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#1 gingersmom

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Posted 07 September 2010 - 02:05 PM

What do you put in a care package for a freshman at college?

Any ideas for the college freshman who has everything?

#2 RegGuheert

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Posted 07 September 2010 - 02:07 PM

I'll start:

- Handwritten notes from siblings
- Favorite snack
- Stuff they forgot

#3 Kipling

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Posted 07 September 2010 - 02:17 PM

I always recommend lots of underwear for college freshmen. You can re-wear clothes if necessary, but the number of clean underwear you have directly corresponds to how frequently you have to wash clothes. And when I was in college, I wanted to go as long between washdays as possible.

#4 Mergath

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Posted 07 September 2010 - 02:22 PM

I've been out of college now for two plus years, but from what I remember, this is what I'd want.

-Gift cards for the local coffee shop or for music downloads
-Bags of pens, because they seem to just get up and walk away
-A nifty thermos to use at the local coffee shop, and maybe a reusable coffee cozy
-Movies, because they don't spend ALL their time studying
-Junk food is awesome
-Blank cd-rs can be handy if the freshman in question has a laptop
-Small floor rugs can be nice if he/she lives in a dorm room- some of those rooms are like teeny, tiny, concrete-floored warehouses.

I'll add more if I think of anything else.

Edited by Mergath, 07 September 2010 - 02:25 PM.


#5 Daisy

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Posted 07 September 2010 - 02:22 PM

Rolls of quarters for the laundry were coveted. LOL.

Favorite candy
Starbucks cards
Other gift cards (gas, food, etc.)
Favorite magazine
Stamps
School supplies (I practically ate highlighters)

#6 Jane in NC

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Posted 07 September 2010 - 02:28 PM

Homemade cookies!

The first care package that I sent to my son had something he needed to buy for a class that we already owned. In addition to that item, I added a tin of cashews, a pottery mug for his roommate, a letter that had arrived from his Grandpa, stamps, and a box of homemade Molasses Crinkles, one of his favorite cookies.

This week's care package has a box of oatmeal/dried cherry cookies, several packages of Asian crackers/Wasabi peas, this month's Funny Times.

I will probably be the Mom supplying my son's wing of the dorm with cookies.

Edited by Jane in NC, 07 September 2010 - 05:56 PM.
correction


#7 ScoutTN

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Posted 07 September 2010 - 03:08 PM

Oreos were always my favorite!
cash
a real, handwritten letter
photos


I used to go to Walmart or Target with $20 and see what I could find to send to friends who were first year in a new school. Often silly things, but fun...
a flashlight
silly houseslippers or socks
a deck of cards
junk food
nice soap or lotion for girls
silly string
sidewalk chalk
a hat
cheap sunglasses

sometimes we put a mylar helium balloon in the box (on a string, tied to something inside the box) to pop out when the box was opened. Always gets a laugh.

#8 athena1277

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Posted 07 September 2010 - 03:38 PM

Gift cards for fast food. I hated when i didn't have $$ to join my friends at McDonald's in college.

As far as fun stuff - a coloring book and a new box of crayons.

A DVD of a favorite movie (if they have a DVD player).

#9 gingersmom

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Posted 07 September 2010 - 03:40 PM

Thanks for all the ideas!

#10 Chris in VA

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Posted 07 September 2010 - 03:43 PM

I always recommend lots of underwear for college freshmen. You can re-wear clothes if necessary, but the number of clean underwear you have directly corresponds to how frequently you have to wash clothes. And when I was in college, I wanted to go as long between washdays as possible.


Not if you're my son. :lol:

Just teasing. He's actually a little ocd about cleanliness.:D

#11 Dobela

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Posted 07 September 2010 - 04:21 PM

I was glad to see that someone else also recommended a deck of cards. We actually wore out cards playing spades late at night after the studying was done.

Last year when our church sent care packages we included lots of snacks, especially those that fit well in backpacks, and those tubes of koolaid and such that you add to bottled water. Those were apparently a big hit for some - again becuase they could put a couple in their backpacks.

#12 Photo Ninja

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Posted 07 September 2010 - 05:44 PM

Do you know the restaurants and stores in the area? My ds really appreciates gift cards and movie tickets. He has little to no spending money because his budget is so tight, but enjoys being able to go out with friends and getting more than just a soda or coffee. I send gift cards to Target, his preferred one-stop store for just about every need, and for fast food, like Chipotle, etc. I get movie tickets at Costco to send him. It would cost him about $12 per movie, and he just can't afford that, and buying tickets at Costco costs less than box office price. You just need to know the theaters in your dc's area. This only works for one of my sons because there are not the right theaters in my other son's college town. My sons like iTunes gift cards so they can get music and movies. Another idea is a Visa gift card.

Another idea is a Netflix account. My sons (in college in different states) each have one and it meets their needs for entertainment. They get one DVD at a time, but as many a month as they want, and they get instant play, giving them access to lots of movies and tv shows. It costs about $9.00 a month, less than going to the movies once. So I know it's not a typical care package item, but my sons' friends appreciate it, too.

Other items:

Brita filters (for their Brita water pitchers because their dorms have horrible tasting water)
A stick of laundry stain remover
Granola bars. Lara bars, Power bars
Serving size packages of cashews and peanuts
Drink mixes: spiced cider, hot chocolate, Cappuccino
Sunflower seeds
Gum
Deck of cards, Uno, etc.
Chapstick
Nerf gun and darts (sounds silly, but my son went through a couple of these last year)
Nerf basketball hoop and ball
Small trash bags for room trash cans (unless your dc have easy access to trash bins. Mine would have to carry their cans to an outside bin, then take the trash can back inside. Bags are appreciated.)
Peanut butter pretzels
Seasonal candy
DVD or CD
Cookies

#13 Kareni

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Posted 09 September 2010 - 12:14 AM

What do you put in a care package for a freshman at college?


