If you have a college student in your family, you may have enjoyed having her around for the past several weeks. Chances are that she either went back to school within the past few days, or else she’s going back this or next week, and while she might be excited, she’s also likely to feel a pang of letdown. Not only will she miss her family, but she’ll need to get “back to the grind” and will be once again living on cafeteria food and cramming for exams.
Just as she needed a bit of extra love and attention in September when she left for college, she might need a pick-me-up over the next few weeks. Here are some great ideas for care packages to send to your college student to let her know that you are thinking about her:
- Remember the weather. Banish winter blues by sending along some toe socks, knitted mittens or a crocheted hat. Your student might also like some moisturizer for skin made dry from artificial heating in the dorms or some lip balm for chapped lips. Even packets of hot chocolate mix, instant coffee (or K-cups if she has a Keurig!) or teabags would make a good addition to your care package and will help her warm up on a cold winter day.
- Food is always appreciated. You know her favorites, so send them along! Whether it’s homemade cookies or a particular type of candy, putting some of the things she likes in her care package will tell her that you know her well. Consider what types of cooking implements she has available to her; if she doesn’t have a microwave in her dorm, for example, don’t send microwavable popcorn.
- Gift certificates can lift her spirits when money is low. Find out what types of establishments are nearby, and send along a gift certificate! If your student is counting change to make it to the end of the month, she’s probably not able to afford dinner out at a nicer restaurant; even going bowling or for coffee might be out of reach sometimes. Call local restaurants and entertainment facilities to find out how you can buy a gift certificate over the phone or via the web if you can’t buy one where you currently are.
- A cold and flu survival kit might be especially timely. Since it’s still cold and flu season, chances are that your student will get sick one more time before spring has sprung. If she calls sniffling, sneezing or coughing, send a box of vitamin C, cough drops or sore throat lozenges, a few cans of chicken soup, her favorite tea, tissues, honey, and perhaps a DVD you think she’d like.
- Something random and whimsical can brighten a dreary day. How about something like a bright and colorful pillowcase, a new pair of slippers, drawings from all of the younger siblings and cousins, or some pretty stationery, pens and stamps? If you see something you think she might like at a discount store, pick it up and send it for no reason at all!
What were some of your favorite care packages that you received while in college? If you have a college student, what are his or her favorite items to get in the mail?