In a couple of weeks my freshman son will be leaving his college for home. He is a very capable boy, but he is definitely not detail-oriented. In fact, he is rather spacy. What are the basics that need to be accomplished before he leaves for home? I'll be driving back home with him and would like to help him line up things so the start of next year goes smoothly. -- Helper


Sooner or later, your son is going to have to take responsibility for handling the everyday details of his life. If you can get him to make a list of things that he needs to do before leaving campus, it will be a step in the right direction. Here are some suggestions:

1. Everything in his dorm room does not need to be brought home. Storage options should be explored.

2. Textbooks that will not be needed for future classes should be sold.

3. Where he will live next year should be nailed down.

4. The papers that he wishes to keep should be organized in some type of filing system.

5. He needs to make sure that classes that he may take this summer at another school or online will be accepted for credit at his school.

6. If possible, he should talk with his adviser about what classes to take in the fall and register for them.

7. If he plans to work in the fall, it is very helpful to get a firm job commitment before he leaves school.

Hopefully your son has already accomplished most of these tasks. However, talking them over with him will have him focus on what he still needs to do as well as give you a much better picture of some of the things that he will be doing next year.