Thursday, August 5, 2021

My twins will be sophomores! I’m so chill about the prep this year that I don’t even know when Jack and Mason will move back to campus! Ha! That’s not really the whole story. Their college is having move-in appointments either Monday, August 16 or Tuesday, August 17. They have not yet received the email with the link to sign up.

Last summer, amidst the pandemic, I spent a great deal of time ordering online and shopping in person for supplies for their dorm rooms with each of them. They lived in two different dorms. Jack showed up and his roommate had bailed and he ended up with a private room at no extra cost. He was super happy because he has lots of instruments to room with as a music major. Mason had a roommate and the roommate had lots of supplies that they shared. At second semester, Jack requested to move to Mason’s dorm because it was nicer and he wasn’t very happy in his dorm. Also, due to Covid, they were not allowed in each other’s dorms. He was able to move (several empty rooms due to Covid) and was a floor below Mason and his roommate. This year Jack has a solo room again in that same dorm from second semester. Mason is moving with the same roommate to an upperclassman dorm just across from Jack’s dorm. I hope that visiting privileges to other dorms will be granted as they are vaccinated.

Anyway, this year they are doing most of the preparations. I will go back to work full time on Monday and they can go buy the toiletries, laundry detergent, and other supplies they need.

We will again use the giant IKEA blue bags that we bought on Amazon or that were gifted to us by Aunt Kate. When they came home in April, I made sure they washed all their bedding and towels and folded them and put them either back in the IKEA bags or on the shelves in our basement storage room. I think we will wash all of those again since they have been sitting for that long.

Packing List:

IKEA blue bags

duffle for short trips home



set of towels and washcloths

blanket for dorm room

two bed pillows

back rest pillow for studying on bed

hangers for the wardrobe- each room has two beds, two desks, two wardrobes, trash can, microwave, and fridge


clothes and shoes – I will encourage them to only think about clothes they will wear in August or September for now

masks – their college is requiring masks for public indoor spaces

I think back to a year ago and it was so scary. I was sad to be an empty nester. I was sending my kids to college in a pandemic. I love that they chose a college so close (20 minutes or so from home) because that has really been a comfort in this climate. It also makes everything easier. They can easily come home and get something later. I don’t feel the stress to get everything done in one fell swoop. The timing of the move isn’t great. That is my first full week of students, but it will be fine. Tom knows that he doesn’t get many good dinners in August – ha!

I am so glad they are still in the dorms. I cannot imagine trying to outfit an apartment or two apartments right now. I think kids are too eager to move into apartments. There is so much that goes into that – food shopping, cooking, decor, cleaning supplies, etc. I say live in the dorms (if you can afford it) because it’s the only time in your life you get to do that! Plus, have you seen the dorm amenities? They just keep getting nicer and nicer. I think a lot of people think apartments will be significantly cheaper, but there are lots of expenses. I loved living in dorms for two years and a sorority house/dorm for two years.

Wow…I digressed.

I have been shaking my head at some parents’ extreme preparations on social media or on my kids’ college parent Facebook page. Kids moving into a dorm do not need an iron, ironing board, vacuum, printer, microwave, or fridge at our college. There is a printing center in each dorm and most things are submitted electronically. The college provides microwaves and fridges which is worth its weight in gold. College kids do not vacuum or iron! Each dorm has a vacuum that can be checked out. I don’t know about an iron that can be checked out, but that is what Downy Wrinkle Release is for. Sorry, I am pretty opinionated!

I know that sometimes the packing or overpacking is to quell some of the nerves for the parent. It’s a huge thing to send your child off after 18 years of 24/7. I told one of my friends that the worst part is the anticipation and then you see them happy and thriving and it’s all good.

I am sad, too. I had such a good summer with my two. We didn’t do many BIG things but we enjoyed the noise in the house, the ordinary dinners, the shows we watched together, the conversations we had, and the friends they had over.

Any thoughts to share with me on this Thursday? It’s always o.k. to disagree! We can still be friends!


