For my daughter, I have to also get her a laptop and printer so she can do her homework—and IM me. I got her a bank account (that I can transfer money into) with a debit card so she can pay for books, drugstore items, the occasional movie or burger, and (since I didn't opt for "concierge service" at the dorm) toilet paper. We're making a packing list that includes her cell phone charger.
I had none of those things. Some of my college friends had checking accounts, but they actually wrote paper checks. There were no debit cards, ATM cards, computer networks, laptops, e-mail, or IM.
And yet still the core of this phase of life is the same. Putting your kid on a plane to college (or dropping him or her off by car) is still an act of faith. I've done the best I could for her for 18 years. Now it's up to her. I'm like a mother bird who has pushed her fledgling from the nest and now she hopes it doesn't drop like a stone. I suppose it's a little easier for people. Fledglings don't have e-mail.