Even though they’ll probably never admit it, teens get nervous about going off to college for the first time. New people, new surroundings and new classes are a recipe for adventure, but also occasional homesickness and confusion.
While transitioning to the college lifestyle, young adults usually want some space and time to sort things out on his or her own. (I know mine did!) Care packages are a low-key and non-meddling way to show you care and are there for them if they want to talk. They can also be lots of fun to put together.
Help your college kids’ transition to college with these personalized dorm-ready gifts. I know they’ll appreciate the thought you put into them and also the space you’re giving them to grow on their own in this new environment. I promise: fall break will come soon enough.
- Their favorite homemade treats. You know that snack they’re always begging you to make? The one they could never reproduce in a dorm kitchen? Including snacks like this will make any care package an instant hit, and in the case of my son, make them tons of new friends if they’re willing to share. Need ideas? Here are a few foolproof cookie recipes they’ll love.
- A favorite photograph. Make sure you include something sentimental as well. It’s nice to be reminded of friends from back home. A custom calendar with different photographs for each month is a great idea if you want to take it up a notch. Plus, they’ll be able to display it in their dorm room. Wall décor such as photo collages and fancy canvas prints are also suitable for care packages.
- Something practical. You are their parent after all. Don’t forget to include something practical, like any basic necessities you forgot to leave them with when they moved into their dorm. Batteries and spare scissors are always good to have. They’ll also probably appreciate hygienic products such as toothpaste and deodorant. They are easy to forget to purchase when you’re a busy college student on the go prepping for exams.
- You knew it was coming … cash. One awesome way to show you care that your young adult will definitely appreciate: slip in a twenty and help finance a meal out with their friends. College students get sick of dorm dining but eating out at restaurants on a budget is difficult. Help them let loose and enjoy some stellar food for an evening.
Of course, no one knows your son or daughter better than you. Tickets to a show they’ve been dying to see, a gift certificate to their favorite store, or a fun t-shirt could all be gifts they’d dig receiving in a care package. Keep the five tips above in mind, but don’t be afraid to add a personal touch.
Care packages are a tradition for a reason – when kids are away from their families for the first time in a brand new environment, it’s really comforting to receive a “piece of home” in the mail. Even if you only send one or two items, I know they’ll appreciate it.