16 thoughts on “Sophomore Year of College

  1. It’s amazing how much more relaxed we become after that freshman year, isn’t it? My boys did dorms their first year and then moved to apartments. Luckily all of the apartments were furnished so it wasn’t so bad. They did need kitchen stuff but they took care of that and coordinated with their roommates.
    Hope your boys have a super sophomore year and that restrictions ease up and they can enjoy the college experience!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! I love being more relaxed about it!
      I will probably have to eat my words when they want an apartment. Furnished is another story – that’s not bad!
      Thank you so much. That is my prayer, too. What a ride it’s been and I’m ready to get off!


  2. I may have to look up those big bags! We’ve about got Alex ready to go (fridge and all…ha!). Actually, he’s taken care of most everything himself (with cash provided by mom and dad, of course). Pretty much all that’s left is little stuff like toiletries, laundry stuff, etc. I’m dreading him leaving.. But at the same time, I can’t wait to see what he does!


    1. The big bags are pretty amazing. They hold so much. That is great that Alex did it all. The dynamic will be weird at first. It’s a big step. 18 years sure goes by quickly.


  3. L. is moving to an on-campus apartment for her last semester. All furnished, with a washer and dryer. Can you believe it? I guess some of the kitchen supplies will have to coordinated with her roommates. The on-campus apartment is as expensive as the dorms, but the upside is that she will have a full kitchen, and be able to grocery shop and cook. So, we will be saving a lot of money because she will not have a meal plan. Could she have handled this her freshman or sophomore year…even junior year…???…probably not…but she’s got this now, and I am glad that she will have more responsibility as she closes out her college experience.


    1. I think this is wonderful! It’s a step toward “adulting” which is what we want them to be ready for. I guess I’m too one-sided about this issue because I loved living in the dorms for four years and then apartments with friends for four years after. She is ready now!


  4. In my adult life, I’ve ironed maybe 15 times. We don’t even have an ironing board lol. I just pile up towels on the counter :/


    1. Thank you! Right? You should see the lists I have seen parents make. Wait til they see what they have to move home that never got touched. This generation of parents does too much and I am part of the problem. The old straightening iron trick works for small things!


  5. I love the ikea bag idea! And I agree- most dorms are so nice that a first apartment will be a real reality check 😜I know you’ll miss having them home but I’m glad they aren’t too far away!


  6. its been so many years since I sent a child off to college but I agree with you! They dont need EVERYTHING! Kelsey lived in a dorm for one year- then moved into an apartment right off campus for 3 years. Taylor lived in college housing for 2 years (not a dorm but completely furnished) and she lived with gals from our town. HUGE MISTAKE. None are friends anymore and we tried to tell her that but she moved out after the first semester and ended up rooming with 2 great gals – one she will be Maid of Honor at her wedding in October. She lived in a house with 3 other sorority sisters the last 3 years (she was on the 5 year plan!l ha!) she changed majors so that is why. But anyway…..she did great at her choices except I will say she did NOT learn to manage money as well as her sister. It seems to happen that way sometimes! Its a fun time. College. Even better when they graduate and land great careers and are totally self sufficient! Have a great school year!! (despite what the govt is trying to shove down our throats!)


    1. Ha! Thank you! That often happens with girls. It’s a life lesson learned, though, right? Learning to manage money is so hard and we don’t do a good job at the high school or college level with something so important. You must feel so accomplished now that they are successful true adults! Thank you so much!


  7. I love the suggestions about what they don’t need and agree that anticipation of them leaving that first year is worse than the event. I was not concerned when daughter left for second year and it took me by surprise how sad I was. I so enjoy your blog!


    1. Thank you! It really is. I am sad but I think I am pushing it back because I can’t deal with any more emotions after Covid and so many life changes. That first night will be quiet and sad. I need to plan something for Tom and I – and Ernie.
      Thank you for your kind words. Sometimes I feel like I keep posting the same stuff! My life is not that exciting!


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