- Stuff they forgot


Yes, that went into the first package we ever sent!

Homemade cookies!

... a box of homemade Molasses Crinkles

...a box of oatmeal/dried cherry cookies

I will probably be the Mom supplying my son's wing of the dorm with cookies.


I think your son and his wing (hmm, that makes him sound rather birdlike!) are going to be VERY happy. (I'm drooling on my keyboard here!)

Items accumulating here for a care package are bag clips (we neglected to provide those with the grocery bag full of goodies from Trader Joes that we left at the dorm), a package of stickers of the college's mascot, and an article from Memoria Press' latest catalog The Greatest Single Defect of My Own Latin Education by Dorothy Sayers which I think the Classics major will enjoy. Doubtless something from the chocolate family will also be added to the package before it is mailed sometime in the next couple of weeks.

Regards,
Kareni

#14 Kareni

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Posted 11 September 2010 - 01:02 PM

Items accumulating here for a care package are bag clips (we neglected to provide those with the grocery bag full of goodies from Trader Joes that we left at the dorm), a package of stickers of the college's mascot, and an article from Memoria Press' latest catalog The Greatest Single Defect of My Own Latin Education by Dorothy Sayers which I think the Classics major will enjoy.


and to add to my previous list:

~ a Halloween card and a small pin as a Halloween gift

~ two dollar bills that we received that were registered previously at Where'e George? so that my daughter can add her location to the list

~ a bag of honey sesame sticks from Trader Joe's

~ three small chocolate bars also from Trader Joe's

~ two Command brand picture hanging widgets

~ some Hopjes (a Dutch coffee candy)

~ lots of love!

Care packages can be fun.
Regards,
Kareni

#15 angela in ohio

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Posted 11 September 2010 - 01:35 PM

rolls of quarters
gift cert to college bookstore (for shirts, hats, etc.)
bookmarks
highlighters and pens
decks of cards
candy
slippers
gum
batteries

for a girl add:
hand lotion
hair elastics and scrunchies

#16 justasque

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Posted 11 September 2010 - 01:59 PM

Christmas twinkle lights.
Ditto on the snacks for backpacks.
Pudding mix (microwavable)
A Halloween costume (or parts thereof)

Really, college kids don't need much, and don't have room for much, so it's not easy. :)

#17 duckens

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Posted 11 September 2010 - 02:00 PM

I always recommend lots of underwear for college freshmen. You can re-wear clothes if necessary, but the number of clean underwear you have directly corresponds to how frequently you have to wash clothes.


I thought college was where you learned that you can get twice the use out of your underwear if you wear it inside-out the second day!!!

My recommendations are for single serving foods:
Easy Mac
100 Calorie snack bags of stuff
Cup-o-soup
Tuna (and can opener) and crackers
granola bars

Every semester, there is usually one part of a student's schedule that doesn't accommodate cafeteria hours, or the student works late into the night.

There are nights that you miss dinner in the cafeteria because of a late lab (4-6pm that goes to 6:45) or a review session with the prof (6-7pm, right after the lab ends). There is the Tuesday schedule where one class ends at 12noon, and the next class starts at 1pm, and both are on the opposite end of campus from the cafeteria (15min walk one way, plus a wait in the lunch line.....)

How about a comic book? Something really mindless like Foxtrot or Garfield?

#18 laughing lioness

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Posted 18 September 2010 - 07:24 PM

My dd was only home a couple of weeks this year between working and summer term classes and we are too far to visit. She is supporting herself so about once a sem I send her:
feminine supplies for the sem, toothpaste, new toothbrush.
barley green and vitamins (she got Swine Flu last year)
Lipstick and mascara
Soup mixes (she lives in an apt)
letters and pics from sib's
power bars
granola bars and dark chocolate.
rooibus and green tea
scarf or earrings
something fun like silly string

#19 Diana P.

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Posted 18 September 2010 - 07:35 PM

gift card and favorite homemade snack

I might throw in something totally goofy too. Like a small bottle of blowing bubbles or silly putty.

#20 Maria from IN

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Posted 18 September 2010 - 08:44 PM

Definitely quarters. Some of my best study times were when I had to stay by my laundry (they would throw our clothes out of the dryer and leave them to mold in a heap on the floor).

Dryer sheets from home--something about the smell of clean towels from home...

Cold medicine, tea bags, cough drops--whatever you give your child when they're sick. Dorms are just as much incubators as preschools!

Extra hat and gloves, maybe a heavy jacket--you never know when there's going to be a cold snap, and you don't want to freeze your tuchas just because you haven't been home yet to gather your winter things.

Edited to add: More credits for the cafeteria--sometimes you can add them from home.

#21 74Heaven

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Posted 19 September 2010 - 12:54 AM

Thanks for all the great ideas. I am keeping this thread handy.

I usually throw the comics page from the newspaper in and a snapshot of the family or a sibling that is reasonably current ... I've snuck in a book or two that I thought she might read - like faith-based or "getting organized" books or magazine articles.

Articles of anyone she knows in the paper. A local small town newspaper. I try to slip in a couple of bucks or a $5 in every letter or package if I can spare it and I happen to have cash on hand.

I told my daughter to just text me something she needs and I'll put it in the next package I send, so she keeps me posted on ideas.

We don't do Halloween but I would like to send some harvest type theme things for decorating but not sure what to send since I want it to be small and not halloweeny...

Lisaj