I remember it so clearly. The day I left my daughter at university for the first time. It was a strange feeling. I was so happy and excited for her but at the same time, I wondered how it would feel being at home without her. No matter how old your kids get, you’ll never stop being their mom. So naturally, when that bittersweet milestone finally becomes a reality, you’ll sleep better at night knowing that you’ve equipped them with the tools and the life lessons they need to succeed. But it doesn’t hurt to send along a few items in a university student care package to reinforce them.
My daughter and I have always been incredibly close. She’s also always been more receptive to “mom’s input” than some kids might be. Perhaps sometimes it was just to humor me or maybe to just make me stop talking. Hahaha! Mind you, I tried to pick my battles and I tried to keep things short and sweet. Most of all, I tried to offer some words of wisdom from time to time and then step back and allow her to do it her way. Either way, now that she’s married and about a month away from giving birth to her first child, I can see the foundation I helped to give her shining through.
Here are a few of the life lessons kids on their own for the first time may need to know:
1) Your roommates will complain about odor wafting around you if you keep wearing the same clothes day after day, so you’re going to need to do some laundry.
And no, I’m not doing it all for you. (Oh believe me, she tried MANY times to simply bring it all home on a weekend and get mom to do it for her!). We started simply. This is a washing machine. This is how you turn it on. But since anything much more complicated than that was just too much for a busy college student, send them off with a container of the new Arm & Hammer™ Plus OxiClean™ 3-In-1 Power Paks. This all-in-one detergent tackles tough stains, doesn’t require any measuring or scooping and is student-budget friendly. If you’re lucky, it may also mean you’re not greeted with a load of dirty laundry every time your kid comes home to visit. (Just kidding. They’ll still bring as much of it home as they can.)
Don’t be surprised when you receive a call or text saying, “Mom, how do I sort my laundry?” Or “Where do I find the washing instructions?” Okay, if your kid is like mine, you won’t receive this call until AFTER a laundry disaster. And yes, I DID try to teach her before she left home. But once she ruined her favourite sweater, she was a little more receptive to some fabric care advice. To help make laundry easier (and prevent shrinking t-shirts and colour bleed disasters at the same time!), I educated her on the proper laundry symbols. You can download a fun laundry symbols postcard from Arm & Hammer Laundry here that lists the most common symbols and what they mean. I suggest you laminate it and send it along to university. Maybe tape some cash to it so they actually look at it.
2) I have two words for you – safe sex
Ugh. It’s not always comfortable to have those conversations with your kids but they are so important. The harsh reality is that kids are having sex, yet not properly protecting themselves. In fact, a study found that almost two-thirds (64 per cent) of post-secondary students across the country had a sexual encounter within the past year. Furthermore, 72 per cent of students engaged in intercourse during their last sexual encounter, yet only about half (51 per cent) reported using a condom. Yikes!
If you have a child heading off to school, buy condoms for them and pack them in their suitcase. Trojan™ condoms are the number one condom choice of Canadians for protection.
3) Prepare ahead for those hectic university schedules!
One must-have item that’s as just as popular amongst moms as with students is Batiste Dry Shampoo. It is the world’s #1 dry shampoo* for a reason – it instantly refreshes your hair between washes, no water required. It works by absorbing excess oil from the roots leaving hair looking clean and fresh. So, whether you’re running late (no more missing class because you need to do wash your hair!) or just looking for an instant refresh, new Batiste Dry Shampoo Heavenly Volume is a saving grace as it has the additional benefit of transforming hair with gorgeous, touchable volume and bounce.
Include a collection of simple hair accessories in your care package – headbands, hair ties, those super cool corkscrew bobby pins. Refresh your hair with Batiste and then put it up into a quick ponytail or messy bun and you are good to go in no time!
More items to include in your university student care package:
Gift cards to favourite restaurants, grocery stores, or movie theatres; photos from home (my daughter loved getting pictures of her pets’ latest antics); favourite snacks and treats (especially homemade); something seasonal and holiday themed to hang on their dorm room door; a small stuffed toy (yes I know, they’re an adult now but something to cuddle with when homesick can really brighten up a blue day); lip balm (to replace all the ones destroyed by leaving them in a pocket and putting it through the washer and dryer – I can’t tell you how many times this happened); new pens to replace all the lost ones (my daughter’s personal preference is still the scented ones); I also included a first aid kit and “Dr. Mom’s Super Duper Get Well” supplies – things like Gravol and Gravol Ginger, so she would have things on hand if she woke up one morning not feeling well.
Know of someone who has headed off to college/university this fall? Help make sure they’re equipped with this university student care package giveaway.
- OxiClean Colour Shield Laundry Stain Remover
- Arm & Hammer Plus OxiClean Power Paks in Fresh Scent
- Trojan XOXO Condoms and Bareskin Lubricated Condoms
- Batiste Dry Shampoo Heavenly Volume
Approximate. retail value $75
What would you include in a university student care package?
 2013 survey among university students age 18-24, conducted by Trojan™ and the Sex Information Education Council of Canada (SIECCAN)