Their first time away from home, college students get wrapped up in study, friendship and college activities, and they might let the little things slide. Help them stay fresh with a Keep It Clean Care Package, which can include:
Keep It Clean care package
• Antibacterial spray
• Towels and wash cloths
• Loofa & soap
• Shower slippers
• Laundry pods, laundry basket and laundry bag
• Shower caddy
• Expandable cup
• Lint roller
• Shower brush
• Toy duck
• Rubber gloves
Clean living keeps you going, and clean credit helps you live better. Read these tips on how your student can manage their credit cards.
Send notes to those who helped you make it to college
It’s happening – you’ve graduated high school, been accepted into college, and will soon be settling into a brand-new rhythm of life. But before you pack your bags and start your next adventure, here are a few ways you can thank those who have helped you make it this far:
- Make a list before you start. From grandparents to teachers to close friends, make a careful list of all the people who have supported you emotionally and financially over the years. You don’t want to forget anybody.
- Send thank-you cards. Whether you invest in nice stationery or use online resources like Paperless Post, American Greetings, or Vistaprint, say thank you to those who have helped you with a personal card.
- Say it out loud. Take a moment during your graduation party or going-away party to recognize those who have supported you.
- Use social media. Use Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram to share photos and stories so they can see how you’re doing.
Make them proud. They’ve helped you get this far – now it’s up to you to work hard and succeed as much in college as you did before college!
How will you say thanks to those who have helped you make it to college?
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Want your student to start off on the right foot with their roommate? A Roommate Diplomacy Care Package can make everyone’s life easier. Include items like the following:
Roommate Diplomacy care package
• Chess, checkers, jumbling tower, deck of cards
• Dry-erase board (for writing up chores and duties)
• Sleep mask & nose strips
• Air freshener
• “Do Not Disturb” door hanger
• Snacks (cheese puffs, pretzels & popcorn)
• Personal fan
Nip your student’s dorm drama in the bud. Check out this article on how they can avoid roommate issues by splitting it down the middle.
Moving in to a new dorm room and making it “yours” is important for the new college student, and there’s no way they’re going to remember everything. Help them transform their space into something they can truly call theirs with a Moving In Care Package. Try including items like the following:
Moving In care package
• Yoga DVD
• Novelty lamp
• Fun desk toys
• Organization store gift card
• “Dorm Room Feng Shui” book
• Snacks (apples, cheese puffs, gumballs, gummy bears, mints)
Now that your student has moved in to college, don’t let them just camp out in their room! Share these ideas for how they can get involved on campus.
Establish a budget
A well planned budget is like a good workout plan: it maximizes your resources and minimizes the impact of life’s potential surprises. That’s why establishing one and sticking to it can be a great way to get financially fit for your freshman year. Follow these tips, and you’ll hit the ground running when you get to college:
- Track your spending. Keep an honest account of what you’re spending money on for a couple of months before you make your budget. This will help you identify your priorities and any areas where you might need to plan a little bit more.
- Make a list of your income and expenses. Use Wells Fargo’s Cash Flow Worksheet or My Money Map to help document where your money is coming from – your job or federal work-study, for example – and what expenses you might have, housing, gas, food, study materials, etc.
- See what’s left. After totaling your income and expenses, see how much you have left over. This money can be put into savings, set aside for trips home, or used for entertainment and other outings.
- Set clear goals. Do you want to build your savings account? Take a fun trip over spring break? While you’re looking at what money is available and where it is going, you can set clear financial goals for yourself and know exactly how much you need to set aside each week or month.
- Stick to it. A budget can be a tremendous asset but only if you stick to it. You might need to adjust it over the next few months as you become more familiar with your spending habits. If you’re still finding it difficult to follow, sit down and take another look at it. Remember, your hard work will pay off in the end – and can help make your financial goals a reality.
Share how you’re getting financially fit for college
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Whether cramming for mid-terms or putting the polish on that big paper, all-nighters are a rite of passage for most college students. Give your student that little extra perk they need to make it through the night with the help of an All-Nighter Care Package, and consider including:
All-Nighter care package
• Mints & gum
• Music gift card
• Book light
• Snacks (mini donuts, gummy bears)
• Calculators, pens, pencils, notebooks
Don’t pull an all-nighter figuring out how to pay for your student’s college education. Check out this article and get a good night’s sleep.
9 things you may not need your first month at college
Packing for college can be challenging, especially when you’re not sure what to expect your freshman year. Although you may be tempted to fill your car with as much as possible to cover all your bases, it’s helpful to know what you may not need during your first few weeks at college.
- Binders and notebooks. A few classes may still require a three-ring binder, but for the most part, you’ll be using a laptop or tablet to type up your notes. And remember, you can always purchase any school supplies you may still need when you get there. If you do end up taking digital notes, don’t forget to back up your information periodically so that you don’t lose anything you’ll need for the big test.
- Quarters. Nowadays, many college campuses employ a card system for laundry. Make sure to give the housing office a call before you change those twenties.
- Kitchen utensils. Verify that your dorm has an available kitchen before loading up pots and pans. Check if toasters, electric kettles, or hot plates are allowed before bringing them with you.
- Your entire wardrobe. Dorm closets tend to be tiny. Prioritize basics and take into consideration any seasonal differences.
- Brand-new textbooks. According to the National Association of College Stores, full-time students spent an average of $655 on required course materials during the 2010-2011 school year. Cut costs by buying used books at your campus bookstore or on the Internet. You can also consider renting the required textbooks. Remember that you may be able to sell your used books online or to a classmate after the semester is over.
- A printer. On many campuses, printing is available for free or for a very reduced rate. They’re often located in convenient places like the library or in dorm lounge areas so that you can grab your paper before your morning class. Leaving your printer behind can help you save space in your room, and money on ink and paper.
- Valuables and knickknacks. Not only will any extra space be precious, but you’ll also be glad not to have to worry about losing or damaging any of your family heirlooms, expensive jewelry, or other valued items.
- Your pet. You’re about to get very busy, and it is likely you won’t have much time to care for Sparky. Plus, many college campuses don’t allow pets in dorm rooms or lecture halls.
- Cable TV. The idea of cable TV may be enticing, but keep in mind that you may not have much room in the dorm. Plus, most campuses have televisions in common areas for when you need a Parks and Recreation fix.
Tell us what you won’t be bringing to college
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Chances are you’ve been both excited and anxious for the start of freshman year. The transition and move can be difficult for both parents and students, so we’ve come up with a few ways you can help make it go as smoothly as possible:
- Plan a special summer. Arrange for your student to take a camping or road trip with the friends he or she may not see until the holidays. If you can, sneak in a family vacation too.
- Tie up any loose ends. Does your son or daughter know how to balance a checkbook? Make a budget? Pay bills? Do laundry? Now’s the time to make sure they have all the practical skills they’ll need for life on campus.
- Consult a checklist. Make a list or use one provided by your student’s college to keep track of the items you have and what you still need. Start with the basics by packing necessities and let your student reevaluate once a couple of weeks have passed.
- Include a care package. You can include special items that your student might not get for a while: favorite snacks and treats, gift cards to local grocery stores and other favorite shops, or quarters for laundry.
- Settle those nerves. Your student is probably feeling a strange mixture of fear and excitement as they prepare to leave home. You can make this big change less stressful by sharing your own experience and by letting them know how proud you are. Remind them that, no matter what, you’re just a phone call away.
- Don’t linger. Schools often plan a whirlwind week of orientation for new students to take their mind off potential homesickness and to get them excited about college life. Try to make a quick exit after you’ve helped them get off to a good start. It’s time for the next chapter to begin!
How are you preparing for the big move?
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