When people send their kids off to a faraway land to fill their heads with knowledge and wonder, they like to think the people in charge at the college do a pretty good job of keeping those kids alive and well.
In truth, they could use some help — and that’s what a college care pack is for. So what makes the perfect college care pack? The perfect care pack is one that covers all the bases, helping to keep your wayward kin not merely alive, but in peak health. Or at least functioning at an acceptable baseline level.
That’s why we’ve put together this list of the best care pack ideas to address everything from nutritional requirements to sleep, hygiene, and emotional well-being. Ship off or drop off these essential items, then rest assured that you’ve done your job. The rest is up to them.
A large part of our emotional memory is tied up with the sense of smell. What better way to battle homesickness than to make their dorm room or apartment smell like the place they’ve (temporarily) left behind?Amazon.com
First Aid Kit
Let’s face it: accidents are going to happen. Lucky for you, in most cases you don’t have to know about it anymore. A really great first aid kit is all you need to ease your conscience. Just hand over the necessary supplies, and hope that whatever transpires, they can handle it without involving the authorities.Amazon.com
NASA Sleep Promoting Bulb
Insufficient sleep is one of the gravest health risks in modern society. And if you have a seemingly insurmountable problem, who do you turn to? No, not Google. You turn to the people who figure out how to traverse outer space. If NASA can rocket your ass to the moon, they can surely get you to the Land of Nod.Hammacher.com
You may have taught them not to put filthy things in their mouths years ago, but chances are they still do it every day. You probably do too. This is a classic example of capitalism helping people to fix a problem they didn’t even know they had.Amazon.com
Speaking of germs, few places in the known universe can match the pathogen density of a college dorm. Immersing oneself in that contagious atmosphere without taking protective measures is like going into battle without armor. This is the tonic their immune system needs to wage war against all manner of harmful microbes.Amazon.com
Cupcakes in a Jar
The sweetest gift on this list, these cupcakes-in-a-jar solve the age old problem of figuring out how to get baked goods from one part of the continent to another without pumping them full of embalming chemicals or having them taste like dried potting soil when they arrive. These are works of art for the tastebuds, little miracles in a jar. You can even set up a monthly subscription to keep the sugar train a-rollin’ all year.wickedgoodcupcakes.com
Space will be at a premium in their new digs, so organization and economy are essential. A toiletries bag, bucket, or tote is a key piece of the puzzle. And it will help them stay looking and smelling nice.Amazon.com
We’ve already established that sleep is essential for functioning at a high level. But sometimes, in order to get enough sleep, you need to grab it while you can — regardless of where you are. The ostrich pillow allows the bleary-eyed scholar to do just that.Amazon.com
Giant Gummy Bear
This is the spirit animal of candy lovers everywhere, the king of the sugar forest that appears in visions to deliver messages of happiness and joy. How they consume this gelatinous beast is completely up to them. But however the task is approached, it should be considered a long-term goal, as this bear weighs in at around five pounds.Amazon.com
Hidden Camera Detector
Most people would consider this to be some form of paranoid overkill, but we thought you should at least know this thing is out there. Just another way to protect against one of the endless forms of funny business.spyassociates.com
Rotating Pizza Oven
“Give a college student a pizza, and you feed them for 10 minutes. Give them a pizza oven, and you feed them for a semester.” Oh, the time, money, and space that will be saved by this ingenious device. And the hunger that will be prevented. The brain has few energy stores of its own and therefore needs a constant pipeline of nutrients to function — that’s a biological fact. A fact that makes this the most delicious personal IQ-boosting device on earth. Slam dunk.Amazon.com
The one gift guaranteed to never disappoint. Just take our advice and don’t ask what they did with it. It’s better for everyone that way.