Back to College:The Essential Guide

Best Going to College Tips Back to college

Best Going to College Tips: The Essential Guide


It’s almost here. Almost time to make the trek to college. From dorm and textbook shopping to planning for medical care away from home, it seems that there is more to do than there is time, so we better start planning. The Best Going to College Tips: The Essential Guide will give you all the information you need to prepare, pack, survive move in day without spending more than necessary, and embrace your empty nest.

Given the uncertainty of the entire college experience this year, it is paramount to prepare for that as well.

Best Going to College Tips Back to college

Best Going to College Tips: The Essential Guide


Best Going to College Tips: THE SUMMER BEFORE COLLEGE

Before you say good-bye in August, spend some time preparing for the adjustment with your son or daughter. Navigating the Summer Before College by Dana E. Baker of Parenting in Real Life is a good place to start.



 Whether you are off to college for the first time or are a veteran, you likely will have some shopping to do. FREE Printable shopping lists for both dorms and apartments are available at the links below and below this post.

College Dorm Room Checklist.

New Apartment Checklist

Shannon of Skip to My Life has a wonderful video with Tips and Tricks for Organizing your Apartment. BONUS: All of the products she shows are from the Dollar Tree!

Melanie of Parenting High Schoolers shares  What Will Your Freshman Really Need in the Dorm? and also a list of Backpack Essentials.

And be sure to read How to Get the Best Deals on Textbooks and College Essentials for the skinny on how to get the best deals on textbooks and everything else on your list.

Best Going to College Tips: PACKING AND SURVING MOVE-IN DAY:

After you have bought all of your stuff, you will need to pack it up and move it to school. Read about how to pack it all up, get it there, and how to survive move-in day.

How to Pack for the Move to College

Parent Survival Kit for College Drop Off

Another post to check out is Tips for a Great College Move In by Dana E. Baker of Parenting in Real Life.


What if your college student gets sick? Whether it is a minor injury or a medical emergency, these posts will get you prepared.

Every student needs a small first aid kit in their room. This post will tell you how to make one:

How to Make The Best First Aid Kit for College

Unfortunately they may also need more than a first aid kit. Read about our experience when our son needed the emergency room and surgery at 3:30 on a Sunday morning while away at school in What to Do if Your College Student Has a Medical Emergency.



While your college kid is away, be sure to send them plenty of care packages. Get tons of ideas from this list:

Care Package Ideas


Start by taking the Empty Nest Super Power Quiz to find out how to embrace this new stage of life.

Read a great book about adjusting to the empty nest: The 10 Best Books for Empty Nesters

and follow the 8 Must Follow Instagram Accounts for Empty Nesters

Shannon Hale of Skip to My Life shares her empty nest experience is The Story Behind Skip to My Life.

She also shares some encouragement in her video Help for Empty Nest Moms.

Miranda Lamb of The Reluctant Cowgirl gives her tips for Coping When the Kids Leave Home.


No one ever said moving to college would be easy for the student or the parent. Thankfully we can help each other along by sharing our information and experiences. Share your best advice in the comments below to help other parents as they read Back to College: The Essential Guide.

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Get your FREE copy of the Planning for College Checklists - Junior Year, Summer Before Senior Year, Senior Year, FAFSA, CSS-Profile, Scholarships, Dorm Shopping, Packing for the Move, and the Parent Survival Kit for College Drop Off and the Glossary of College Admissions Terms.

More From Almost Empty Nest:

Hey There!

I’m Laura

Welcome to Almost Empty Nest! I began this blog in September 2014 after leaving my oldest son at college and realizing that my nest was emptying. Join me on this journey as we explore the path of guiding our children to adulthood and rediscovering ourselves beyond the mom years.


  1. Great advice. My kids are still a bit young here, but will keep in mind for when they are older now. Thanks!! 🙂

    • It will be here before you know it!

  2. Our son is only going to 2nd grade. I’ll need these tips in 10 years and save them now!

  3. Great advice. But I’m dreading when they all leave me!

    • Me too!

  4. This is such a great collection of information. My oldest is also only going into 2nd grade but this sure will be great for when we do need it! In the meantime my nieces and nephew can enjoy your wisdom!



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