Care packages for college students

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Your college aged child will be fighting off his roommates when he receives this care package
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There isn't a college student alive who doesn't appreciate a care package

Care packages for college students have long been the quintessential way for mom and dad, and even grandparents,to let their loved one know that they are thinking about him while he is away at college. Care packages can be tempting, like gourmet bakery brownies, practical, like laundry supplies, or funny, like tropical themed Saturday night party supplies.

College can be a trying time, especially for freshman, who may have difficulty adapting to a life away from home. The first time a college student gets sick and mom and dad are not there to minister to his needs can be a big wake up call. But parents can be first responders when they get that long distance call, Mom, I am sick. Send a college care package.

Send them the basics: aspirin or ibuprofen or whatever medicine he is accustomed to taking. If he has a sore throat, send a throat spray. If he is dying of the trots, or thinks he is, send diarrhea medicine. Toss in cough medicine or whatever is needed for the specific ailment or future ailments. Stick a heating pad into the box in case he is suffering from achy muscles. A great item for headaches and other sore muscles is an item called a bed buddy, which is heated in the microwave and then placed on the aching portion of the body.

Toss some DVDs into the college care package, so he can watch while is he recuperating and include a funny get well card.  And do not forget the Tums and Rolaids, as well as the vitamins -- and remind your child to take them.

It might amuse your child if you include a stuffed animal, one that she was fond of in her youth, in the care package. Stuffed animals can be quite comforting in times of need.

Perhaps your college care package will not get to your child quickly enough to save her this time but she will have it on hand the next time she has the revenge of Montezuma or variations thereof.

Care packages for college students are greatly appreciated during finals week, when students are stressed out of their minds, making up for lost time and conducting all nighters; not getting enough sleep or enough to eat. Send water bottles, snacks, cookies and other baked goods; micro-wave popcorn and pasta dishes that can be heated in the microwave; Gatorade, Red Bull, money for pizzas and anything that you think will keep your child on her feet, studying and comprehending. Some assurances that this too shall pass will be most welcome. Anyone who has gone to college knows how stressful finals week is.

Send a care package to your college students full of things that we are always running out of such as toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo, hair conditioners, Q-tips, cotton balls, shaving cream, razors, lotion, dental floss and money! Always send that money! Toss in some stamps and envelopes and writing paper and notebooks. Pens, pencils, post-it notes and an ink cartridge for the computer will all be appreciated and one less thing that our child will have to spring for.

And then there is the cleaning college care package: paper towels, dish-washing liquid, laundry detergent, a roll of quarters for the washer and dryer; toilet paper; air freshener; towel bowl cleaner. You can make a quick sweep of your local Dollar Store and get everything your child needs to keep his lair hygienic and it will not cost a fortune. This, hopefully, will encourage your child to use the products and eliminate the risk of you walking into Chernobyl when you next visit.


Kids like food, any kind of food. Online bakeries make it easy to order and send cookies, nuts and breakfast treats to your college kid, or you can bake or assemble your own and pack them in non-crushable boxes. Send items that will not perish and you will be the top dog parent at least for the day. Of course, sending nutritious items is best but kids like junk, just like their parents do, and a little junk food never hurt anyone. Microwave popcorn is always a winner. Pretzels, cookies, Twizzlers and M&Ms. Toss in some sugarless gum and some breath mints. If your child is a coffee drinker, send him some coffee-singles that can be used in the microwave.

You can't send a college care package to your student on Facebook. Most of us love getting things in the mail, the old-fashioned way, whether it is a letter or a card or a care package. That will never change.

Resources: care packages

Parenting Teens: care packages

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