How to Survive Your Child Leaving Home

People keep telling me that he’ll be fine, he needs to grow into the adult he will be, he has to make his own mistakes now. I know that. And I know I’ve done my job and he will be fine. Plus, it’ll only be temporary, I hope.

Long ago, I lived in residence and I think I remember a few things that will help him feel at home and prepared. Here are some of my ideas:

Getting ready to go

We aren’t going to leave this until the day before. Not while I’m still in charge haha. We’ve been looking at lists on Pinterest, lists from other parents and students, and lists from the university website. At the university’s new student orientation last month, apparently a tall muscled guy told them all that they had to bring at least ONE beloved stuffy – and it had to go on their beds. Whew – thank goodness that decision has been dealt with. leaving

I’ve broken it down into different areas: (Until he finds out about the room he’ll be in we aren’t sure about some stuff.)

  • Clothing:
    a good outfit
    bathing suit
    the usual bottoms and tops
    shoes & boots
    flipflops for shower
  • Room Stuff:
    desk lamp
    small rug?
    alarm clock
    sticky tack for hanging stuff up
    thumb tacks for bulletin board
    whatever stationary required
  • Kitchen Necessaries:
    two place settings
    mug, glass, cutlery
    dish soap
    dish cloth/towel
    small cooking pots?
  • Miscellaneous:
    laundry soap
    clothes line, clips
    laundry bag
    small first aid kit
    flashlight & batteries
    prescriptions & over the counter stuff
    ear plugs
  • Bathroom:   
    towels, facecloths
    garbage can?
    soap, shampoo
  • Personal Items:
    map poster
    any pictures he’d like
    knick knacks
    favourite stuffy


Then what?

So all that prep gets him there. And then the part when we have to leave him all alone happens. I am reassured by the fact that universities and colleges seem to have excellent resources for students now. Make sure you check out your school’s offerings. There are so many opportunities for kids to get help when they attend these institutions for all kinds of situations from mental and physical health issues to learning how to write essays at this level.

Plus, the interest groups are abundant with clubs for every niche possible. From my own experiences with student government, I encourage every person to get involved in something. This will enrich the entire post secondary education experience immensely.

In Thing 1’s case, he’s lucked out as Queen’s University is second highest on the list of North American universities for ‘number of clubs’ ranging in the two hundreds. leaving


Interest Groups

Parent Resources

Stuff he’ll need in residence

Map of store in the area

Dining Halls

Security Services

Getting around Kingston

Special on campus gifts!

There are so many people working at this school who are ready to step in and help our kids get set up with this next step in their lives.

Soon the suitcases and garbage bags will be stuffed. The electronics tossed into boxes. The new bits and pieces cleaned and ready to use. Then there will be the long trek to the residence with the whole family in tow. We won’t get everything there on the first trip but that’s ok it will be an excuse to go again soon for a visit. We’re allowed to help him set up his room and make sure the fridge is stocked. What more could a kid want?

In the meantime, it’s back to the lists and sorting. He’ll be ok. They all will be. And I will be too.


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