If you’ve already lived through your college experience, you likely remember how amazing it was to receive a care package from your parents, a friend, or another relative. While being in college is one of the best experiences you will have in your entire life, it is usually accompanied by less than desirable living conditions, lack of sleep, dirty laundry, and terrible diets (burritos at 2:00 a.m., anyone?). Receiving a care package takes care of some of the things that tend to fall to the wayside when studying gets rough.
Care packages are a great way to send love to a student who’s away at school, and they never go unappreciated. Sure, you could just send money, but honestly, who knows where that money would actually go? Instead of funneling money into a Taco Bell habit, send items that can give your college kid comfort and make them more efficient while they’re burning through their college fund by repeating Algebra 101 (for the third time).
If you’ve sent all the chips and packets of laundry soap you can possibly think of, it’s time for some fresh ideas. This year especially, we’ve been forced to think outside the box in terms of getting things done while staying safe and keeping well. You can consider including things in your college care package that are pandemic related and useful for a kid who’s sharing a small room with a stranger (don’t worry, Mom, we’re sure he’s totally fine).
Care packages can be made on a shoestring budget (and let’s face it, that’s probably all you’re left with if you’re paying for Junior’s studies) or consist of just one or two items that will show a college kid you care and want them to enjoy their time. The most important thing is to send things that are:
- Needed. Your student is either in class or studying the majority of their day. What can you provide for them that they may not have time to get on their own? Consider things like a subscription to a grocery delivery service, or a few non-perishable grocery essentials like freshly ground coffee and protein bars.
- Helpful. Sure, inflatable furniture is fun, but is it practical? If you’re sending something for a laugh or a smile, try to keep it small and focus on keeping the items in your care package helpful. Look for items that can help make their lives easier.
- Durable. Whatever you send, it needs to be able to withstand a college dormitory or apartment. Sending fragile items that can easily get broken isn’t a good idea. If your student needs something that lasts, like a chair they sit in to study, go the extra mile and send them a chair that will last all four(ish) years they are at school.
- Thoughtful. The best gift packages are ones that are thoughtful. Consider your student, her likes, and dislikes. Send items that will make her smile and ease the stress she’s under while away from home. Items that remind her of home are always a wonderful touch.
If you’ve got a student away at school, we’ve got five college care packages from home that will brighten their day and put a smile on their face.
1. The Tech Package
Every student begins their college career with some kind of device, likely more than just one. With laptops, phones, tablets, and recorders, it can be a nightmare to properly keep up with and care for all their materials. A care package that focuses on helping them use their devices more efficiently and keeping them in good repair can be a great option for any student. Here are some things to include:
- Screen cleaning wipes
- USB thumb drives
- External hard drive
- Devices cases
- Gift cards for educational apps
- Extended length device chargers and cables
- Device holders
A great multi-functional, multi-device holder is the PUK. The PUK has three different sized device slots, so no matter what your student is using, he can position it in the PUK holder to view it hands-free. As a bonus, the PUK can be flipped over and used as a handy coaster, too!
2. The Comfort Package
If you ever spent time on a dormitory mattress, you know it isn’t exactly the best night of sleep you’ve ever had in your life. In fact, most aspects of a college dorm aren’t centered around keeping you comfortable. As such, a care package that sends a few comforts from home can go a long way for a kid that is having a hard time adjusting to their new way of life. Here are some awesome ideas for comfort care packages.
- A cozy blanket (consider sending their favorite from home)
- Fuzzy slippers
- A neck pillow
- Lavender scented heating pads or sachets
- Oil diffuser with oils
- Bean bag chair
The great thing about sending a bean bag chair is that it will provide comfort the entire year and provide a great place for them to not only study but also relax. A great bean bag chair can easily fit in a dorm room and be moved around to fit in small spaces as needed.
3. The Snack Pack
Got an ultimate snacker on your hands? If so, your student might be surprised to find how much less they’re snacking due to all the studying. Just making it to the cafeteria can be a challenge some days. If you want to send a care package that fills their bellies, here are some great ideas:
- Favorite non-perishable snacks like chips, candy, beef jerky, nuts, dried fruit, trail mix, etc.
- Electrolyte hydration packets that mix with water to keep them hydrated and healthy
- Fast food gift cards
- Boxes of protein and vitamin-rich foods that are easy to grab like bars, shelf-stable shakes, and powders
- Protein shaker bottle
- Insulated cups
- Drink coasters
A great little extra to throw into a snack care package is a PUK drink coaster/device holder. While the drink coaster aspect of the PUK stays in character with the theme of your care package, the bonus feature is a multi-device holder that will help your student use their devices hands-free in the safest manner possible.
4. The Healthcare Package
Most of us can’t stand the thought of our kids being away from home, let alone away from home and sick. Send your studious student a care package that helps keep him well, and ensures that if he gets sick, he’ll be on the mend as soon as possible. You can also include pandemic-related supplies in this package since your student will likely need those too.
- Reusable and/or disposable face masks.
- Hand sanitizer
- Over the counter cold, flu, and pain remedies
- Mug for hot beverages
- Hot beverage coaster
- Antibiotic cream
- Vitamin C tablets
A hot beverage coaster like the PUK can keep a hot mug of tea from damaging dormitory furniture, resulting in a nice little note from the school that you need to have it repaired. It’s also a great way to throw in an unexpected, thoughtful extra to make the recipient smile.
5. The Party Package
College doesn’t have to be all work and no play, but if you’ve got a super-serious student, they’ll probably be more inclined to keep their nose in the books than join in anything extracurricular. Help alleviate their stress and help them lighten up with a box full of pure joy and fun.
- A deck of cards
- Small trivia and/or board games
- Pizza delivery gift cards
- Favorite snacks
- Streamers or balloons
- Bean bag chair
You might think sending an entire chair in a game package is a little extreme, but we’re thinking outside the box here. A bean bag chair is a great way to help your student relax and enjoy the time they spend in their dormitory or apartment. It’s also an easy way to include a little comfort and love from home. A bean bag chair will become a favorite spot to plop when your student is stressed, needs to study, or just wants to relax.
You can send a college care package that knocks the socks off of your college student by looking for items that are thoughtful, helpful, and necessary. Thinking of things before they think of them is also beneficial in creating college care packages that are appreciated and well-received.
A special touch in any care package, no matter the price, is one special item that is lasting and will give them assistance while they are at school, and CordaRoy’s is here to help you. Even if your package includes nothing but prepackaged snack food, including one special item can pull the package together and make them smile.
College is a stressful time for many students, and receiving special comforts from home and tokens of love means a great deal, especially for the student who is having trouble adjusting to life on their own for the very first time. Even if you’ve got a student who is thriving and loving their newfound independence, a care package goes a long way and shows you support and care about them.