Up until last year I lived in a college town, now I just work in a college town, we have ten in the surrounding area.
This is the time of year that the highway is jammed with parents driving the family roadster, packed to gills with everything the College-Bound kid could need or want. Mom is almost certainly sniffling in the front seat, while dad is driving and almost sure to get lost.
I see it every year.
The Wal-Marts, Targets and TJ Maxxs in our area are near to exploding with coordinating sheets, towels, flip-flops and plastic dishes. You could match the hair dryer to your kid's throw pillows if you wanted too.
Note to moms: They don't need throw pillows. They are just there to make you feel better. Your kid could care less. Your kid is mostly obsessing about whether or not they'll get lost on campus and look like an idiot and....is the food any good.
A throw pillow will not help in either of these situations.
Let me tell you some of what I took away from when I went to college (and yes, I went to one of the ten in our area):
1) I can eat almost anything - cold.
2) I can also eat an entire meal standing at the kitchen counter.
3) Budget/budget/budget. In 1992 my roommate and I lived on $30/wk for groceries.
4) College food has an evolutionary scale (when you're not on a meal plan): Ramen noodles progress to breakfast cereal which leads to frozen raviolis.
5) I am a whiz with a Hot Pot.
6) Your roommates will still eat the Birthday Cake that your mother and grandmother accidentally dropped in the trunk of the car while trying to surprise you on your birthday. It may not be pretty but it's still cake.
7) You will laugh at the boys in the laundry room with the list of instructions from their mother on how to wash their clothes. You will most likely help them if they are cute. You will not fold their laundry. A girl has to have limits.
So, some 20-odd years later, college has come and gone but I still eat cold food standing at the counter; although I don't eat ramen noodles, breakfast cereal or frozen raviolis. I learned to budget like a fiend and I found a man that does the laundry.
College was so worth it!