How to Find an Internship

How to Find an Internship

How to Find an Internship

As a mom to three kids who have searched for internships, I know how challenging it can be. I have worked with Loren Kelly for several years through my Next Phase Parenting Summits. She is a down-to-earth career counselor with sensible advice on all things career preparation. Her sessions at the summits have been some of our most popular. She has contributed this post on How to Find an Internship.

Read her advice below and also check out her sessions from our summit in our shop.

how to find an internship

How to Find an Internship

This post may contain affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a purchase, I will receive (at no additional cost to you) a small commission, which helps pay for this blog. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

The Ultimate Guide for Finding and Getting Internships

A guest post by Loren Kelly


Did you know many companies begin posting summer internship opportunities the fall prior? That’s right, internship opportunities for next summer are already in the works! Help your student get a jump on their summer plans by assisting with the internship search and application process!


What makes a good internship?

Not all internships are created equally. Make it a top priority to find an internship where your student will learn, grow, be challenged, and build a network rather than fetching coffee. Here’s what the best internships provide.



A good summer internship will have structure. Asking questions such as, “What does the typical day look like for an intern?” or “What objectives do you have for summer interns?” will help you identify the level of structure and advanced-thought a company has given to their summer internship program. Some companies even have interns complete a project or create friendly competition between interns. These structures help students maximize learning experiences during summer employment, especially if the internship is remote.



The most valuable summer internships will include a strong mentorship component. Asking about who you will report to and how regular your communication will be will give a student good insight as to how strong an internship’s mentorship component will be. It is likely that the mentor will be in the interview. Don’t hesitate to direct a few additional questions to that person to get a feel for his/her personality, management style, and approach to work and mentoring.


Learning Opportunities

Internships are all about learning and gaining experience. Make sure the opportunities you are considering for summer internships will challenge you and provide you with ample opportunities to learn new skills. Sure, a student intern is going to be asked to complete some easy tasks (filing papers, etc.) from time to time; that is part of the role. Make sure, however, that you will receive new training, gain new experiences, and learn new things about your industry.


Work Environment

The work environment can make all the difference in an internship experience. Many well-established internship programs will have articles published online from former interns who share their experiences. Take advantage of these public articles and read them before your interviews! They provide a great perspective on the work environment as well as mentorship components and learning opportunities. Then, in your interviews, ask the panel how they would describe the work environment of their company or what they enjoy most about their job and company.



If you are wondering what makes a good internship, the pay and compensation should be the LAST factor you consider of these top five. Why? Because the purpose of an internship is not to make a lot of money. The purpose is to learn, grow, and identifying components that would bring you long-term career fulfillment. To students and parents, a $1 an hour pay difference may seem like a good reason to choose one internship over another; however, given the short-term nature of internships, the earning potential between $14/hour and $15/hour will end up being less than $300 dollars after taxes. It is MUCH more important to accept an internship for growth potential and the right work environment than it is for a small wage difference.



 Where can you find paid internships?

I recommend students use two avenues to search for paid internships: word-of-mouth networking and published job banks. The first step a student can take is notifying their immediate network (friends, family, and social network connections) that they are seeking summer internship opportunities in a specific field. Making your intentions known early is key. Your network may not know of any opportunities now; however, when they do hear of them, they will be able to let you know!

The second and very popular way to find paid internships is through published job banks. It is important to note that since this is an easier way to find opportunities, your competition is much greater! As a result, I recommend getting organized and applying to multiple internships that are of interest to your student. Without further delay, here are five places to find published, paid internships.



If your student doesn’t already have one, be sure they make a LinkedIn profile. Follow companies in their industry that they are interested in potentially working for one day and stay up to date on their company and internship opportunities. They can also search for jobs and internships using LinkedIn! It is important to make sure their profile is complete prior to applying through LinkedIn though. Don’t leave education, work experience, or profile photo incomplete! Get my LinkedIn guide to help!



