The first, best care package for your college student

The first, best care package for your college student

Maybe it’s not technically the first. (That was the one you shipped 24 hours after move-in when your student texted a list of things they left at home.)

This is the box they aren’t expecting, although they’re hoping for it every time they check their still-new campus mailbox. It’s the one they’ll rush back to the residence hall to open so they can be alone with the contents (which they will then want to share immediately with their room/hallmates).

This is the box that holds so much more than stuff. Because it’s also the box that, more than any other you’ll mail during the college years (and trust us, your student will never outgrow their love of care packages), overflows with feelings — how much you love and miss them and want them to know you’ll always be there.

Contents of a fabulous fall care package

  • Cute fall tights or fuzzy socks
  • Scarf or knit cap in school colors
  • Favorite coffee or tea from home, and to go with it…
  • Cool travel mug or cup (did you know there are shaker bottles if your student likes to mix protein powder into their beverages?)
  • Healthy snacks (energy bars, dried fruit, nuts and seeds, etc. — Trader Joe’s sells bags of trail mix in single-serving packs)
  • Not so healthy snacks (i.e., chocolate)
  • Homemade sweets (mini quick bread loaves travel well — pumpkin would be perfect)
  • Gift cards (the campus bookstore or a local coffee shop would be a good choice)
Throw in a few practical items:
  • Small sewing kit or eyeglass repair kit
  • Extra headphones/earbuds, phone charger, flash drives
  • Cold meds, Vitamin C lozenges, tissue packs
  • New toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant
  • Tube of hand cream, lip balm

And how about a gift for YOU?

It’s a safe bet some of your friends are missing their college kids, too. Why not invite them over and make care packages together?

It’s easy. Stock up on boxes (medium flat-rate USPS Priority Mail boxes work well) and ask everyone to bring multiples of a single small item. Double check student allergies. Everyone can sign the note that gets popped into each box. Your students will love the surprise!

Needless to say, this activity pairs well with a potluck supper or brunch, wine and cheese, afternoon tea, etc. Don’t hurry. Friendship is important.

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Recent Comments

  • Loved this write up. Sounds so much like me but am most of the time questioning them about their health and studies and your article gave me new ideas of staying connected.... Thank you. Will put it to good use soon since my son is going across the country to attend your alma mater 😀

  • Fun but also useful article. I will keep the town crier technique in mind when my second Daughter leaves for college - as well as the Alexa Dot Joke tip! I love that Marlene's son told her her news was Often "inane". Clearly his education is paying off in an evolved vocabulary AT the very least!