Receiving an unexpected package sparks excitement in a college student’s heart akin to the giddiness of a young child on Christmas morning. Speaking from personal experience, care packages from home are greatly appreciated while in college. While many parents may feel inclined to throw in some store-bought snacks and call it a day, you can easily spice up any care package with minimal effort. Here are some ideas that can add a personal flair to a care package and make your student feel especially loved:
High-quality gluten-free baked goods are few and far between in the college environment. If your sweet-toothed student has a soft spot in their heart for a particular food from home, this is an essential item to include in their care package. Whether you send a loaf of your secret recipe banana bread or a batch of chocolate chip cookies made from store-bought dough, your student will greatly appreciate the taste of home while at school.
Handwritten notes allow you to craft a thoughtful message for your student, and something as simple as recognizing familiar handwriting can help the student feel more connected to loved ones. Writing a message on anything ranging from a birthday card, a postcard, or a folded sheet of notebook paper can make your student’s day.
Last year, my roommate’s mother never failed to send seasonal packages with appropriate holiday decorations. We decided it would be fun to let the decorations accumulate over the course of the year as a way to preserve a timeline of our memories. It started with Halloween, but before we knew it our dorm was covered with holiday decorations ranging from turkeys to leprechauns and everything in between. Our common room eventually resembled the interior of a party store, but at least it served as some comic relief from the stresses of college life.
My favorite gift from a care package was a pin meant to be worn on your shirt. However, this was not an ordinary pin, and I never wore it on my shirt except for a brief photo-op when my family came to visit. This particular pin had my sister’s varsity volleyball picture printed on it.
I could not help but laugh when I pulled it out of the box. While I only wore the pin once, I kept it visible in my dorm as a tribute to my sister and her silly personality. This is just one example of a lighthearted gift that could easily make your student’s day. You know your child better than I do, and doing something creative shows that you put some extra thought into making them feel remembered.