I like to believe I am a responsible person. Somewhat organized, especially for the big things in my family life like graduation parties, vacation preparation and managing a household on the regular.
I chose to approach a big family event – my firstborn leaving for college – with the same organization I planned my wedding many moons ago: with research, lists, careful planning and more lists.
But damnit all to hell dear reader. I HAVE HAD IT. I have read every article, blog and Pinterest post from “5 items NOT to purchase as a freshman” to “Every dorm room essential you need” to “Don’t Buy THIS if you want to survive freshman year” to “The best mattress topper for your dollar.” I. Can’t. Take. It. Anymore.
Granted, so many of these fantastic posts are helpful. What’s not helpful is me reading ‘Just one more in case I miss that amazing deal on the Vornado fan everyone says I must buy!’ What’s not helpful is the bombardment of information and necessary items needing to be purchased so readily available with just a scroll of my newsfeed. I can’t stop reading it all!
I am an overwhelmed parent. HELP ME.
What doesn’t help matters is the fact that there really is a lot to outfit your freshman with when she heads off to school in August. I will tell you – nothing, nothing will kill your good mood or that of your kiddo than a trip to Bed, Bath and FREAKIN Beyond. While they have EVERYTHING you need, and so much of what you don’t need, it’s like every college dorm in the country threw up there and left a bunch of car salesmen dressed as Bed Bath and Beyond employees in their wake.
Do you know how many types of mattress protectors there are? A bajillion, that’s how many. And be sure to get one that protects from all allergens and bed bugs and dust mites and mono and West Nile and Bird Flu and pregnancy. Yep. All that stuff.
I kid, I kid, but that’s how it feels. The questions plaguing my mind on the daily go from ‘What types of storage containers should we buy for the matchbox size room?’ (well we just don’t know until we get there on move in day when we are all calm, cool, collected and emotionally sound and stable,) to ‘Would it be wise to get a duvet or a comforter?’ (ask Girl about this and I get a look that says ‘Say what?’) to ‘How is it possible we are shopping for her COLLEGE DORM?’ (I can’t answer this as I will begin to cry.)
The craziest piece of all this is that Girl is so busy this summer with work, last hoorah weekend getaways with her friends ‘who I may never see again MOM,’ and simply not being home too much, she really can’t be bothered with a lot of this to help make decisions. For HER college dorm!
While this is unfortunately, a very common occurrence in households of college freshman all around the country – it is a real pain in the ass! Thank goodness Girl is super appreciative of all this entails and does get excited when we look online at the cool tapestries and desk accessories she wants to buy. That said, I can see a twinge, a tiny little smidge of uncertainty, perhaps fear about the seeming finality that all this brings.
Sigh. Which leads me to a revelation: Whoever came up with these posts and lists and college dorm hacks not only did us all a wonderful favor by providing us with shortcuts, valuable tips (and the stress, oh the stress!) they gave us a MAJOR AND GLORIOUS distraction from what’s really going on here.
Our babies are leaving the nest. My Girl is less than five weeks from going to college. No matter how mindful I am, no matter how much I bury myself in purchasing towels and shower caddies, she is leaving. And it hurts like hell.
So if I don’t lose my mind from the insanity of the dorm shopping marathon, I most certainly will be grief stricken for a bit while we adjust to the new normal of our Girl living in her beautifully outfitted and functional dorm.
How are you dealing with back to school shopping? Organized or overwhelmed? Let me know in the comments below!
Related Post: High School Graduation: A Mom’s Reflection