One of my favorite online job banks is It is very large and allows you to search with multiple criteria. Perhaps your student is a business marketing major specifically interested in digital media marketing. Indeed will return a large number of opportunities for a specific search. In addition, you can be emailed notifications when new opportunities arise that match your criteria. A proactive action is to download the Indeed App and spent at least 15 minutes a week browsing opportunities while you are eating lunch, waiting for an appointment, etc.


Career Fairs

Every university will offer career services to students in some capacity. Locate the office and browse their listings. In addition, this same office likely hosts a career fair each semester. Find out when that is and make it a point to attend. Take a polished resume and prepare ahead of time to set yourself up for success!


Way Up

 Way Up is a website designed just for college students and upcoming graduates. That’s right! They do a lot of the work for you by posting positions at companies that don’t require years of experience or fancy industry credentials. They specialize in entry-level jobs and internships – a perfect resource for students looking for paid internships!



 Much like Indeed, Glassdoor is an online job bank that allows candidates to search using multiple criteria (paid internships being one of them). What I like about Glassdoor is that it takes its services a step further! Students can look at company reviews to get some insight into what it is like to work there. That’s not all! Prepare your student for interviews by looking at lists of questions and tips from candidates who have interviewed with the company previously. This website is an excellent resource for students seeking full-time employment and paid internships!


How I Can Help You Get an Internship


Gone are the days of a college degree being the ticket to a good job after graduation. Employers value and expect candidates to have industry-relevant work experience during college. I help students navigate the career planning and job search process to ensure they are set up for success after graduation. Learn more about my services and former client successes!

Book a free consultation to discuss your next internship or job opportunity!

Loren Kelly

About Loren Kelly

Loren is an experienced college instructor and career coach. She is passionate about helping students and young professionals develop a winning career plan and excel in the workforce. Get help with career direction, resume, interview, LinkedIn, or job search help!

How to Complete Your FAFSA

How to Complete Your FAFSA

How to Complete Your FAFSA

As if filling out college applications and waiting on decisions were not stressful enough, the federal government has one more computer form for you to complete if you would like to be eligible for any federal aid or federal loans. And, many colleges require that you complete a FAFSA for any of their aid as well. Read How to Complete Your FAFSA for a guide to collecting the information you will need before you begin. You will also find a List of Terms and their definitions and other helpful hints.

The FAFSA checklist is part of the Planning for College Checklists. To receive your FREE FAFSA Checklist, sign up below.


How to Complete Your FAFSA 1

Get Your Printable FAFSA Checklist


The general rule is to complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) whether you believe you will qualify for financial aid or not. The ONLY website you will need to complete the FAFSA is: Do NOT be tricked by other websites that may charge you for assisting with filing your FAFSA. Filing the FAFSA is free through the .gov website. The form becomes available every year on October 1.

Most people complete the FAFSA online, but they do offer a printable FAFSA Form. This form may be also be downloaded at


  • The social security number of the student
  • The social security numbers of the parents
  • The driver's license of the student
  • Prior year's W-2s and income records for both student and parents. To file a 2023-2024 form, you will need your records from 2021. The 2022-2023 form will be available October 1, 2021.
  • The federal tax returns for both the parents and the student
  • Records of ALL assets – cash, real estate, and investments. You do NOT have to include the home you live in or any retirement funds, such as IRAs and 401Ks.
  • Records of any untaxed income – child support, veteran's benefits, etc. for both parent and student



  • IRS DRT (Data Retrieval Tool): The IRS DRT will retrieve tax data and automatically fill in that information on the FAFSA form.
  • SAR (Student Aid Report) :The SAR is a paper or electronic document that gives you some basic information about your eligibility for federal student aid and lists your answers to the questions on your FAFSA.
  • EFC (Expected Family Contribution): The EFC is how much money your family is expected to contribute to your education. The FAFSA will compute this amount based on your answers. Schools use the EFC to determine your federal student aid eligibility and financial aid award. It is not necessarily the amount you will end up paying, but is used by schools to determine your aid.
  • COA (Cost of Attendance): The entire cost to attend school including tuition, fees, room and board, books, travel, and personal expenses
  • Renewal FAFSA: The form you will fill out for subsequent school years after your initial filing. It will carry forward information from your previous FAFSA forms.

