It’s been like pulling teeth to get my 18-year-old son to prepare for college. Every step of the way seemed to make me a total nag. While I was spending time on Pinterest and TikTok looking at boys’ dorm rooms for ideas, my son did his best to avoid even thinking about it.
He is going to a small state school 4.5 hours from home and he doesn’t know anyone else going there. His girlfriend and many of his other friends are going to a school 2.5 hours away from him, so he is really not looking forward to school all that much. But what he is really dreading is living in a small dorm room with two total strangers.
This is my youngest son. My older son went away every summer since he was 8 years old, then roomed with his best friend in college. My youngest is an independent kid, but he has never really been away from home for long. He has a very serious girlfriend that he is used to being with all the time, and he has recently made a whole group of new friends here. It’s not easy to leave.
Boys and girls have VERY different approaches to dorm life. Girls immediately reach out to roommates, form instant connections and meticulously plan all the details of the dorm room from the color scheme to art and pillows. They plan out who is bringing what, and try for the most Pinterest-worthy dorm room.
I can’t get my son to pick a comforter! He leaves in a few days and he just decided to bring the one from home. But getting him to contact his roommates to see what they are bringing just isn’t happening. We don’t need 3 rugs, so we aren’t getting one. We don’t need three microwaves, shower curtains, bath mats, or vacuums either. So we aren’t bringing it. My son has a car, he can get it after, but it’s totally depriving me of leaving him with a fully set-up room for my peace of mind. Of course, they haven’t contacted him either, and I hear this is par for the course with boys.
I know, it’s HIS journey, not mine. But if it were up to him, he would have nothing except his Playstation. I finally just ordered most of his stuff myself. The fridge, cart, mattress pads, sheets, towels, drawers, Brita, ice tray, cleaning supplies, first aid kit and so, so much more were bought without him and just “magically” appeared on my living room floor.
He leaves tomorrow. I have been asking him for his laundry every day for a week and he finally just threw a load in because his girlfriend got here and made him. He also JUST informed me now that his two roommates are actually best friends, which I know stresses him out even more since he knows nobody. I wish he was excited. He says he would be if he was moving into his own apartment or room, but I get it, sharing a small room with two strangers is the most stressful part of freshman year. It’s also how you make friends. It’s a rite of passage.
I know he will find his people. I know he will complete his room himself. I’m just not ready to step away yet. And dammit, I want him to have a Pinterest-worthy boy’s room!
I’m Ana. I’ve been blogging about books at Ana’s Attic Book Blog for 11 years and I started this site because basically “I’ll start Monday” is my mantra. I’m in my mid-fifties, recently divorced, with two boys, one who is still at home. I’m great at starting diets…for a few weeks, but the weight always comes back and brings friends. My recent remodel has sparked a love of interior design and I love to help others with their homes.