Q: My son is going to college, and I’m getting ready to help him move on campus. This will be his first time living away from home. What can we do to make sure he has everything he needs?
A: Congratulations to your son on getting into college. This is an exciting time for students as they get ready to take the next step in their lives.
Going to college often is the first time a student has lived away from home, and the task of getting everything together for the moving process can seem daunting. Here are a few tips to help your student prepare.
If your student plans to live on campus, check with his university to see if a list of recommended items is available. Also, research the student’s residence hall to see what amenities, such as free Wi-Fi or TVs with cable, are available. For example, the University of Houston-Victoria’s Jaguar Hall and Jaguar Court residence halls offer rooms that are fully furnished with Wi-Fi and TVs with cable access, while Jaguar Suites offers apartment-style rooms that have TVs, refrigerators, microwaves and kitchen areas. Some universities also offer the option to rent small appliances such as mini-refrigerators and microwaves.
Important items to pack include everything from bedding and toiletries to study aids; electronics, such as tablets, laptops and phones; and organization items. Take time to review your student’s daily and weekly routine and think about what kinds of items he uses throughout the day. The university’s list also will include clarification of prohibited items, such as candles and extension cords. Students also should consider obtaining renter’s insurance.
In addition, students should have copies or originals of important documents such as health insurance cards, Social Security cards and some form of official identification, such as a driver’s license or state-issued ID.
If your student hasn’t already, make arrangements to purchase or rent the correct textbooks and materials for classes. He can check with his professor or the UHV Library to determine which are required for his courses.
When your student is preparing to live on his own, there are other things to consider besides items for rooms and materials for classes. It’s important that he begins making plans to socialize with peers, attend events and get involved on campus and in the Victoria community.
“Freshmen might be tempted to drive back home on the weekends, but I encourage them to stay in town and learn about events happening at UHV and around the community,” said Chris McDonald, UHV’s 2019-2020 Student Government Association president. “The college experience is such a huge opportunity to grow, so students should challenge themselves and get out there.”
McDonald said there’s always something fun going on either at UHV or in Victoria, but students have to be willing to reach out.
“Go to Riverside Park, play some sand volleyball or join a sports league with the city,” he said. “Visit local churches or check out community volunteer opportunities and learn about all their fun, free events. There’s always something to do. Getting involved in local organizations brings a sense of camaraderie, and students will appreciate the difference it makes. They won’t regret it.”
These are just a few tips to help your student prepare for life on campus. This is a big step, and we are excited to welcome our incoming freshmen to UHV. We wish your student well as he embarks on his college journey.