For more terms and their definitions, see the Federal Student Aid Glossary.



  • The Expected Family Contribution (EFC) will focus primarily on: assets and income of parents and student, family size, and number of dependent children enrolled in college in a given year
  •  Assets you DO NOT HAVE TO LIST:  family owned small business assets (if fewer than 100 employees), your home equity, retirement accounts, and personal assets (cars, clothing, household items)
  • Assets you DO HAVE TO LIST:  529 accounts, assets not in retirement accounts, prepaid college plans, trust funds, collectibles, rental property not held in an LLC
  • The Federal Deadline  for the FAFSA is June 30. However, states and institutions that use the FAFSA to calculate aid may have different deadlines.



Monica Matthews of How 2 Win Scholarships answers this question in her post Scholarships and the FAFSA.


Filing out a FAFSA is not the most fun experience in the world. I know because I have filled out the darn thing. Knowing How to Complete Your FAFSA and preparing ahead of time will save frustration later while you are in the midst of trying to file it. To receive a copy of the printable FAFSA Checklist with a list of information to collect before you begin, subscribe below. You will also receive the College Preparation Checklist for High School Juniors and the College Preparation Checklist for High School Seniors.



How to Parent a College Student

How to Parent a College Student

How to Parent a College Student: 6 Winning Ideas

I am frequently asked to recommend resources for new and not-so-new empty nest moms. Michelle Wiener, an empty nest coach, has written this guest post How to Parent a College Student: 6 Winning Ideas. She offers tips for positive parenting in the empty nest years and beyond.

Check out her ideas for parenting college students below then head over to her website for more tips and tricks for thriving during your empty nest years.

How to Parent a College Student

How to Parent a College Student: 6 Winning Ideas

This post may contain affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a purchase, I will receive (at no additional cost to you) a small commission, which helps pay for this blog. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Positive Parenting in the Empty Nest Years and Beyond

A guest post by Michelle Wiener


When I think about my son leaving the nest and going away to college, I know we will both go through many changes. He will be in a new environment and city, finding a new peer group, adjusting to life on his own and the rigor of college. I know I will be thinking new things and feeling new feelings.

I may be thinking things like: I miss him.I wonder what he’s doing. I hope he’s figuring things out. I hope the dorm food is okay. I want to talk to him. I may feel empty, lonely, anxious, worried, disconnected, and a loss of control. If I act from these feelings, I may not behave as intentionally as I would like to. I may be tempted to call or text him frequently, ask 101 questions about his college experience, give advice, or tell him I miss him multiple times. How will my son feel as a result? Some possible things that come to mind are annoyed, resentful, guilty, suffocated. This may lead to him wanting less frequent interactions with me.

I know I will need to manage my own feelings during this process. I will need to be kind and compassionate with myself, manage my sense of worry and anxiety about the idea of him being far away, and think of the positives for both my son and me. I will need to begin cultivating a new life for myself. By being aware of my own feelings and managing them in productive ways, I will be more likely to be my best self as a parent.

It’s helpful for me to imagine how I want my son to feel while he is away at school. I want him to feel that he has autonomy, space, independence, freedom, a solid connection to me, and a support system when he needs it. This leads me to ask myself how I want to show up as a parent for my son. Some things that come to mind are: I want to be supportive, helpful, compassionate, calm, grounded, and connected. If this is how I want to show up, I can think about what this looks like in our interactions. When my son goes to college, I will follow these 6 winning ideas for how to parent a college student:


  1. Give him space by communicating just enough and not too much. Perhaps we have an agreed upon frequency and method of check ins.
  2. Text or call just to say “hi” without expectation that he has to get back to me right away.
  3. Ask just enough questions to be interested and find out how he is doing but I won’t “pepper” him with one question after another.
  4. If he brings up a problem or issue, I will ask him if he wants me to just listen or if he wants my advice, help solving the problem, or to get involved.
  5. Send him occasional care packages or cards so that he knows I’m thinking of him.
  6. Ask before I schedule or plan a visit. Perhaps we agree on these in advance.


