How to Support Your College Students

How to Support Your College Students from Afar. Sending your student off to college can be a crazy, stressful time. As back to school season approaches, families across the country are busy preparing to move their favorite students into their dorm, suite, or apartments, and the excitement (and stress) that comes with it. What do they need, where’s the best place to get it, should we buy everything before we go, am I bringing too much or too little stuff, how am I going to fit it in the car (or on a flight), how am I going to afford everything? So many questions…just breathe, relax, and all will be well.

For students, going off to college means a fresh start – a new place, new friends, new experiences, and new responsibilities. As a parent, you want to do whatever you can to make sure your student is comfortable in their new home and equipped to succeed. There is a balance to everything, so here are some thoughts on how families can support their students as they get ready for school, and from afar.

Getting ready for college move-in

  • Find a balance between doing everything and doing nothing. They need to be responsible and accountable moving forward, but can still need a little help until they get to school to support college readiness.
  • Understand that they are already under stress as they get ready to go to college, so don’t pile on and try to relax as much as possible
  • Get them what they need and let them express themselves. It’s their room, not yours, so if it’s not insta-worthy on Day 1, that’s OK.
  • Remove stress for both of you by making sure they have everything they need to settle in. Dorm room bundles and Value Paks are stocked with everything your student needs to feel comfortable in their dorm, giving your family more free time to worry about the important things. It’s a low-stress, affordable way to get the latest styles and not drive each other crazy going store-to-store chasing each item.


After you drop them off at college

  • Be there for them, but give them space. Make sure they know you love them and are supporting them, check in from time-to-tim, but don’t harass them.
  • Surprise them from time-to-time with goodies, snacks, and care packages. The occasional care package or subscription plan are great ways to support your student even when you can’t be there by making sure they’re always stocked on their favorite snacks.
  • Help them celebrate holidays, occasions, and birthdays, as they aren’t used to celebrating these away from home. Decorations, gifts, and treats are always appreciated.


And of course, don’t forget to go easy on yourself. It’s a time of joy, some sadness, and a new chapter in the lives of both parents and students and it’s important to support college readiness. Whether your student is moving across the country or attending a local university, showing your support before and after move-in can make the experience easier and more enjoyable for both of you. College is a big step!

There are several options parents have to support their children from afar including online shopping, OCM has supported students and their families get settled the first year, putting together care packages for over 40 years.

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