Being in college definitely has its perks (there's a reason so many people refer to it as "the best time of their life," right?), but it's also no walk in the park. College students are broke, they're slammed with a ton of schoolwork, and they're away from home for the first time. Did we mention they're broke?
The above reasons are a recipe for homesickness, but you can help ease your child's transition to living on their own by sending them a care package filled with all the comforts of home. Care packages should be the perfect blend of fun items and essentials — all the things your kid would love, but wouldn't think to purchase on their own.
Here are some ideas to get you started in crafting the perfect package to make your child smile. Don't be afraid to add a personal touch like a sweet note or family photo — and jazzing things up with seasonal holiday items is always a good idea. They may not always let you know, but your college student is missing the whole family back home like crazy.
As soon as your kid moves into a dorm situation, minifridges and hot plates rule supreme, so foods that require little preparation are always ideal. The idea is to send snack foods that are fun, tasty, nonperishable and satiating — because most on-campus cafeterias aren't open 24/7.
Homemade cookies keep well and bring that little taste of home to your student. For an extra bonus, send a gift card to their favorite restaurant. It's not exactly the same as a home-cooked meal, but it beats the heck out of eating microwaved Cup Noodles with a plastic spork.
Here are some more food item ideas:
If you've never lived in a dorm or a college apartment yourself, just know that things can get nasty really quickly. Students are more preoccupied with socializing and studying than cleaning, so hygiene and a clean living space play second fiddle in most cases.
That doesn't mean your student has to live in a pigsty. Send along some things that can keep them clean, healthy and living in a space that doesn't scream, "Squalor!" And we swear every child appreciates a pair of warm, fuzzy socks much more the second they move out of your home.
When you barely have enough money to buy food, it's hard to shell out extra shekels on pens and paper, but a student's still gotta study.
Enter the perfect care package topped off with everything your little teacher's pet could possibly need on their road to academic success.
Originally published July 2008. Updated August 2017.
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