Let's be honest, here-while college is unarguably one of the greatest experiences of life, it is also one of the most mentally, physically and emotionally taxing. Carefree freshman year antics quickly transform into stressful assignments and life decisions that are, at times, pretty difficult to handle alone.
One of the simplest and most effective ways to show a student you're thinking of them is through the wonderful mail center surprise that is the care package. Whether practical or downright goofy, these little boxes of goodies are a surefire pick-me-up any day of the week, and we've rounded up our favorite ideas for a semester filled with anything and everything a student could ask for (well, except an early degree).
Put a little pep back into the mundane daily grind of coursework with a brightly themed, colorful box of goodies that is guaranteed to turn any 15-page essay-induced frown upside down.
More from Elizabeth Doo-Dah
Just a funny little way to remind the college kid in your life that there are some things scarier than an 8 a.m. class.
Get more ideas from DIY Ready
Also known as the "Let's Just Cut Right to the Chase" care package. Give them some extra dough to make life a bit sweeter!
Get a step-by-step tutorial from Life As Mom
If he or she wasn't a coffee drinker before college, you can safely bet that's changed since the introduction of the classic all-nighter. If you want to pass along a gift they really need to succeed, this is the ticket, bar none.
Get the DIY from Mom. Wife. Busy Life.
Steve Liss/Time Life Pictures/Getty
Keeping stress at bay is a crucial element to tackling exam time with flying colors, and there's no better way to do that than with a little good-old-fashioned encouragement. Include creative, inspiring school supplies they can carry around all day, like these Andy Warhol philosophy pencils.
Check out more ideas here
Odds are that once your college student gets all moved and settled into the new digs, it'll quickly become apparent that while they did remember to bring that great lava lamp they stumbled upon at the back of the garage, there isn't a toothbrush or tube of deodorant anywhere to be found. Since the semester only grows more hectic with each week, an emergency stash of the little necessities will be exactly what the stress-free doctor ordered.
Get inspired at My Beauty Box Review
No, this isn't a box themed around Chinua Achebe's popular required reading novel. This little-thought-of gem is a safeguard for those rare but very relevant times when your student runs out of calculator batteries in the middle of an online quiz or buys the 10 for 10 cans of soup at the grocery store but forgets he/she doesn't actually own a can opener.
Go here for more inspiration
Since it's pretty common knowledge that the only bottle of cleaning wipes you'll find in your student's dorm room is most likely only being used as a makeshift bookend, it wouldn't hurt to send over a little reminder that dust and sink rings are not the friends they need to hang on to.
Get more ideas here
Everyone knows college isn't all fun and games, but that doesn't mean these things have to be banished altogether. Shipping over a collection of your student's favorite games will be the little reminder of home they didn't know they missed. And, you know, nothing says residence hall bonding like breaking out the Twister mat.
Check out this Fun and Games Care Package
Skip the requisite "You're looking a little thin-are you eating regularly?" talks by ensuring they're receiving the nutrition they need to conquer a rigorous load of classes and extracurriculars.
Learn how from A Cozy Kitchen
While college is undoubtedly the first transitional step into adulthood for a student, there's still a huge kid left inside that sometimes really just needs to throw a frisbee or have a campus lawn water gun fight.
For some ideas on what to include, look here
It's an inevitability of college that "whatever's going around" will slowly and surely be passed to everyone. Since you can't be there to take care of your bedridden student, do the next best thing by sending them get-well kit (in addition to a personal home pharmacy) they can rely on when the going gets tough-and keep your fingers crossed it's not mono.
Get the DIY here
Jo, My Gosh! via Pinterest
Inviting a couple friends from down the hall over, throwing a bag of popcorn into the microwave and popping a favorite DVD into the disc drive is secretly what most college kids would rather be doing than going out on a Saturday night, so why not help them out a little bit?
Here are more ideas from Jo, My Gosh!
We all love a good Christmas commercial, and these have never disappointed.
So, you've found the perfect gift. Present the perfect present with these jaw-dropping gift wrap ideas!
Here are ten modern Christmas movies that are sure to make your holiday season merry and bright.
Skip the after dinner naps and get into some fun quality time.
Make Thanksgiving a delightful celebration for all ages with these kid-friendly Turkey Day tricks.
Hansel and Gretel haven't seen anything yet.
Check out this master list of super-easy Thanksgiving tips and shortcuts that don't skimp on flavor.