Are you Sending a Child off to College?

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Our Oldest Daughter, Annie when we dropped her off Freshman Year

Are you sending a child off to college? Our youngest is starting her senior year at Iowa State and we’ve been through every kind of living situation; the dorm thing, the sorority house living, the study abroad fiasco and now for her senior year she will be adulting in an apartment with four of her closest friends.

Well folks, college isn’t what it used to be. Apartments in college towns are luxe developments. They have hardwood flooring, stainless steel appliances, granite counter tops and private bedroom/bathroom suites.

Before you comment that I’m spoiling her by letting her live like this! It’s what is available. She’s living in nicer conditions than I lived in until I was in my 40’s. And of course, she’s her mother’s daughter and wants all the furniture to match and accessorized to the tee! I will confess here that I’m getting into this part as much as her and having so much fun shopping. We are however doing it on a budget and being very thrifty. You can’t beat furniture on Facebook Marketplace and LetitGo! We have also found a lot of things at our local Dollar Tree. Did you know they will ship to your local store for FREE? So many affordable options.

“Handy” has been building things out of pallets for them and we’ve been shopping our home and storage unit for finds we forgot about! The good news is that she will have several things that can move with her to her first apartment when she gets out of school and enters the working world. We also are selling items on Marketplace that we found in our storage unit from Annie’s early apartment years. This will help defray some of the costs.

Emma has made a vision board for her room and I have to say, I think she has some talent. Hard to believe that is was all based on a rug that she brought back from a weekend trip to Morocco in January. I obviously can’t find the exact one but Here is one that’s pretty close to it.

Emma's Apartment Bedroom Mood Board
You can find items from Amazon
Vintage Record Player
Platform Bed
Moroccan Rug
Boho Rug
Bedside Tables

When Annie went away to college, many years ago, I made a checklist. I combined info from the best that I could find and came up with my own. If you want a copy sign-up up to be a VIP member of Living Large in A Small House. This will give you access to my FREE Resource Catalog.

It’s a girls list but you can easily amend it for your boys. I’ve also updated it. So funny how fast things change. We had blank DVDs and an alarm clock on the list. So 1990’s! ? When Kenny went away to school 10 years before Annie, it was so easy. He had 30 pairs each of socks and underwear, a pillow, and a blanket. He jumped in his Jeep and headed off to school by himself. Such a different experience with a boy.

Annie's Dorm Room

The biggest mistake I made the first time around was bringing everything but the kitchen sink from Illinois to Iowa. College towns have Walmart, Targets, and grocery stores. I suggest you just bring the main things and wait to purchase the basics when we get there.

If this is the first time you’re sending a child off to college, be prepared for the separation. We spent a weekend moving both girls in their Freshman year. When we left on Sunday, I was fine until we hit the open road and then I cried like a baby for at least an hour. I promise it does get easier. They also come home, sometimes more than you might want.

I also had a really tough the first time they were really sick and needed their Mom. I’m six hours away. With Annie, it was a call at 1:00 in the morning and she was crying and so sick. Luckily she had a boyfriend at the time who we knew and trusted and he took her to the emergency room. I got in my car in the morning to drive to Ames. Those are never fun drives. She was in better shape than she sounded many hours before so that was good and I got to visit for the rest of the weekend. There’s nothing like movies, junk food, and snuggling with your baby in a nice hotel room for the weekend.

When we take Emma back in a few weeks, it’s the beginning of the end of an era with our kids. We will be sending a child off to college for the last time. It’s going to be bittersweet. I imagine she will be moving back home after she graduates. She’ll need some time until she gets a job and lands on her feet. I keep saying we are empty nesters but it seems to be very temporary still. :).

Next up; a wedding to plan. Fingers crossed this virus will finally be under control and/or we will have a vaccine. Things aren’t looking too good right now and this hypochondriac is tucking herself back into stay-at-home mode! I really don’t want to see how I will fair if I get this!! Is it just me?

Stay Healthy my friends! Let me know if you have any college questions. I feel like a pretty seasoned pro!


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