Moms! How To Prepare Your College Freshman

Everything you’ll need to prepare your son for the logistics of his first year as a college freshman! Think of it as the cliff notes to college prep.

Eight amazing college prep resources with insider tips and tricks, freshman advice, and LOTS of free printable checklists!

From mom to mom, this is a quick recap of all eight posts on how I started conversations with my son, how we helped him navigate the overwhelming process of preparing to move out, and the resources we used to shop, pack, and decorate his dorm.

I posted a picture of his dorm on instagram and I was overwhelmed at the texts, emails, comments, and phone calls I received asking for advice.  So in “tip junkie” fashion it’s a little OTT {over the top}.  However, I wanted to give you what I wish I had.  Simply take whats helpful and applicable for your son.  {high fives}

How To Prepare Your College Freshman

This is a quick recap of the order of the posts I created on how I prepared my college freshman.  Feel free to click any of these links to “jump” directly to that section:

  1. College Life Planner
  2. Packing List for Guys Dorm
  3. College Dorm Checklist
  4. Texas Dorm Room Ideas
  5. Easy College Meals + Shopping List
  6. Easy College Meal Creator
  7. College Student Budget
  8. College Life Schedule

I hooked you up with FREE printables with almost every post.  I wanted to you have what I wished I could have downloaded for free during our college prep.

College Freshman Face Tshirt Dylans Clan from Laurie Turk
I get it. I went a little overboard.  {giggle}  That’s the great thing about preparing your first child for college.  You get to do as much or as little as you want.

The great thing about these resources is that they are here if you need them.  So feel free to take what you need and disregard the rest. {wink}

Do me a favor and do NOT let any of that momma guilt sink in. It’s not helpful and you won’t need it during this process.  You know you son and what he does and does not need.  Just do that and enjoy the process.

College Prep Cliff Notes

MOMS:  This is a quick recap, or cliff notes, of the full posts. So if you want the free printables and all the details you will have to click the link to see each post directly.

I wanted to create a place that has everything in order on one page.  So you can bookmark just this one page and not all 8 pages if you didn’t want to.  {high fives}

1.  College Life Planner

College Life Planner Free Printable by Tip Junkie

I would also suggest you printing a hard copy and adding it to my Click HERE to print this free college life planner to organize your son for freshman year.

This College Life Planner is so easy to use and prepare!  Simply add your medical records, insurance information, checklists and college major planning into a three ring binder so you can quickly find it when you need it.  It’s also a great way to help teach your college freshman organizational skills.

If you son also needs to track his medical prescriptions  then feel free to print this free medication log.

2.  College Packing List for Guys Dorm

Free College Packing List for Guys for Dorm or Apartment

Everything you need to pack for college in one place that is also FREE and editable on Google Drive.

Click HERE to print free college packing list for guys moving into a dorm or his first apartment. This checklist is for boys (or guys) in every category you will need to move into your first apartment or dorm.  My college packing list for guys covers the dorm room, desk and school supplies, laundry and cleaning supplies. It also includes a packing list for clothing, toiletries, and miscellaneous items.

BYU Idaho Centre Square Dorm Ideas and Wall Decor
My Dorm Room Ideas

If your apartment or dorm has a personal bathroom and/or kitchen then you are in luck because this packing list covers those room as well.  This college packing list for guys is free and editable!

3.  College Dorm Checklist for Guys

Free Dorm Room Checklist to Print on Tip Junkie

Click HERE to print the college dorm checklist for guys.  I am super proud of this dorm room checklist as I’ve given you all my insider tips and tricks for the best way to plan and execute college move in day.

This college dorm checklist is so inclusive you are going to feel like you were there helping me move my son into his first dorm room.  {giggle}  This dorm room checklist outlines what to ask before, how to organize your spaces, as well as what order to unpack and decorate your college dorm room.

college dorm room ideas for guys AFTER
This is what Dylan’s dorm room looks like all decorated!

I also go into detail on shipping, packing the car, organizing, how to avoid dorm problems and fun ideas for the roommates.

