College Countdown

A week from now, my son will be moved into his dorm room and preparing to start his sophomore year of college. So the push is on to have everything ready. There so many pieces to keep track of!

We met with his roommate and his roommate’s parents earlier in the summer and figured out who would bring what. Today my son had his dentist’s appointment (I booked my own around the same time, so we could go together); last week was his doctor’s appointment. We both got our flu shots a few days ago, the first day that CVS was offering them for the upcoming flu season. We couldn’t find new sneakers in the stores for his size-15 feet, so I found some online. They arrived yesterday, and, thank goodness, they fit.

This year’s dorm is actually an on-campus apartment. He and his roommate, also named Jonathan, will share a furnished one-bedroom apartment — a bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, and living room. Such luxury, for a dorm! I ordered him a shelf that fits onto the edge of his bed, and a pizza cutter. We treated ourselves to a new set of kitchen knives, and are giving him our old ones; today I dropped some of them off for a professional sharpening, since we don’t have the equipment to do it here. And now, we just returned home from a marathon Target shopping trip. He needed a trash can for his bedroom, a dish drying rack, cutting boards, cleaning supplies, a toilet brush, foil and ziplock bags, and more. The other Jonathan is bringing the rest of the kitchen stuff and some other items.

We’ve already got everything that was in our son’s dorm room last year. Most of it is here at home, but some is already down in his college town, where it’s been spending the last 10 weeks at his cousin’s off-campus apartment, which has been empty since she went home for the summer. That saved us from having to transport everything. We bought him a toaster oven, and have arranged to buy a microwave from a student who has moved out of his dorm and will have an off-campus apartment; she’s bringing it to us the day we move him in. (The building he’s in, because it is set up as apartments, is the only residence hall on campus that allows microwaves.)

The university bookstore lists only one book that a professor has ordered for one of his classes. It’s for the one class he’s taking to fulfill the General Education requirements. He still needs to figure out if the book is actually required, or if it’s optional, and whether the school bookstore has the best price or he should find it elsewhere. As far as we know, that’s the only book he needs this semester, but most likely, some of his other professors will require sheet music or books of musical scores. He probably won’t know until classes start. Over two semesters last year, I think he needed only three or four books, though he also had to buy some music. And a piano.

And now he and his roommate will have TWO pianos. The other Jonathan, also a Music Composition major, has one as well. He hooks his up to his computer for composing, so sharing one is probably not an option. They’re both digital pianos, so they can play with headphones and not disturb each other.

Last night I reserved a rental car, an SUV. Even with some of his stuff at his cousin’s apartment, we will not be able to fit everything we need to bring into our compact car. It’s a pretty small SUV, so we might have to bring our own car, as well. But renting a larger SUV would have doubled the price, and no vans were available. One parent on the university’s parent Facebook page was chastising parents who asked if they were allowed to bring two vehicles into the unloading area for move-in day. He was so judgmental, telling them there was no way they needed to bring more than one carload worth of stuff. Spoken like a man who does not drive a compact.

I’m beginning to think that next summer it might make sense to get a storage unit near campus, so we don’t have to cart an apartment’s worth of stuff back and forth for the next two years, now that he is out of a traditional one-room dorm living arrangement.

As for this week, the next task my son needs to finish is his laundry. We can’t go through his clothes to pick out what goes to school and what doesn’t until it’s all clean so we can sort through it. It’s in absolutely no sort of order now. Some is still in the duffel bags he brought it home in, back in May. Some, clean and dirty, is in laundry baskets. Some is in piles on his floor. I believe that the only place in his room that is empty of clothes are his actual dresser drawers.

So I’ve checked a lot of things off of our college prep list, but there is plenty left to do. Maybe that’s good; I don’t have time to dwell on how much I’m going to miss him. I just hope the covid numbers don’t spike on campus, as they did last year, so the dorms can remain open.

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