    I’m choosing to prepare in advance mentally for how to parent a college student. I plan to talk with my son about the changes that will come and discuss how I can be helpful and involved in his college life. I’m hopeful that being intentional in how to parent a college student will lead to a healthy and enhanced parent-child relationship in this new stage.

    Michelle Wiener

    Michelle Wiener, PhD is a Life Coach who helps empty nest women redefine their identity and purpose so they can create an exciting new chapter and live a life feeling inspired, secure, and fulfilled. If you are approaching, or are in the empty nest years, contact Michelle for a complimentary discovery call at Empty Nest Coaching.


    Resources for Parents of College Students

    Resources for Parents of College Students

    Resources for Parents of College Students as They Head Back to School


    😮 Say it isn't so! It can't really be time to get ready for the kids to head back to school or to move them to college!!! This August will be our LAST Back to School in the college realm. 🥲

    I'm not sure I have ever been as hot as the day we moved our daughter into the dorm 3 years ago. After unloading I had to park about a mile from the dorm and walk. This was Texas, y'all, in August! And then they had the brilliant idea to have a picnic OUTSIDE for us to tell our kids goodbye. I have compiled a list of Resources for Parents of College Students whether it is your first year to send off a child or you a a seasoned veteran.

    Resources for Parents of College Students

    Resources for Parents of College Students as They Head Back to School

    This post contains affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a purchase, I will receive (at no additional cost to you) a small commission, which helps pay for this blog. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


    #1 piece of advice for drop-off: Sunglasses! And a Dorm Shopping Checklist.

    And start getting ready NOW!!

    • The Container Store is THE place for dorm shopping, new apartment shopping, and getting fun ideas for all things organizing. Get your coupon for up to 25% off. The things you buy at the Container Store are of excellent quality and will last through all four years of college and beyond. And besides it is super fun to go to the store and pick out the perfect white basket for your shoes.

    More Back to School Resources for Parents of College Students:

    I am so excited to announce that Next Phase Parenting now has a shop!! You can now get all of the videos and information we normally only offer during our summits ALL YEAR LONG. Check out the empty nesting, parenting adult children, parenting teens, paying for college, and more videos and other resources to help you as you navigate the journey from a full nest to an empty nest.

    The Nordstrom Anniversary sale is also on. You can pick up some back to school clothing (for you and them) and other items at the year's best prices. I just got my new UGG Slippers in the mail. I wear them all day long, every day from about October to May, so I replace them every year. Can't beat getting them on sale!!!


    Free Parent Resources for College Back to School

    On the not as fun list of things to think about: Be sure you are prepared in case your student needs medical treatment while away. Here is our story of when our son needed an emergency appendectomy while at school.

    How parents can support their college student?

    ​I hope you will check out these Resources for Parents of College Students for Back to School. Let me know your own best resources in the comments below.


    25 Dorm Room Ideas

    25 Dorm Room Ideas

    25 Dorm Room Ideas and Shopping Tips

    Planning a dorm room and collecting dorm room ideas is a fun and exciting experience. You want to make sure you have all of the dorm room essentials and a good way to organize your things in a super small space. I have helped set up two dorm rooms – one for my oldest son and one for my daughter. This 25 Dorm Room Ideas post contains ideas and inspiration from my daughter's dorm room.


