5 Things to Do Before Dropping Off Your Kiddo at College

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For many parents, dropping off their child at college can be an emotional experience. It can be hard to believe that the young toddler who used to cling to you at the park is now a confident high school graduate who is ready to fly the coop and move away from home.

To make this transition as easy as possible, there are five key things that parents should strive to do before dropping off their kid at college. Regardless of whether your son or daughter is staying in town and attending University of California, San Diego or San Diego State University or you are driving thousands of miles to their new school in Oregon, Minnesota, Florida or New York, the following tasks should all be taken care of well before the upcoming “Goodbye, see you soon" moment takes place.

1. Get Medical Stuff in Order

Once you know which college your teen will be attending, Very Well Family suggests researching the area to learn where the closest 24-hour pharmacy is located, the address and hours of the campus health center and where an emergency room or urgent care facility is located. Even if your child is staying in San Diego, there will be times when he or she comes down with a bad cough or flu and needs to be seen close to campus. Packing a first aid kit for your college-bound kiddo is also a great idea; include pain relievers, a thermometer, band-aids, cough drops and other needed medications.

2. Upgrade Their Car Insurance

If you’ve had your teen on your car insurance policy, now’s the time to upgrade their coverage and, if applicable, work with an agent in their new city/state. If you are looking to make a change, this would be a great opportunity to switch to a new car insurance carrier. For example, you might find a better fit for your college student and your family with a USAA insurance policy. From their claims center to flexible payments to easy access to your policy, USAA offers legendary customer service, thus giving you peace of mind knowing your college student will be well covered while away at school.

3. Shop for the Dorm Room

Rather than do all of the dorm room essentials shopping on move-in day, Traveling Mom notes it is better to get this important chore done well ahead of time. You can go on the college's website and find information about what is supplied and/or not allowed in the dorm rooms. Once you have these lists, encourage your teen to reach out to his or her roommates to see who wants to bring what; this way they won’t all show up with a coffee maker and a TV. Then shop for things you know your teen will need like bedding, a mattress pad, laundry basket, noise-cancelling headphones, a new comforter, shower shoes and a basket for toiletries.

4. Plan Finances

Your college-bound teen might assume you will give him an generous allowance each week, but you might have other ideas. Before drop-off day, talk about this important topic and decide what your teen will be responsible for and what you will cover. For instance, you might decide to pay for their food and travel expenses with a weekly allowance amount, while your teen will have to cover his or her entertainment, which might involve having to get a part-time job.

5. Backup Their Devices

Even the most well-organized teen can lose a smartphone or tablet. Prior to move-in day, have your freshman-to-be backup his or her phone and other electronic devices to your computer. This way, if a valuable device is lost or misplaced, your student will still be able to access his or her information.

Good Luck — You’ve Got This!

Having a teen start college is as much of a milestone for the parent as the student. By taking care of these five tasks ahead of time, drop-off day will go even smoother, and you can focus on moving your kiddo into the dorm room and then saying a quick but fond farewell.