How to Pack The Best Winter College Care Package


There are certain things in life that make you feel…well, old. Spotting a grey hair, the fact that Nintendo released a “classic” version and it’s chock full of the games from your childhood, or that running across an old box of floppy disks was an “aha” moment for my teenager when she finally realized where the “save” icon came from. Nothing made me feel older, however, than writing out the first check and graduation card for a friend’s child. How can I be old enough for this?

As the winter wears on, I am often of thinking of my young college friends. Remember the luxury of a long winter break and then trying to settle back into second semester? It is about this time of year that we could all use a little pick-me-up! It probably goes without saying that you can always make a college student happy with some cold hard cash, but if you are looking for something a little more personal to send in a college care package, here are some ideas.

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How to Pack the Best Winter College Care Package

Gift Cards

Remember to choose gift cards to places that the student can easily access from campus!

  • Coffee Shop
  • Sandwich Shop such as Subway or Jimmy John’s
  • Bowling Alley
  • Movie Theater
  • Gas station if they have a car
  • Target/Wal*Mart/Walgreens


While good chocolate is always appreciated, most of my friends say a more nutritious snack to get you through a study session is preferable over a lot of candy.

  • Favorite Candy
  • Homemade Chex Mix
  • Beef Jerky
  • Goldfish Crackers
  • Animal Crackers
  • Trail Mix
  • Cup of Noodles
  • Gum
  • Protein bars

Personal Items

There is nothing worse than having a little free money and having to spend it on a toothbrush! A few personal care items are always a win.

  • Toothbrushes and toothpaste
  • Advil
  • Chapstick
  • Lotion
  • Cough drops
  • Hand warmers for the trek across campus
  • Mittens or gloves
  • Cozy, new socks

Something That Says Home

Does your city have something it’s known for? A local gourmet popcorn shop? Fudge? A little something that says “home” is fun to receive.

Finish off your care package with an encouraging note. Handwritten mail is so rare for a college student in 2020!

This post was first published in 2017.