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Exams week is a tough time for college students, and for many, it’s also their first semester away from home. As the holidays approach, it can be difficult for students to focus on their studies – they’d rather be home with family eating good food and watching movies instead of spending frantic hours cramming in the library. While you can’t help them study, there are plenty of ways to ease their pangs of homesickness by sending care packages during exam week. Finals are upon us, and if you want to send some comfort to your college student, CampusRiot is here to help! Here are a few ideas for care packages that will be sure to earn you an A+ from your kids.


Food is always a welcome gift for students during exam week. It can be difficult to find the time to run out and get a proper meal, and treats from home always taste better than candy bars bought quickly at convenience stores. Homemade treats are best, but sometimes unhealthy, pre-packaged treats are best for studying. Items like popcorn, beef jerky, chips and dips, and others can be easy on-the-go snacks for studying.  Just remember not to send any food that requires extra work or preparation that will distract them from studying.

Deliver a Meal

Even if you’re not much of a baker, you can deliver a meal to your student. You don’t have to drive to their dorm room and drop off a home-cooked meal, but it is easy to have a pizza or a meal from your kid’s favorite local restaurant delivered to them at the library or at their dorm. Before you order, make sure you know where they are studying, then give the restaurant their phone number and pick up the tab.

Study Fuel

One of the best gifts I received from my parents during one of my final semesters in college was a $50 Starbucks gift card. Starbucks coffee shops are everywhere, and my university library had one in the lobby, making it incredibly convenient to refuel on late-night study sessions. Even if your child doesn’t drink coffee, they can take advantage of good food and the numerous other non-coffee sources of caffeine.

Cold Medicine

You always get sick right when you can least afford it, and end of the year exams are known to bring on the sniffles and coughs. Packages of cough drops, vitamins and decongestant can be invaluable for students who can’t afford the time (or cost) for a trip to the pharmacy to stock up on expensive medication.

Something to Make Them Smile

Not every student will want food or coffee, but there are plenty of things you can send that will put a smile on your kid’s face without distracting them from their studies. Sending something cute, like fun photos from home or a stuffed animal, can be an easy way to put a smile on their faces during a study break. The Serious Teddy Bear Co. offers a teddy bear for college students that I bought for a friend during a particularly awful study session, giving her a nice cuddle buddy for when she studied herself to sleep.

A Note of Encouragement

Sometimes just a simple, “You Can Do It!” goes a long way. Depending on your kids, you probably talk or text a few times a week, but handwritten notes can have a much bigger impact, and gives your student something to keep on their desk as they study. Make sure to have the whole family at home sign it, including an ink paw print for any family pets they may be missing.

Your college student is probably slaving away in the library at this very moment and could use a pick-me-up, so now’s your chance! Follow these tips for care package perfection.

What was in the best care package you’ve ever received? 

Feature photo credit: cafemama via photopin cc