This year I have a niece and a nephew who have gone away to college for the first time. I know what a shock it can be to be away from your family for the first time, so I really wanted to get into the habit of sending them care packages on a regular basis.
My first thought was--What do you put in a college student care package? I have a boy and a girl (young man and young woman) to do this for, so there will probably be some differences in the types of packages I send. Also, the girl is living in a dorm room (no kitchen), and the boy is living in an apartment with 3 other guys. The apartment has a kitchen.
Also, I am not sure if college is the same as it was when I went--when I went I really did eat ramen noodles--do students still do that? I think they have a meal card where they can go to a cafeteria any time they need food. I don't think they're going hungry, at least not these two kids I'll be sending to.
I knew for sure I wanted to include homemade cookies or brownies though--nothing says "home" like homemade treats!
I also knew I wanted to include a photograph that the student could tape to their mirror and get a little lift from each time he or she looked at it.
But what else?
I did some research online and found this great resource: Make The Best College Care Packages Ever. From all the suggestions there, these are the things I picked out as being the best ideas for the college kids I know.
- Homemade baked goods (be sure to package them tightly in a plastic container or tin--you don't want them sliding around in transit)
- Brownie mix (if the student has an oven). There are also microwavable single serving brownie and cake treats, and all you need to add is water. I've had some of those before and they were pretty good, all things considered.
- Mini first aid kit with band-aids, antibiotic ointment, etc
- A nice smelling plug-in for their room
- School supplies like highlighters, pens, pencils, scotch tape and post-its. I also thought some homemade bookmarks would be sweet.
- Photos of family and friends. I don't think they need to be framed or anything--they can just tape the photo to their mirror or wall.
- Mints and gum
- Those little pocket-sized Kleenex packets
- Holiday themed treats or decorations--there could be a Halloween themed care package, a Christmas one, Easter, Springtime, Thanksgiving, etc.
- Small crock pot with a few simple recipes. I am thinking of doing that for my nephew who is in the apartment. He likes to cook, so he might enjoy putting stuff into the crock pot in the morning and coming home to an apartment that smells like a home cooked meal. I bet he would be very popular with his 3 other roommates too!
- Cologne or perfume samples--you can get those for free from Sephora. Just tell them which scents you want samples of and they will squirt a few sprays into a little plastic sample bottle and then pop a spray head on it. They will also write the name of the scent either on the bottle or on a tiny plastic bag that you can put the perfume in. I would ask them for that tiny plastic bag so you can keep the scents separate and also to help to contain them in the care package.
- I am also thinking of making a pillow for my nephew--it is a pillow idea that I got from the book "A Homemade Year" by Jerusalem Greer. The pillow has a cross and a heart on it, and there is a meaning to the pillow that I won't go into in this post, but let's just say that the intention is to let someone who is alone know that they are not alone. If I make that pillow, I'll put a tutorial here so you can see how to do it.
Those are all the ideas--now to decide which ones to incorporate into the first care package!