4. Texas Dorm Wall Decor

Texas dorm room ideas for guys on TipJunkie

Click HERE for Texas dorm room ideas for guys as I detail how I decorated my son’s dorm.  I’ve given you a couple free printable files like my state shape and inspiring quotes that you can quickly print out.  You’ll also see DIY dorm wall decor, ways to personalize, and how I made the DIY Texas shape for under $8.

Dorm room decorating ideas can feel overwhelming with all the different options, styles, and personality types.  Find out how to cut through the noise and customize it to what your son needs.

Free Easy College Meal Plan_TipJunkieEHprint Download File Here:
Easy College Meals with Shopping List (566 downloads)

5. Easy College Meals + Shopping List

Click HERE to print out a free College Meal Menu complete with a monthly menu, shopping lists, and cost estimates perfect for your freshman or incoming college student that’s easy to use!  This is my favorite easy meal menu template that I’ve used for decades for meal plans which includes a monthly grocery budget.

If you’re a parent of a college student, these college recipes are the easiest way to teach your college freshman what the cost of groceries are each month and how to quickly meal plan for the week.

Easy College Meal Creator
EHprint Download File Here:
Easy College Meal Creator (438 downloads)

6. Easy College Meal Creator

Click HERE to print the college meal creator of food for college students in an editable Word Document.  You can change any of the college meals and add your student’s favorite breakfast, lunch, snack and dinners.

So when your freshman gets tired of the super easy recipes for college students in the one month menu then they can graduate to creating their own meals using these fun ingredient prompts.

7. College Student Budget

Free College Student Budget Example an Excel Spreadsheet

Click HERE to print a free college student budget to download the college student budget XLS file as an excel spreadsheet.  You can populate the financial fields as they apply to your college student at the school they are attending.

Don’t worry, the budget planner for college students will automatically add, subtract, and calculate the sub-totals for each section as well as a grand total.  This way you’ll know in minutes if your college student will have enough money for their university semester.

Hacks for Staying Organized

This free college student budget for your freshman or incoming college student that’s easy to use!  This is my favorite budget template that I’ve used for decades for money management and my monthly budget.

Use this budget planner for college students to include all their income and expenses.  The budget planner even has a field for their current checking and savings account, so you’ll know immediately if you have enough money for college.  It also includes a college student food budget.

8. College Life Schedule

Free College Life Schedule

Click HERE to print a free college life schedule is a calendar that includes what a freshman student will need to do daily, weekly, and monthly to prepare for their college classes as well as living on their own.

Preparing your child for college can be very overwhelming.  As I was preparing our son to head off on his own and live a thousand miles away, I found that there were some executive functions that I hadn’t anticipated or prepared him for.  Yikes!

typical college student budget_TipJunkie

Therefore, before Dylan left for college we sat down and tried to figure out what his day-to-day college life will look like.  This way we could add his own “adulting” things that he’s not used to doing.

Feel free to print off a free copy of this college life schedule and use it to start conversations and show your college freshman how they can stay in healthy habits and how to fit it all in.

College Dorm Room Ideas

You can check out all my research on Boy College Dorm Room Organization Pinterest board.   I realize that every college dorm and apartments are a little different and you may have individual requirements that we didn’t discuss.

College Freshman Face Ties for Family Turk
The 1st Sunday of every month we will all wear our family ties

College Prep For Guys Recap

Since this was my first child I had to prepare for college I went a little overboard.  The great thing about these resources is that they are here if you need them.  So feel free to take what you need and disregard the rest. {wink}

Here’s the complete list of my college prep for guys how-to’s:

  1. College Life Planner
  2. Packing List for Guys Dorm
  3. College Dorm Checklist
  4. Texas Dorm Room Ideas
  5. Easy College Meals + Shopping List
  6. Easy College Meal Creator
  7. College Student Budget
  8. College Life Schedule

There are FREE printables with almost every post.  I wanted to you have what I wished I could have downloaded for free during our college prep.

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College Freshman Face Tshirt Dylans Clan from Laurie Turk
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