As a resident assistant for two years, I’ve dealt firsthand with the heartache some freshmen experience upon arrival at college. The easiest way I know of to dull the pain: a care package. Some parents may need a few hints, though. Here’s a simple list of items you can send to your family members to help them assemble the ideal care package.
- Cash: If you’re like me, you won’t be receiving any Franklins, but a Hamilton here or there is a day brightener.
- Books: Ask mom to slip a copy of the latest fiction bestseller into your next package. It’s true, college requires a lot of reading—typically of the dry variety—but you shouldn’t let that spoil your love of pop fiction.
- Movie tickets: The silver screen has long been a form of both escapism and realism. And, a pair of tickets makes for a fun night out with your new roommate.
- Baked goods: Who doesn’t love grandpa’s prized snicker doodles? Seriously. Anyone?
- A recent family photo: Amid jam-packed schedules, we may neglect to keep in contact with our family. Receiving a family picture that can be affixed via magnet to the mini fridge should serve as a reminder of who’s living at home and missing the heck out of us! (And who we ought to call!)
- Gas card: Feel free to frame this as an ultimatum: no gas card, no visit home. Just kidding.
- Festive socks: Do you desire a grand way to show your friends how ghoulishly cool you can be at Halloween? With festive socks tricked out with pumpkins, others can’t beat what you got on the feet.
- Bubble wrap: You can endow your bubble wrap with symbolic significance as you label each air pocket as an obstacle or stressor in your life. Then aggressively pop away. This also works with balloons.
- Snacks: Perhaps you’re known to polish off three bags of potato chips nightly or have cravings for dark chocolate. Either way, a care package is a stellar resource for subsidizing your snacking.
- Spirit gear: A university is a home, culture, source of pride and much more. Periodically refuel your school spirit with a new addition to your collegiate wardrobe.
- New shoes: College is all about walking, and lots of it. While it’s sure to sculpt your legs and keep money in your pocket, it also will wear out your shoes.
- iTunes card: You’re bound to interact with others whose music tastes will inevitably rub off on you. An iTunes card helps you quickly, easily, and legally expand your music collection. And those anti-Apple rebels can always use an Amazon card.
- New pens and highlighters: You don’t need to possess a Lisa Frank fetish to revel in the glory of a new pack of writing utensils. It will make taking notes in history class a little less painful.
- Chewing gum: As a friend of mine likes to profess, “You’re the most popular kid at school when you bring out the sticks.”
- Handwritten notes: A letter or postcard in a care package will mean a great deal more than any gift card, candy or clothing once you graduate. These are the keepsakes you will cherish for a lifetime.
By Mark Fairbrother Copyright 2014 brass Media, Inc.