of miles away from home for perhaps the very first time. Indeed, heading to university brings about a lot of uncertainty, and you may share the same confusion with your son or daughter about what to pack for their dormitory.
Packing for university can be quite the involved process, but we have compiled a list of five of the most useful gifts no eager teenager should leave home without.
1. Survival Kit
Milling around campus at night time can make anyone feel a sense of uneasiness, particularly from the standpoint of safety and security. But beyond identifying safe routes to walk, bike or drive around campus, your son or daughter would benefit from packing a supply of essentials that will offer them a better sense of security during their freshman year.
Cobbling together an emergency kit can ensure your son or daughter will be safe even when you’re not around. In fact, a proper emergency kit should include first-aid items like:
- Bandages and dressings for wounds
- Essential medications
- A spare change of clothes (e.g., a pair of knickers and socks)
- A flashlight
- Spare batteries
Other useful survival kit items could include copies of important documents, like a birth certificate and insurance cards; backup charging cords; and whatever else you see fit for your child’s needs. To create your kit, buy small containers that can easily be stored under a dormitory bed. You can even buy kits that are ideal for car storage or that would fit in rucksacks.
2. Hall Essentials
Of course, you want your child to be well prepared for university life, but try to only pack items that won’t take up excess space. Keep in mind dormitories often have tight quarters, so sending your child off with practical items is ideal. Not sure what to pack? You can always check to see if the university provides any key dorm essentials, including toiletries and stationery for your loved one to write you.
Most halls provide kettles, microwaves and fridges. However, packing a mini fridge would be a welcome addition to any dorm room. While your son or daughter may not have a home-cooked meal every night, you can make sure they have just what they need to survive on his or her own.
3. Small Pieces of Home
Whether your loved one will be studying nearby or traveling abroad, it’s always nice to send them off with something that reminds them of home. For your son or daughter, perhaps that means some framed family photos or a family scrapbook. Wall decor, including posters, can add a nice touch since dorm rooms can sometimes feel a bit drab. Even a cosy blanket or fresh bedding will be sure to make them feel more at home.
4. Face-to-Face Time Far Away
Being away from family and home life can be challenging for anyone. But relying on trusty technology, including a smartphone, tablet and laptop, can help you keep in touch with your loved one from miles or even an ocean away. For example, the iPhone SE is a perfect gift for your soon-to-be university student, as it includes features like FaceTime that allow loving mums and their grown-up bubs to have a quick chat when studies allow. Of course, this technology also allows you to share photos and text messages instantaneously, which will make it feel like your child isn’t too far from home after all.
Since your university-bound son or daughter will likely be managing his or her financials for the first time, it’s important to teach him or her about the importance of saving and taking advantage of discounts. In the same vein, vouchers are a perfect way to provide them with a little extra help while away from home.
Sites like Groupon and One4All offer discounts that can be redeemed at places like TK Maxx, Argos, Amazon and many other online or brick-and-mortar retailers. Trust us, your child will appreciate all the freebies he or she can get while away at university.
*** This is a collaborative post ***