What to send in a college care package

27 September 2017

First, friends, thank you for all of your kind words and stories about Jack. We are doing better than we were last week, and they mean more than you know.

Not to jump immediately to another difficult part of my life (ha), but as many of you know, my transition to college was rough, to say the least. Because of this, I will always have a soft spot for college freshmen, especially in that vulnerable first semester. It’s been awhile since I’ve known someone starting college, but when one of our sweet babysitters and family friends headed off to school in August, I knew I wanted to do something for her!

Having not been a student for awhile, I put a query out on Instagram for ideas, and y’all delivered! Yesterday, I sent off a huge box to Barbara (we got a little carried away in Target!), and I wanted to share what we included as well as the rest of your suggestions…

college care package

Here’s some of what we included:
— A white pumpkin (my Mom always used to send me seasonal decor for my dorm room!)
— Healthyish snacks like Annie’s mac and cheese, Justin’s nut butter snack packs, almonds, a P3 protein box, granola bars, and a honeycrisp apple (I wrapped it in bubble wrap!!)
Encouragement postcards for sending to friends or pinning to a bulletin board
— Sweet treats like a “perfect size” cake mix, gum, mini Belgian waffles, and gummy bears
— Hot chocolate mix and chamomile tea bags
— A sheet mask, a great Essie nail polish, and lip balm
— A pretty notebook and a Write the Word volume (I chose renewal, since college is a new beginning!)
— Fuzzy socks for padding around the dorm hallways :)
— An issue of a favorite magazine
— Two of June’s crayon masterpieces!!
— A note from us

handwritten note

Other great suggestions:
— Craft supplies
— A Target or Starbucks gift card
— Anything from the Dollar Spot
— Cute office supplies, like pens, post-it notes, or paper clips (apparently these highlighters are popular these days!)
— Seasonal pajamas
— Homemade baked goods
— A list of favorite podcasts for walking around campus
— A door stop
— Anything that’s good to share – helpful for making friends! :)
— A travel mug or water bottle
— Candy
— A wax warmer, since candles aren’t allowed
— Travel size hand sanitizer or lotion

encouragement postcard

Even though our box was indecently expensive to mail, picturing her opening it makes me so happy :)

What would you include, friends? Anything you remember receiving at school with particular fondness?

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September 27, 2017 7:39 am

I LOVE this, Emily! These are such good ideas of items that are truly useful. I’ve seen many care packages that are filled with knickknacks that might clutter a dorm room, but this is an incredible gift of items that anyone would be eager to use! :)

September 27, 2017 11:51 am

I would have loved this care package! I agree that it’s full of useful AND pretty things. Most importantly, I’m sure your friend will know she’s remembered and loved!

One practical item my grandma sent was a mini cutting board and a paring knife – the kind you can buy with a storage cover at TJ Max or Marshall’s. I ended up using those a lot over the years – to cut fruits, make sandwiches, etc.

October 2, 2017 10:20 pm

I love these ideas! I send regular care packages to my sister and my sister-in-law who are both at out of state schools, and love including fun seasonal decor. I always include some kind of homemade treat – granola, puppy chow, cookies, and pumpkin bread are my favorites – and something to pamper themselves with, like you did with the face mask and nail polish. Sending and receiving care packages always brings me such joy. I’m excited to include some of your ideas in my next box!