College Care Packages
By Sam, age 18, Massachusetts
Sweet Designs Intern
So you've decided to brave the big, bad world and head off to the college farthest away from home. Well, maybe not the farthest away, but at least far enough so you can't make a day trip to drop off your laundry at mom's. When this distance exists, parents, or the otherwise nervous wrecks left behind after their baby goes off and leaves the nest, will want their hatchling to know they're still thinking of them by sending care packages.
I, for example, go to school in Illinois, even though nearly all of my family lives in Massachusetts. As the first child to go to college, I was showered with care packages. They're always fun to receive, and even more fun to give.
Care packages usually derive from a phone call with a family member or friend. They will offhandedly ask, "Oh, do you need anything at school?"
To which you reply, "Well, I could use a little more _____."
And thus begins the epic journey of the package of care.
There are a variety of care packages sent to college students every day:
There are the practical care packages, filled with shampoo, laundry detergent, and socks, which are used to restock the endless supplies of hygienic and sensible materials you never use.
There are the care packages filled with food, usually canned or packaged or consisting of instant ramen, that evidence your parents' attempt at preventing you from starving to death on pizza and cheeseburgers alone. Food filled care packages may also contain fresh baked cookies and brownies. These care packages should specifically be known about beforehand, shipped overnight, and picked up the next day. It is no fun rejoicing over finding cookies in your care package, only to notice the cookies have green mold growing on the edges.
Then there are the silly care packages, filled with pictures of the family, little trinkets made by younger siblings, or otherwise ridiculous mementos like "air from home." These are usually sent just for laughs or to brighten someone's day.
There are the simple care packages, which usually involve a small card with the message "Thinking of you" written on the inside. Cards also serve as the perfect transportation for money. Money, some would argue, is the best care package, as it has a variety of uses.
No matter what the care package entails, it is important that the receiver always thanks the sender graciously. This may either be done by phone call or email. By thanking the sender for the care package, it lets them know you've received the package and their hard work putting this package together for you has paid off.
Care packages are like the Easter eggs of the college mailroom: fun little surprises you aren't always expecting. So send someone some love, and send them a care package.