T-Bird Parents: College Care Package Ideas and Tips

Posted: October 01, 2021 | Author: Southern Utah University | Read Time: 3 minutes

Building a college care package for your studentThe fall semester is in full swing and your college student has been away from home for weeks now. They are probably stressing over midterms and dreading class projects and may even be a little homesick. With nearly two months to go until Thanksgiving, October is a prime time to send your student a college care package. Help lift your college student’s spirits and give them a little sense of home until their next long break.

Chris Ralphs, director of University Housing at Southern Utah University, has seen it all; snacks packed next to soaps, cookies turned to dust, melted chocolates, broken mugs and exploded shampoo bottles (just to name a few). After years of witnessing disappointed students taking their dryer sheet tasting Cheez-Its and leaking, crumpled boxes back to the dorms, we asked him for a few tips on how to create the perfect college care package.

Five Tips for a College Care Package

Avoid Crumbly Cookies

Pack cookies in an airtight container and layer them with parchment paper and paper towels along the edges. You don’t want to have room to bounce around in transit. Also, add a slice of bread to the sealed container. This will help keep those baked goods staying fresh.
Separate the Edibles from the Chemicals

Again, don’t pack the Cheez-It box next to the dryer sheets. Actually, don’t pack any snacks next to soaps, candles or cleaning supplies. The chemicals from those products will permeate into the food.

Our best advice - send two separate boxes to your student. This will keep everything fresh and your student can enjoy two packages in the mail.

Send Staple Items

Students always need toothpaste, shampoo, laundry detergent, paper towels, garbage bags...all the boring stuff they don’t want to spend money on. By sending them staple household items, they can save their money for a fun night out.

Gift Cards Are a Good Alternative to Money

Speaking of money, if your student is just asking for cash, but you worry about how they will spend it, gift cards are a great alternative. Think beyond restaurants and get them a gas card or grocery story certificate.

Buy a Premade College Care Package

If you don’t have time to put a package together, there are plenty of services that offer pre-made care packages for college kids. At SUU, parents can purchase college care packages for students from University Housing, finals survival kits from the Student Alumni Association, or food-related care packages from SUU Dining.

Finals Survival Kit from Student Alumni

Provided by the SUU Student Alumni Association, the finals survival kits are sure to brighten your student’s week. Each kit includes scantrons, a note from you, and goodies such as candy bars, chips, crackers, popcorn, oatmeal, granola bars, dried fruit, and a personalized note from you. Kits can be delivered directly to your student or picked up on campus. Purchase a finals survival kit.

Food-Related College Care Packages from SUU Dining

SUU Dining’s college care packages include some of students' favorite treats. These packages are perfect to surprise your student on a bad day, on their birthday, or on a big exam day. Purchase a care package.

Themed Care Packages from SUU Housing

SUU Housing provides several options for college care packages, including a deal is you want to send your student all five in a series. From the new T-Bird box to the final stretch, these boxes include snacks, SUU swag and other fun items based on the theme (think a Santa hat for snow). Purchase SUU Housing care packages.


No matter the contents of your college care package, your student will love receiving mail from their family, especially if they are away for the first time. Help relieve some stress and homesickness by sending your student a little piece of home.

Tags: Parents

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