Send a Care Package to Your College Student: Five Helpful Tips for Parents

Like all parents of college-age children, you miss your student terribly when they’re at school, even though you’re proud of their hard work and love to see them grow in their independence. It can be difficult to find the balance between wanting to constantly reach out for updates on your child’s life and wanting to give them space to grow into themselves. Here’s a secret though: although forging their own path is an instrumental experience for college students, all people (including your adult child) appreciate hearing from their parents. It reassures them that they’re loved and supported, and it quenches any tinges of homesickness they might be experiencing.

Although you can’t see them face-to-face every day anymore, there are ways you can express your love from a distance. One of the best and most heartfelt ways to tell your college student that you’re thinking about them is to send a gift. If you think back to your own college days, you can surely remember both the pros and cons of student life. Newly-independent young adults face the lack of key supplies they’ve never had to buy themselves before, and the lack of heartfelt mementoes that remind them of home.

Fortunately, you can support your child’s dreams and vision from a distance by sending them a care package that shows you’re there for them whenever they need you. Here are five tips you’ll find helpful for planning out your student’s care package.

Consider What They Need

Packing for college is a whirlwind, and most students end up buying a lot of their supplies once they’re settled into school. However, young adults who aren’t used to buying everything they need tend to forget small but important items. Include gifts that you’re sure your college student needs. Some ideas include medicine, chargers and batteries, mugs and other dishes, wall adhesive strips, hand sanitizer, and razors. Gift cards also make great gifts. 

Consider What They Like

Your care package doesn’t need to be all business and no fun. You know your child’s likes better than most people. If they’re feeling homesick or stressed with school, receiving a few gifts they love can lift their spirits. Try sending wellness products (like a diffuser and essential oils, massage roller, or facial wipes), beauty products (like jewelry, face masks, or lotion), food products (like candy, beverage infusers, or tasty snacks), or fun products (like card games, room decorations, or adult coloring books).

Use Your Care Package to Parent From a Distance

Even though your child is away at school, they’re still your baby and you still want to sneak a chance to parent them where you can. You can subtly make sure they’re eating right, that they have enough pillow cases, or that they remember to fill their gas tank through your gifts. Because after all, the most loving presents are those that help someone. 

Include Personal, Heart-Felt Touches

Just as you’re missing your student, they’re missing you too—even if they don’t show it. College is a fun and challenging experience they’re diving into, but heart-felt reminders of home and the love waiting there will touch even the most independent student. Slipping hand-written notes into your care package, as well as pictures, a favorite stuffed animal left behind, or a homemade recipe ensures your care package will be special.

Consider Sending a Regular Care Package Through a Service

If you find it difficult to buy all your supplies, find a suitable case, and decorate it so it looks appealing, rest assured that you don’t have to do everything on your own. You want your child to receive your care package at school and feel an immediate sense of excitement to open it, which means you want it to show up looking like a special gift. Your shoe box constructions and manila envelope creations might not be sending the exact message you want to convey.

Luckily, there are companies that make it their mission to send gifts to your loved ones that are filled with the items you choose. One clear perk of this option is that it takes the shopping and stress off of you and lets you arrange your care package easily from your home. Another plus is that the gift will look beautiful every time. And even more beneficial, your child has the option to adjust any of the items you include with something that is a better fit or greater need. 

You love your college-age child and are always thinking about them while they’re away at school—what better way to shower your love on them from a distance through a care package? Every student will appreciate a gift filled with useful and touching items that shows you love them but support their independence. The only downside is that your student might keep asking for more care packages because they love theirs so much!

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Claire Rogstad
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