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)
Wendy Mixon says
I’d include a comfort item of theirs, like their favorite blanket.
I would include some gift cards and a few recipe cards with easy tomake favorites.
I would include some coffee and a coffee maker in a University care package for all the late night studying!
wendy hutton says
I would add loonies for laundry money, a prepaid visa
Tina L. says
I would also include laundry detergent plus some change for the laundry machine.
Amy Heffernan says
I would include soap, tissue, laundry detergent! Thanks!
I would be putting in a couple of gift cards to a local grocery store or gas station.
As a university student myself, I use LOTS of highlighters throughout the year! These would be a staple to any care package for me.
I would include cleaning products !
A couple of boxes of Kleenex, a bottle of vitamins and a couple of boxes of Chicken Noodle Soup.
LILLIAN BROWN says
I would include some sample sized personal care products to use at the gym or when visiting friends
Ashleigh Swerdfeger says
Lots of chocolate and a journal- although it would depend on who i am making it for.
Sab Edwards says
I’d include a prepaid visa or mc, as well as some fun fast food gc for them.
Wanda Tracey says
I would include a a phone card,a box of Kraft dinner, a package of cold pills and all the lovely products mentioned above.I think they are wonderful ideas for students moving out on their own for the first time and a great care package would really help them to get by.It would also help to cheer them up knowing that we care and are there to help them.
Juliee Fitze says
I would put in a big box of KD , a roll of loonies and a jar of coffee.
Heather Ritz says
Jennifer P. says
I would include laundry soap, stain remover, shower gel, kleenex, condoms, hair elastics, nail polish remover, and cleaning wipes.
Elizabeth Robinson says
I would include toiletries in the care package.
I would make sure they have cleaning products, First Aid package, self care package
first aid kït
Florence Cochrane says
I would include personal items like shampoo, body wash, toothpaste , toothbrush and mouthwash.
Sheryl P says
Our 19yr old son!
I’d include a handwritten recipe booklet & some gift cards for local restaurants so either way you know they won’t starve.
Victoria K says
I would include a hidden $20 – for emergencies only
l p says
a gift card for emergencies and reminder that they were born with common sense and to use it. thanks
caroline m. says
peppermint oil essential oil for stress relief
Good stain remover
Karla Sceviour says
I would include snacks,toothpaste,bodywash,shampoo,etc. washcloth and towel, brush,socks and undies and much more!
June Murphy says
I would include gift cards to Tim’s or McDonald’s so that they can have a cook free day
Rosanne Robinson says
I would include personal care items: vitamins, toothpaste, toothbrush, soap, shampoo, conditioner, wipes, sanitizer, tissues, moisturizer, & a first aid kit, in a university student care package.
super comfy soft blanket, for comfort and warmth
I would include shampoo and conditioner and toothpaste and a toothbrush.
Marlene J says
Giftcards, Health & beauty items & whatever they ask to send them.
Viv Sluysq says
I would include homemade cookies, encouraging notes and coffee shop gift cards.
Doris Humber says
I would include personal care items.
Krista M says
I would include some electrolyte replenishment powder in the university package!
lynn clayton says
i would include a gift card to a coffee shop we all need a pic me up
crystal porter says
GIft cards to the grocery store
kristen visser says
I would include change, shampoo/conditioner, toothpaste/tooth brush/floss, and coffee
Bruke B says
There’s so much you could include. Laundry detergent, dish soap, toilet paper, hand sanitizer and a gift card for groceries,
Tainan Lu says
I would include first aids in a university student care package
Julie bolduc says
I would send a gift card for pizza
Gina Fleury says
Toothbrush, floss, floss sticks, listerine mouthwash.
Wipes for easy cleanup and keeping germs at bay.
Erika Letson says
I would include over-the-counter medications, coins for laundry and gift cards for groceries!
Cheryl H says
I would give lots of gift cards! They always need groceries
Chocolate or tea and a cozy throw blanket! Chocolate or tea for those hard day’s when you’re extremely stressed out and the blanket for snuggling in while studying or on those colder winter day’s to warm up. It’s what I definitely needed 🙂
HEIDI C. says
I would include gift cards for groceries, money/detergent for laundry services, snacks and easy to make foods like KD, linens, first aid kit/OTC medicines like Tylenol, a safe sex pamphlet, phone minutes, some photos of the family and an “I love you no matter what so call me if you need me!” card.
ivy pluchinsky says
I would include snacks and laundry products
My daughter is living at home and attending college, but if she had to move away, the most important thing I’d put in a package is pictures of her cat, and then a picture of me.
A general cleaner to keep surfaces clean.
Robyn Bellefleur says
I would include a First Aid kit as they always come in handy.
I’d include some cold meds and extra soft Kleenex…
Lisa Bolduc says
coffee… a must for when you leave assignments to the last minute and pull all nighter
Caryn Coates says
I would include personal hygiene products as well as treats like chocolate
lori butler says
a cold kit such as throat lozengens , sinus spray, tissues, neo citron, and hand sanitizer
Nicole Jubleew says
I’d pack some cold and flu medicine as well as a movie gc for some fun!
I would include snacks
I would include some grocery gift cards!
Carol M says
I would include gift cards and a first aid kit.
Yuen C says
I would include a gift card and cleansing wipes!