    25 Dorm Room Ideas 4

    25 Dorm Room Ideas and Shopping Tips


    This post contains affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a purchase, I will receive (at no additional cost to you) a small commission, which helps pay for this blog. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

    25 Dorm Room Ideas 5

    Dorm Room Ideas and Shopping Tips #1

    The first step to creating your dream dorm room is to make a list. Start with a FREE Printable Dorm Shopping Checklist. After purusing Pinterest and other sources of ideas, go through your checklist and decide which items are your dorm room essentials. The dorm shopping list is available in the Almost Empty Nest Printables Library. You may sign up below this post for access.

    25 Dorm Room Ideas 6

    Dorm Room Ideas and Shopping Tips #2

    Decisions…. decisions…. Shopping can be overwhelming even with a good list. Prepare to spend several hours shopping. My daughter and I drove to the Oklahoma City Container Store and spent well over 2 hours as she looked at all of the possibilities and decided which items would work the best for her.

    25 Dorm Room Ideas 7

    Dorm Room Ideas and Shopping Tips #3

    One thing you need to think about is how much you want to organize. It is possible to go overboard coming up with an organization system for every small item you own. If you know that the chances are slim to none that you are ever going to routinely put your things in small compartments, go for bigger storage options. My daughter chose these baskets for shoes and other clothing accessories. It is so much easier to throw your shoes in a basket than it is to put them in little slots.

    25 Dorm Room Ideas 8

    Dorm Room Ideas and Shopping Tips #4

    Think about how you want to get your laundry to the washers and dryers. My daughter chose this gray laundry basket for several reasons – one because her room colors were going to be gray and light blue.  (It also comes in a blue/green color.) Also, the laundry facility in her dorm is close to her room, so she did not have to carry it very far. It hold quite a lot of clothes and can be easily carried back and forth to her dorm room. If you are going to have to leave the dorm to wash your clothes, you might consider a backpack style laundry tote like this one.

    25 Dorm Room Ideas 9

    Dorm Room Ideas and Shopping Tips #5

    Buy quality items that will last past your first year. A lot of places sell plastic drawers, but none are as functional and as well made as these modular units from Container Store. You can pack your clothes right in the drawers and set up the unit when you get there and bonus – it fits perfectly under a lofted bed.

    25 Dorm Room Ideas 10

    Dorm Room Ideas and Shopping Tips #6

    Lay out your bed items at home to make sure it all coordinates exactly how you picture it. (Headboard, Sheets, and Throw Blanket: Pottery Barn, Decorative pillow: West Elm, Duvet: Urban Outfitters)

    25 Dorm Room Ideas 11

    Dorm Room Ideas and Shopping Tips #7

    This beautiful basket also came from the Container Store. She put it under her bed to store extra towels, throw blankets, and things.

    25 Dorm Room Ideas 12

    Dorm Room Ideas and Shopping Tips #8

    Take maximum advantage of the space under your bed. These rolling carts store a LOT of items and fit perfectly under the bed. The carts are available in 7 different colors

    25 Dorm Room Ideas 13

    Dorm Room Ideas and Shopping Tips #9

    Although no one will ever see it, get the best quality mattress topper you can. You will spend a lot of time on your bed! This mattress topper is a 4 inch memory foam that we purchased from Amazon. Her bed was a twin bed. Most dorms have twin xl beds. Here is a similar topper in a twin xl.

    25 Dorm Room Ideas 14

    Dorm Room Ideas and Shopping Tips #10

    A padded headboard to lean on with plug-ins is a great item to have and will be enjoyed and appreciated every day. This one came from Pottery Barn.

    25 Dorm Room Ideas 15

    Dorm Room Ideas and Shopping Tips #11

    Buy a functional tote to go to the shower. Make sure it has holes in the bottom to drain out water. This cute tote is available in several colors.

    25 Dorm Room Ideas 16

    Dorm Room Ideas and Shopping Tips #12

    Don't be afraid to add a bit of whimsey. My daughter found this shark bathmat at Target. 

