When I went off to college I was well equipped with a new pair of shoes, freshly washed clothes and a top of the line, electric typewriter. So when I sent my boy off to college recently I realized that this assortment of supplies would be completely inadequate. I furtively put away the packing list I still had from when I sent him off to camp once I realized that he needed items beyond dry socks. The new college experience requires a higher tech assortment of gadgets and accessories.

This dramatically improves the students access to various education resources, but it also hit me harder in the pocketbook than what my parents endured. But the expense also provided the solution. The technology I had to buy for him was made more accessible and less expensive by the same technology. I learned this when I had to replace some motor and pumping equipment for my business and my son helped me go online to shop for the best equipment and value. 

This became clear when I went to My College Laptop to take advantage of my new student’s status. Because he is a student I was able to buy him a new laptop for college and even though I paid for it, I got a great deal. Even though he seemed to need a top-of-the-line computer for his studies, buying online provided a reasonably inexpensive experience. I wasn’t sure why he needed such a powerful machine to do word processing and spreadsheets until I found out about what else was required for his studies.

All of the savings I got by buying online were quickly spent on what I thought, at first, might have been dubious purchases. He indicated that he needed equipment for his pursuit of photography. Being a little naive, I thought he would need some special camera. How special I didn’t anticipate.

No, I’m not talking about telescopic lenses and fancy film developing equipment. He needed a drone with a 4K GoPro camera. Apparently these drones can fly around taking amazing video that streams back to a computer where he can edit it and make films. The GoPro cameras aren’t merely high resolution, but they stabilize their feeds, so it doesn’t look like an earthquake video. He ultimately convinced me when he showed me this could land him a job working in branding and production. This drone video camera felt a little like I was being fleeced. But it was so cool I almost kept it for myself.

When I kissed my little (now big) guy on the forehead and sent him off to begin his first year of college, I felt a tug on my heart as well as my wallet. The supplies set me back a pretty penny, but it could have been worse. If we didn’t have access to such a great variety of online retailers, these college resources could have been very painful. Instead, the biggest pain was in my heart and mind as I reconciled his leaving the nest. Hopefully, he can leverage his college degree to become an entrepreneur CEO of his own company and be able to help out his old man down the road. Maybe a house or two in the Hamptons?