Mini Fridge? Check.
Seems like you aren’t missing anything, right? It’s easy to get so caught up in packing the U-Haul and saying goodbye to your student, that you can miss some EXTREMELY small, yet important, necessities to send to college with your child. I know from personal experience. My parents and I faced a lot of “we definitely should’ve thought of that” moments while I was already months into school.
Well, parents, have no fear! This is why Parents of Mississippi State is here! We have been brainstorming this past week all the things that your child will need while facing life (kind of) on their own! Here is the master list of important things you need to remember before your son or daughter officially becomes a Bulldog!
Make sure they have your phone numbers memorized.
Smart phones have really made it easy for us to just click a name rather than having to remember the digits of those closest to us. As a parent, you are probably crossing your fingers hoping that there will never be a moment where your kid is in trouble and doesn’t have access to their cell phone to call you for help. Regardless, better to play it safe than sorry. Quiz your child before you drive away from the dorm - so they can reach you wherever, however, whenever.
Make sure you have everything taken care of insurance-wise (medical and auto).
Send your child with all of their insurance cards and make sure it is organized and in a safe place. This includes auto/dental/vision/health insurances. You may want to check with your insurance providers to make sure that they properly cover your child in Mississippi. For example, my family’s insurance only works on the west coast. We have to pay all of my medical expenses out-of-pocket then report it to our provider to get reimbursed.
It’s also critical that your student know who their primary insurance is provided by, their social security number and their date of birth. I’ve witnessed too many times these questions being asked at check-in at a doctor’s office, and these kids don’t know their own dad’s birthday! Sad, but true. Making sure they have this info, will certainly be a little less embarrassing for all. On another medical-related note, if your child has any prescription medications, you need to transfer them to a local pharmacy.
We’re sure that you parents of students with life-threatening allergies have most of the details worked out, but just in case, we have a suggestion! Consider investing in an allergy bracelet and input all of the information in the ICE (in case of emergency) contact of your child's cell phone. That way, whether they are out with friends or studying alone at the library, that information can be accessed anywhere by anyone. We found a gal out of Missouri that makes allergy bracelets that won’t completely cramp your student’s style, click here to check them out!
Get all of the important documents in one place.
I know it may be hard to trust your child with their birth certificate, social security card, and copies (front and back) of various credit card numbers; but it is so helpful to have it at move-in rather than mailing it or traveling home to grab it. I put mine in a waterproof plastic bag then always keep it in a safe place. You may be wondering why your child may need their social security card or birth certificate. If they are planning on getting a job in Starkville at some point, they are going to need them. Also, make sure your child has their social security number MEMORIZED so they can avoid any of the complications that come with writing it down. At a minimum, send them with copies of these.
Take care of anything auto-related before you arrive.
With all the distractions of getting ready to move your child to college, it’s easy to forget to take care of their vehicle before sending them off to school. Before you leave them in Starkville, make sure that they have a fresh oil change and they are aware of when they will need their next one. You will also want to make sure that they have tires that can last them throughout the year or at least until they come home for winter break. If your family has AAA, make sure you have all the information written down in their car whenever they may need some roadside assistance. If your child does not have AAA, the Starkville and University police departments do the best they can to help students out in an auto crisis.
What happens if your student runs out of gas? We suggest hiding a secret $20-dollar bill in their car that they can access if this were to happen. Make sure it is in a spot that they can’t find unless they call you, so it isn’t spent on other typical college kid ”needs.”
We get it. This is a lot to take in. We made a handy checklist for you of all these items as well as a few extras. If you have any suggestions of things we may be missing, please let us know! We love to hear ideas from you parents! You can never prepare too much before sending your child away to start living life on their own. We can’t wait to have them here in Starkville!