Monday, August 13, 2012

When Packing for College, Include New Friend Bait

It's a bittersweet time for families of college-bound kids. Their teens are about to start their own lives, away from the day-to-day rules and structure they've known for 18 years or so. It's exciting, it's an adventure, it's scary. It makes most parents sad to think about it.

For the teens, though, the biggest fear, probably, is not difficult courses or managing to do the laundry and keep track of expenses. The most frightening part of going off to school may just be the challenge of making new friends as close friends are left behind.

Here are some practical ideas on how to make your teen's dorm room a friend magnet -- or at least a room that attracts people who just might turn into friends. And it's stuff that can still be easily packed into the car for the big trip to school.

One of the suggestions - bring old movies along. Our daughter is a film aficionado. I suspect she will bring a boxful of her favorite movies -- old comedies (Some Like It Hot is an all-time favorite), Bogart classics, some musicals would be part of her collection. How wonderful to invite friends for a night at the movies. And it's even a way to identify friends with similar tastes in film fare.

I can smell the microwave popcorn already!

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