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Campus Dining Ins and OutsDavid Tuttle
It’s spring semester and college seniors and their parents are contemplating life after graduation.
While students may be thinking of jobs, should they stay at home, move away from home, and even experiencing anxiety about the whole project of being an actual adult, parents may be thinking of details students don’t often consider — such as what to do with all their stuff at the end of their last semester.
A student’s “stuff” is more than their clothes, books and décor, and sometimes there isn’t much room at home for all the items that have been collected during the college chapter of life.
As the semester draws to a close, social media will be filled with pictures of perfectly good furniture, appliances, computers, and other miscellaneous items thrown away or simply left behind by students. The practice of throwing away good items has become so common, many colleges host dumpster diving events, garage sales and recycling drives.
So, how can families help their seniors sort through and deal with the extra items collected over the last four (or more) years living on or off campus?
Here are three suggestions to share!
There are sure to be many younger students who need what your student no longer needs. First-year students in particular may be changing residence halls or moving off campus and they're looking for furniture, kitchenware, rugs, you name it.
There are many families who have younger siblings or other family members heading to college the coming semester. There are also local programs that support students heading to college who need supplies for their college journey. Some of the items can be passed along to those who will need them the coming semester. Ask around!
Lots of unwanted items can be recycled, including out-of-date computers and broken or unwanted appliances. Check local community resources to find recycling options for those end-of-semester items. It's worth going to a little extra trouble to keep this stuff out of landfills.
A combination of the above suggestions should work for varying situations. While considering options, remember to encourage students to properly dispose of items rather than leaving them in the dorm room for someone else to clean up. Many colleges charge a fee for removing and disposing of items. And if your student is moving out of an off-campus apartment or house, leaving unwanted furnishings and trash behind will lead to extra cleaning charges and possibly losing their whole security deposit.
This chapter comes with so many emotions, but remember — it’s just stuff and the memories don’t live in it.
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