College Freshmen Parents Guide – Mizzou Edition

Mizzou Student center

Compiled and written by Malea Hargett


  • Be sure your child adds you as an authorized user on so you handle financial aid, see their grades, etc. 
  • Be sure you sign up for emails from the university. So many of the questions will be answered in emails they send out.
  • Create mailing labels with your child’s new mailing address. Put labels on all the boxes and bags for moving day, plus give your child some labels to use and keep some for yourself and grandparents.
  • Make sure your child is caught up on immunizations and sent to the college.
  • Talk to an attorney or find help online to get three forms written, signed and notarized. If you don’t, you might find it hard to get the info you need if something were to happen to your child while they are away.
    1. General durable power of attorney (to get access to banking, leases, taxes, etc)
    2. Medical power of attorney (to make medical decisions)
    3. HIPAA form (to talk to doctors or get access to records)

Get forms set up for your home state and state where your child will be living



  • If people ask for gift ideas, you can suggest gifts cards to their favorite places- Gas, restaurants, Target, Walmart, Amazon
  •  If your child goes to college farther away from home, order items from Bed, Bath and Beyond and pick up in new city or order from Amazon or Walmart and have them delivered to the dorm. Your child can get an Amazon Student Prime or Walmart account to order what he/she needs.
  • Try to attend Parents Weekend and/or Homecoming. Freshmen are usually missing their parents by October.
  • Don’t rush to buy books. The professor might not recommend them or use only online books. You can also rent books from Amazon or Chegg. You can also check these sites that compare book prices:


  • Band aids, first aid kit, peroxide
  • Bath mat
  • Batteries
  • Blanket
  • Broom and dust pan
  • Chair – stadium chair  
  • Clorox wipes
  • Comforter – Twin XL or queen
  • Desk lamp
  • Detergent – must be liquid, no powder or pods
  • Downy Wrinkle Releaser, if you aren’t taking iron or steamer
  • Ethernet cable
  • Fan
  • Febreze
  • Flashlight
  • Flip flops or shower shoes
  • Fridge
  • Hand soap
  • Hand towels
  • Hooks
  • Laundry basket
  • Light bulbs
  • Mattress pad – Twin XL
  • Mattress topper – Twin XL
  • Medicine: Tylenol, cold and flu 
  • Microwave
  • Mini fridge (check what size is allowed)
  • Nail trimmer/ nail set
  • Over-the-door hook
  • Paper plates, paper towels
  • Phone charger – extra
  • Plastic shelves
  • Portable speaker
  • Power strip
  • Refillable water bottle
  • School supplies – Papers, pens, backpack
  • Scissors
  • Screwdriver set
  • Sheets – Twin XL
  • Shower caddy
  • Tacks or command strips (check first with residential life)
  • Tape
  • Toiletries – shampoo, soap, toothpaste, toothbrush, razor, shaving cream, floss, contacts, contact solution, extra eyeglasses, medicine, sunscreen
  • Toilet paper
  • Towels
  • Trash bags
  • Umbrella, raincoat, rain boots
  • Wash cloths
  • Water
  • Winter coat

 Check out list from Residential LIfe


  • Printer – there are printers they can use in their dorm, library, etc.
  • TV – they can watch programs on their laptop


  • Flat Branch Pub
  • Shakespeare’s
  • Nourish
  • The Heidelberg
  • Booches – cash only
  • Tellers
  • CJ Wings
  • Murry’s
  •  Crushed Red – Columbia – good salads
  • D Rowe – smoked wings
  • Jose Jalapeños
  • Sub Shop

Best locally owned restaurants in Columbia

By Fred Parry, Boone County Commissioner

Although my list will be very incomplete, here it goes: (in no particular order)

