HAVE A STUDENT HEADING OFF TO COLLEGE SOON?  Whether your student is staying fairly local or will be hours away at college, there are so many things to plan and prepare. Top things to consider:  financial services, immunizations, dorm furnishings, reliable transportation, shipping, and comfort items. NOW is the perfect time to get organized, and many of our local member businesses can help. Almost everything your student needs can be handled right here, in the East Mountains (and you’ll save time, gas, and energy while supporting local services and shopping with local businesses).

FINANCIAL SERVICES — Get your student set up with a checking account and help them learn how to use the online features (for more than asking mom and dad to transfer money). Student loans, if needed, are much easier to understand and more personal help when working with a local bank or credit union (and they can all work with financial aid offices). These local businesses are here to help: Sandia Laboratory Federal Credit Union in Edgewood, Wells Fargo Bank-Edgewood, and U.S. Bank -Moriarty.

DORM or APARTMENT FURNISHINGS — Your space may come “furnished” but that won’t be everything you need. A comfy chair, a reading lamp, organizers, and those personal touches will all make your space feel more like home. Check out Furniture Connection, AA Mountain Supply, and Old Mill. Get some unique treasures at local thrift/consignment shops in Church Street Market, or at Hug-A-Horse Thrift Shop, Desert Dreams, and Salvation Army Family Store,

MEDICAL, DENTAL and EYE CARE SERVICES — All colleges and universities require up-to-date vaccination records. It’s also a good idea to get in routine check-ups before heading off to college. Local providers include Moriarty Dental, First Choice Community Healthcare Clinic, New Mexico Medical, Cedar Crest Vision, and East Mountain Eye Clinic.

WELLNESS – Many students experience some level of anxiety as they transition from home to college life. Help them cope on their own with natural wellness services and products: Edgewood Acupuncture WellnessGrace Full Living, ASEA, and Live Well, Live Free LLC.

COMPUTER CARE – Make sure their computer is virus-free and has anti-virus protection properly installed. Those services and more, including remote repair, are available from Computer Shack in Edgewood.

CAR CARE — Will your student have a car at college?  Make sure it’s it reliable. Shop for a good vehicle or be sure yours is ready to go with a check up and oil change. Locally, you have lots of choices: Rich Ford Edgewood, Tillery Chevrolet GMC, Unique Enterprises, East Mountain Auto & RV, or Tony’s Service Center.

CARE PACKAGES — Your student will truly appreciate a little comfort from home or acknowledgement that they are in a new phase of life. Providing a care package once or twice a semester can be just the boost your student needs. Here are some local businesses that can help you fill that box with gift cards or products and get it shipped: Tiny Bubbles Lovable Soaps, Pretty Peyote, Trails West Dairy Queen, Domino’s, Pizza 9, Denny’s, and Mail & Copy Business Center.

When you shop locally, not only do you simplify your life, but you are supporting a local business that is employing local residents, and that pays local taxes that support local services to the community. BEST OF LUCK to your College Student!