Sending kids off to college is tough on parents - an emotional roller-coaster ride of nostalgia, excitement, heartache, and worry. It's a challenge in any year, but even more so amid our current health concerns. Not only are they likely to stay up too late (studying, of course) and eat more junk food than you'd like, they'll be in close quarters with other students and their germs, and away from your watchful eye and helpful advice.
Team Sweet's member Ellen (pictured just below) is preparing to send her firstborn, Reid, out of state for his freshman year. Today she's sharing her perspective on this milestone and how she's gained peace of mind by:
- Preparing her son's immune system before he leaves;
- Encouraging him to proactively support his own wellness while he's away; and
- Providing a college wellness toolkit, including plenty of Sweet's Syrup for that little dorm fridge.
I would imagine that it’s always hard letting your firstborn go to college, but with COVID-19 involved there is an additional layer of emotions and concern, to say the least. I feel that I have taught my son self-care pretty well. Not that he doesn’t eat like a typical teenager, but he does exercise regularly. He does take Sweet’s Elderberry Syrup and extra Vitamin C & D at the first sign of a cold all on his own, but he hasn’t been one to proactively take them on a daily basis. Traditionally, when school starts or when the flu season is hitting hard, I will lay out vitamins and Sweet’s in the morning to get my boys to take what they normally wouldn’t take. But I can’t do that when he's away at college.
I spoke with Reid in July and told him that it really was time for him to get his immune system built up. He’s been home and away from most people since school went virtual in March. Moving into a dorm in mid-August will be a big exposure to his system. Even without COVID, I would expect some colds, strep, or some other funk to pop up. Add in flu season and a pandemic, and that takes everything to a different level.
This summer, I ordered Juice Plus vitamins and asked that he start taking them along with Sweet's Syrup on a daily basis to support his already-healthy immune system.
All effort was made but, to be honest, the follow-through was less than spectacular. With two weeks to go, I did another round of pushing. I wrote, “Drink this every day!” on a Post-it note taped it to his bottle of Sweet’s. I placed it right by the milk, where he couldn’t miss it, and the bottle of syrup is slowly disappearing. We are now less than a week out from Move In Day, and I’m going to start adding in some daily Vitamin D.
Reid knows he'll be responsible for his wellness routine when he's away. I'll remind him when I can, but this is now up to him. My son hates getting sick, and he's quick to take extra supplements at the first sign of illness. I’m also glad that he will only be an hour and a half away, and I will not hesitate in today’s environment to drive down there and pick him up in a skinny second.
I've created a college wellness toolkit for Reid to keep in his room. I included the basics: bandages, antibiotic ointment, acetaminophen and ibuprofen. I added some baking soda for upset stomach, as well as a collection for colds and flu - OnGuard and Breathe essential oils from DoTerra, Zinc, cough drops, and a thermometer. Next I packed his daily regimen: Vitamins C & D, along with his Juice Plus vitamins. His stock of Sweet's Elderberry Syrup will be placed in a cooler the morning of move-in, then transferred to his dorm fridge. He's getting four large bottles - two for him and two for his roommate. I may tape a sticky note on those as well.
I feel like Reid's school has done an amazing job of preparing to welcome students to campus as safely as possible. As a mom, I'm definitely riding that emotional roller-coaster. I'm excited for my son, a little nervous, and kind of sad. But I do believe we've prepared Reid well, he has a good head on his shoulders, and God has him in the palm of His hand.
Ellen plans to re-stock Reid with Sweet's Syrup if parents are, at some point, able to visit the school, and most definitely every time he's home for breaks. We can ship Sweet's Syrup directly to your college student, but advise you to check the school's current mail policy. Some colleges will deliver mail to dorms, while others are having students pick up mail in a centralized location to reduce extra traffic in residential buildings. When you ship Sweet's to your student, let them know it's on the way so they're on the lookout! Sweet's is a refrigerated product, so timely delivery is important.
If sending bottled Sweet's isn't the easiest option right now, but your student has a kitchen-equipped dorm or apartment, send them a Sweet's DIY Kit! They can make the equivalent of two large bottles of Sweet's Elderberry Syrup in under an hour with basic kitchen equipment, water, and the sweetener of their choice.
There may also be a Sweet's retailer near the college. Check our locator!