  • Murry’s: Blue Chips Cheese Bread
  • Hoss’s Market: Chicken Enchiladas
  • Barred Owl: Charcuterie Board (and Pimento Cheese!)
  • Sycamore: Pork Belly Sliders
  • Pasta Factory: Mostaccioli Salsiccia
  • Abigail’s: Chilean Sea Bass
  • 44 Canteen: Shrimp Tacos
  •  Angelo’s: 10 ounce Sirloin with Fries
  • Broadway Diner: The Stretch 
  • Chris McD’s- try their crab and shrimp dip appetizer
  • Booche’s: Double with everything
  • The Sub Shop: Vegetarian with Bacon!
  • Just Jeff’s: Double Bacon Cheeseburger
  • Coley’s American Bistro: Chicken Philly
  • CC’s City Broiler- The Aunt Jackie
  • Flyover- can’t go wrong with their constantly changing menu
  • B&B Bagel- The Everything Bagel with Scallion Cream Cheese Big
  • Daddy’s BBQ- slab of ribs CoMo Smoke and Fire- Smoked Turkey with Mac n’ Cheese
  • Shiloh- The Griser Grill
  • G&D Pizza (Crossroads)- the Gyro! (ask them to make a you a feta pizza)\
  • Bangkok Gardens – Peanut Pad Thai G&D Steakhouse (next to Best Buy) – the prime rib


  • Stony Creek
  • The Broadway
  • Hampton Inn
  • The Tiger Hotel


Order from one of these places and have it delivered to the dorm

  • Insomnia Cookies
  • Hot Box Cookies
  • Harold’s Doughnuts


  • Bring cold water/drinks and a fan. Also extra shirt if you can prone to sweat
  • Bring mallet and tools to help with bed adjustments, if needed
  • Pack everything in as few bags/boxes as possible. Avoid lots of loose items and small bags, so things don’t get lost and you don’t have to fish them out of the bottom of the big cart!
  • Ikea blue bags with zippers are the best! They are called Frakta bags that you can order online from Ikea. They are on Amazon as well if they don’t have them at Ikea but you will pay a higher price
  • Pack directly into storage bins that you’re bringing to leave at school. There is no room to store big luggage, so think folding collapsible bags.
  • Leave clothes on the hanger, zip-tie or rubber band the tops together and pull a trash bag over them. Take them directly off the closet rod, transport and quickly hang them right back up!
  • Print out labels with student name/dorm and room number to tape onto each box, bag or clothing bundle.
  • Have a “moving kit” handy and pack it up front with you. Not packed in with all of the other stuff:
    • Lysol wipes
    • A roll of paper towels
    • Hand soap
    • A roll of toilet paper
    • other grocery bags to use as trash bags until everything is unpacked and set up
    • Scotch or painters tape
    • Command hooks (if allowed)
    • A pen/marker
    • Scissors
    • Twine
    • a rubber mallet
    • a multi-head screwdriver
  • Buy a pool noodle and long zip-ties at the Dollar Tree. Best $2 you’ll ever spend. Before you set up anything else in the room, attach the pool noodle to the mattress frame on the side to the wall, then move the bed into place up against the wall. This will prevent the phone, the charger, the homework, whatever from falling down between the bed and the wall. This is especially important with raised or lofted beds! Plus who wants to pull all of their stuff stored under their bed back out to get your stuff that fell!
  • If you’re lofting the bed **** Get a bed rail!! **** Kids across the country have had serious, life-altering brain injuries from falls.  Late nights, lack of sleep, alcohol and heights do not mix!  Don’t believe me? Read this:
  •  BEFORE you start cleaning, unpacking or setting anything up. Take a video walk thru (or pics) of any damage to the room! You will be assessed damage fees at move-out and you can’t prove that it wasn’t caused by your student without dated pictures/video to document it.

–         Courtesy to Melissa Dravenstott Shoultz


This should be pre-packed and ready for an RA or roommate to grab to make isolation much more comfortable and should contain:

  • Thermometer
  • pulse oximeter
  • extra phone charger
  • new toothbrush/toothpaste, basic toiletries and contact supplies
  • comfy PJs/sweats
  • Liquid IV or Gatorade hydration powder
  • acetaminophen and any prescription drugs needed 

This year, but recommended every year, a hard copy (and saved to phones) of a Medical Power of Attorney, in order for parents to quickly/easily be able to be involved in medical conversations/decisions.

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