Must have gear for teens heading off to college

12 Aug

With the back to school season comes stress.  Parents and kids everywhere are finishing up their last minute to do lists and praying that nothing’s forgotten.  For kids heading off to college, the anxiety factor can be even worse as they brave out on their own.

Kids walking back to school with backpacks.

Follett Technology asked me to share my tips for making this #FallBackToSchool season a tad bit more peaceful for our teens.  I’m honored Follett wanted my opinion and have compensated me for it.

Growing up, Beloved was able to rely on her parents for every need.  We handled her laundry, cooked her meals and made sure homework was done.  Now that school is back in session and she’s enjoying dorm living, me and Just Plane Dad have had to get creative.  You didn’t think we’d just leave her to her own devices did you?

College Must Haves


So much of our college kid’s day will revolve around a schedule.  Getting up on time, getting to class on time, making it to work after school and sleeping while the moon is still out will all require a clock.  Remember that strange round thing with the numbers on it?

Yes, clocks are rare now with the advent of smartphones, but they do still exist and will help your teens stay on track.  Get a simple white faced clock with black numbers for ease in viewing through sleepy eyes.  Think circa 1980’s lunchroom clock.  It won’t be the prettiest but it will do the job.

This clock will serve as an ever present reminder that something needs to get done and on time.  Being on time will lessen the stress and anxiety that occurs with late arrivals.


Okay, so this one is a bit controversial but honestly, if your daughter or son is living away from home, the chances are good they are going to need their own transportation.  If they don’t already own a vehicle, #FallBackToSchool is the perfect time to shop for one.

I know that it’s difficult to think about your teens driving off into the sunset in the vehicle that you purchased, but if they are any distance from campus, the luxury of a vehicle will ease the stress of rushing back and forth to school.


So, if you’re still reeling from my last suggestion and just can’t bring yourself to buying little Johnny a Porsche, then be sure to equip them with a local bus pass.  Most towns have a transit system of some sort that can be used for dollars a day.

Check out the bus route closest to their apartment or dorm and take a test ride.  Some buses are even equipped with bike racks should Junior love riding.


One of the most important and often overlooked items that college aged kids will need once back in school is the white noise machine.  You simply plug it in and it emits a staticky noise into the air that can drown out surrounding noise.

And in college dorms, there will be noise.  Sorority parties, lunchroom squabbles and that next door music aficionado need to be blocked out in order for your teen to study, sleep or simply enjoy a quiet moment.

Hearing campus life can get overwhelming and this little machine will help drown out the chaos.

What items do you have on your list that can help?  Share them on Twitter.

Here’s a few more you may wish to get.

Back to School with Helicopter Mom and Just Plane Dad is a leading provider of education technology, services and print and digital content.  Visit them for more back to school ideas.

Hovering high and low, Helicopter Mom and Just Plane Dad

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