    25 Dorm Room Ideas 17

    Dorm Room Ideas and Shopping Tips #13

    It is a long way to the ground from a bed lofted to the highest setting. Bring a stepstool or other way to get up on your bed. We went back to the Container Store and bought this doubly functional Poppin Storage cube.

    25 Dorm Room Ideas 18

    Dorm Room Ideas and Shopping Tips #14

    There are so many cute and functional storage ideas for your K-Cups. My daughter's roommate set up their coffee bar with this jar and adorable sign she found at the Magnolia Silos in Waco.

    25 Dorm Room Ideas 19

    Dorm Room Ideas and Shopping Tips #15

    Do not leave home without a collection of Command Hooks in various sizes. You can hang everything from a drapery rod to a place for your bath towel with these babies.

    25 Dorm Room Ideas 20

    Dorm Room Ideas and Shopping Tips #16

    An over-the-door hook set is also great for purses, bath towels, jackets, and other items.

    25 Dorm Room Ideas 21

    Dorm Room Ideas and Shopping Tips #17

    We returned to the Container Store and purchased a refrigerator cart after realizing my daughter had no where to store her food. It is very sturdy and easily held the micro-refrigerator required by the school. 

    25 Dorm Room Ideas 22

    Dorm Room Ideas and Shopping Tips #18

    Prepare to do a little cleaning when you get there. Some things will be move-in ready, others not so much. Others have not been painted in several years (like this wall) and the scuffs are not going to come off! I worked hard, but did not make much progress.

    25 Dorm Room Ideas 23

    Dorm Room Ideas and Shopping Tips #19

    To have a long bedskirt or not have a long bedskirt? It's a big decision. I wanted to buy one for my daughter because I thought it would make the room look more finished. She did not want one because word on the street is that the girls end up tucking them in their mattresses because they are in the way when accessing your things. Dormify carries long bedskirts just for dorm rooms.

    25 Dorm Room Ideas 24

    Dorm Room Ideas and Shopping Tips #20

    Many university websites list the dimensions of the room, closet, furniture, even interior drawers. These measurements will be your best friend when you are selecting items like desk and drawer organizers. With the measureaments you will be able to select exactly which items will fit in a drawer. I have pieces from this modular item set in my own desk at home and was able to plan exactly which pieces to purchase and how to arrange them to get maximum use in my desk.

    25 Dorm Room Ideas 25

    Dorm Room Ideas and Shopping Tips #21

    Don't forget a first aid kit. A small first aid kit can be easily put together with the items needed for minor scrapes, headaches, menstrual cramps, diarhea and other small emergencies a college student might have. I have made first aid kits as graduation gifts before. See How to Make a DIY Dorm First Aid kit HERE.

    25 Dorm Room Ideas 26

    Dorm Room Ideas and Shopping Tips #22

    Duffle bags are perfect for weekend travel and for move-in and move-out. They hold a lot of items, store flat, and are an easy way to move clothes, shoes, towels, sheets, etc. in or out of the dorm.

    25 Dorm Room Ideas 27

    Dorm Room Ideas and Shopping Tips #23

    Put together a Move-In Survival Kit. A bit of prep and a few tools will help dorm move-in day go smoothly. You can read more about what to bring and how to survive the day HERE.

    25 Dorm Room Ideas 28

    Dorm Room Ideas and Shopping Tips #24

    Take some encouraging scriptures with you. These printable Bible verses will be wonderful additions to a bulletin board and are available in the Almost Empty Nest printables library. You may sign up below for access. 

    25 Dorm Room Ideas 29

    Dorm Room Ideas and Shopping Tips #25

    And finally, keep it all in perspective. Dorm rooms are temporary. They should be a comfortable and stress-free zone for a new college student to rest, hang out with friends, study, eat some meals, and absorb college life. Pinterest perfect should not be the only goal when shopping. Buy what you need and some things you want. Moms, honor your kid's wishes about their room and Kids, be respectful of mom and dad's pocket books and “suggestions.” Sometimes they have been there and know a few things. And DON'T FORGET SUNGLASSES FOR THOSE GOODBYE PICS!!  

