They passed their SATs and they wrote their college essays. They packed their bags, picked their majors, and they even chose their dorms! Moving away to college is an exciting time in anybody’s life—and this fall’s batch of college-bound kids are in for four of the best years of theirs. So, what should you include in care packages to your star student to help ensure they get the most from their experience?
Here’s the thing: Starting college can be stressful. Not only do new students need to learn the way around campus, memorize their course schedules, and make new friends, they also need to buy a lot of stuff. They need textbooks and bed sheets, pencils, notebooks, closet organizers, shower caddies, alarm clocks, travel mugs, dorm room slippers—and more. That’s a lot of gear for one person’s first year at school! Even the most overachieving scholar is bound to forget something.
Any student will appreciate a care package in their first semester or two away from home. That’s why we’ve compiled some college care package ideas for every kind of college kid. Your competitive athlete, class president, young doctor-in-the-making, or little Steve Jobs might be scrambling to hit the ground running, but that doesn’t mean you can’t help them ring in the new school year with some fun gift items too.
Here are a few ideas to send that special champion in your life out into the world with a bang.
Shortcuts to college care packages:
For the Athlete:
Your favorite jock can rattle off batting averages like nobody’s business. He’s up at five to try and beat his own six-minute mile. You can expect him to drag you along on a hiking excursion at a moment’s notice. Show him you care with this list of gifts for true aficionados of athletics.
Every athlete loves when they get to see the pros do their thing live. With the Ticket Stub Diary, they can relive that unforgettable home run or seemingly impossible goal whenever their sports-loving heart desires. Makes a great keepsake to share with the grandkids one day, too.
Flasks and footballs for the win! This gift feels especially college. The perfect accessory for those occasions when gym shorts and sweatshirts just won’t cut it.
Perfect for away games or weekend trips off campus, the Military Blanket Toiletry Bag will keep that extra-strength deodorant and any other essentials safe for your sporty college student.
For the outdoor-adventure athlete. The Fields & Forests Men’s Grooming Set helps him to freshen up, leaving a lingering woodsy scent that will remind him of the trails he loves.
Don’t let them lose their way. The Compass Lid Camping Water Bottle provides the guidance your freshman friend needs, whether wandering through campus or exploring new terrain.
Even the most active athlete will need to give those aching muscles a break every now and then. Remind your care package recipient to rest with this Cotton Ikat Wrap Robe.
For the Bookworm:
You can always find at least one book tucked away in her bag (for emergencies). She’ll defend her best-loved character as if they were soulmates. Ask her for a book rec and she’ll go on for hours. Let your favorite bookworm know you’re thinking of her with these care package picks.
The college years are prime reading time. Your brilliant bookworm will likely be reading more than ever, including some potentially life-changing titles. Readers are often writers, too, so this thoughtful gift offers the perfect space to reflect.
From morning to night, she can pair her book of choice with a fresh cup of loose leaf tea.
The perfect size to stash that emergency novel or worn-in leather journal. Your bookworm pal will be styling on campus with the Fresh Floral Cork Crossbody Bag slung over her shoulder.
Any Jane Austen enthusiast will be enamored by this literary throw. Who wouldn’t want to be wrapped up in such carefully crafted words?
Book-lovers tend to be sentimental types. Send over these Floating Gallery Frames to help her display what she holds most dear.
These rosy-scented essentials will have your bookworm feeling as though she’s roaming through the gardens of Thornfield, even if she’s really just on line at the dining hall.
When your bookworm’s backpack is simply brimming, she can still store her essentials in this nostalgic tote.
For the Graphic Designer:
The right typeface can move them to tears. They freak out over anything “flat design,” and go absolutely mad for Minimalism. Keep your favorite kerner/learner happy by sending over these inspiring design gifts.
Equal parts visually and spiritually appealing, this stunning book will keep your design-lover inspired in more ways than one.
The Brass Mechanical Drafting Pencil is almost too beautiful to use. Your college-bound creative will be the envy of all with this uncommon utensil in their care package.
Anyone who knows anything about aesthetics will appreciate the pop of yellow on this handy toiletry bag.
Whether they’re cramming for a test or cruising the internet for design ideas, it’s good to have some custom, crunchy snacks nearby.
Six drinks in one design?! This sleek yet utilitarian bottle is just right for undergrads on the go.
Those strips of print are just so satisfying. Keep the laundry day blues away with this stylish Batik bag.
Who wouldn’t appreciate the sweetness of this design? Encourage creative college students to keep it cozy with the Foodie Slippers in Strawberry.
In addition to boasting a sure-to-please playful design, this pillow is a great way to keep your college kid both comfy and in keeping with their school’s team spirit.
For the Scientist:
They’re the kids who were always asking “why?” who turned into the people trying to answer. You’ll find them behind the lens of a microscope, or telescope, or any other various scope. They’re just as at home in the lab pouring chemicals or in the field finding specimens. No matter their specialty, check this selection to find gifts that show science-minded students you care.
Keep them cozy during late-night cram sessions with these stellar Moon Phases High Socks.
Your science-lover will savor every sip from this equation-laden mug.
Make that dorm room double as a planetarium with out-of-this-world wall art!
These intelligently designed Nesting Storage Containers will keep your science major’s brain food nice and fresh.
The Tea To Go infuser lets your young scientist make their own chemical reaction; the brewing process happens all inside.
Even the smartest students can stand to hear a bit of sage advice. Roadmap: The Get-it-Together Guide will steer them in the right direction.
Sometimes new students want to skip the dining hall. Let them store soups, strawberries or whatever they prefer in these handy containers. (And what science nerd doesn’t appreciate a spork?)
For the Class Clown:
These tricksters are constantly cracking jokes, and everyone around them is constantly cracking smiles. They’re always there to brighten your day, and now you can return the favor (even if they’re far away). Remind them to keep their silly spirit strong with these uncommon care package finds.
Fun-loving freshmen will find it hard to keep from drumming on their desks with these quirky pencils.
Your class clown can de-stress from essays and tests by flipping through this hilarious book of fails.
This unexpected instrument will provide the shock-value your class clown loves to invoke.
An uncommon option for storing school supplies or any other little trinkets. Your funny friend will smile at the sight of this Shark Bite Pouch.
Perfect for nights spent in the dorm watching comedy classics.
And they can take their popcorn to the next level with these surprising seasonings! (They come in both sweet and savory.)
High school may be over for your favorite class clown, but they’ll soon learn that some awkwardness persists. Help them cope the best way they know how — playing around.
The playful pop of cork on this backpack is an unexpected twist.
Let your class clown keep it comfy without sacrificing their signature unique style. (Plus, these are now on sale!)
At first glance, these Handmade Zebra slippers might make you laugh–but slide them on and you’ll fall in love.
Scratching off the places your funny freshman has been makes geography just a little more fun!