    Parent Survival Kit for College Drop Off

    Parent Survival Kit for College Drop Off

    Parent Survival Kit for College Move In


    You have known this day was coming for several months. You have shopped for all the dorm necessities on the College Dorm Room Check List, have them packed up (How to Move to the U), and everything is in the front hall ready to go in the car. But, what else do you need to ensure a smooth move-in day? There are a few “don't forget” items you need to include in your Parent Survival Kit for College Drop Off.

    Also Check Out:

    College Dorm Room Checklist

    25 Dorm Room Ideas and Shopping Tips


    college move in


    This post contains affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a purchase, I will receive (at no additional cost to you) a small commission, which helps pay for this blog. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


    Whether you are approaching college drop-off with dread or excitement or a combination of both, you want the day to go as smoothly as possible. There is the potential for crowded hallways and staircases (forget the elevator), no or very little air conditioning, and a high emotional level from every person you bump into in these crowded hallways. Being prepared will keep you from bursting into tears as soon as you walk into your child's very small room that is already full of her roommate's stuff and her roommate's five family members.





    Plan to arrive at the time you have been assigned. Don't try to beat the system. They have assigned the times for a reason and they will not want to check you in early. If you manage to beat the system and get moved in early, it will cause resentment from your child's roommate who arrives to find the room already set up without his input.


    college move in



    A dollie or wagon. Hopefully, happy and enthusiastic upper classmen will meet you at the curb and take everything to the room for you. If this does not happen, you will be prepared to stack things in your wagon and make quick work of moving the stuff to the room.

    We originally bought this wagon for our daughter's track meets. It was awesome! It folds up flat, has drink holders, and all-terrain wheels. It is a life saver almost anywhere.

    Parent Survival Kit for College Drop Off 30


    A wheeled ice chest with some cold drinks and snacks.

    A door stop to prop the dorm door open while moving in or to keep the room from being too stuffy.

    A few tools (electric screwdriver/drill, rubber mallet, hammer) for assembling shelves and drawer units.

    Pen and Paper to make a list of items to go buy once you arrive.

    Tape Measure. If you need to go buy shelves or drawer units, it will help to know the space available.

    Alcohol Swabs and a blow dryer: These seem like strange items, but they will make hanging Command Strips so much easier. Getting the wall clean and dry before adhering the strips will make them stick better.

    Kleenex (a few for your pocket and a box for the car).

    Multi-purpose cleaner and paper towels to clean spots in the room or furniture that were missed by the last occupant.



    Expect chaos and be ready to be patient and malleable to the situation.

    Don't plan to give advice to your child about room setup or anything else. This is not the time. It is their room and they need the freedom to decide where the bed goes, what drawer they want their underwear in, and whether they want you to unpack everything.

    Take pictures of any existing damage to walls, floors, doors, and furniture in case it is an issue at move-out.

    Plan a shopping trip. After you arrive and get the basic unpacking done, take a survey of the room and make a list of items to go buy. These may be items that were too big to bring with you or just some snacks and laundry detergent. A shopping trip gets you out of the dorm for a while and lets you and your child pick out a few last things together.

    Find a place other than the dorm for your good-byes – some place calmer and more private. Take your child out to dinner or for ice cream as your last activity and say good bye there.


    While it may be hard to believe, you both will survive the drop-off experience. Planning ahead and bringing a Parent Survival Kit for College Drop Off will certainly help. You cannot anticipate everything the day will entail, but having a few items at your fingertips will keep the panic at bay. When it is time to get in the car and drive away, smile through the tears and congratulate yourself on raising a spectacular kid who is ready for the adventures and experiences ahead.

    Parent Survival Kit for College Drop Off 31

    See 25 Dorm Room Ideas and Shopping Tips for ideas about how to set up the room and what to bring.