Care packages are a great way for parents to stay connected to their students during their first year of college. As a student, I love receiving notes from my friends and parents back home, but seeing a big package next to my doorstep sings a different tune. If you're out of ideas for what to send your student this semester, here are some new twists on classic care-package favorites. 

1. Homemade Baked Goods 

I don't think my mom ever sent me her baked treats in the mail, but I do remember that my (now) ex-boyfriend would receive copious amounts of oatmeal chocolate chip cookies from his grandmother. And when we're talking copious, I'm talking about enough cookies to feed the entire student population at UVM for at least a year. I don't think his grandma ever found out that I, in fact, was the one to eat most of the cookies she sent, but I hope if she's reading this, she'll send me the recipe. 

The baked goods you send could be homemade muffins, cookies, brownies, seasonal holiday treats (e.g. jam thumbprints), or really anything that reminds them of home. And chances are if you just get grocery store cookies and put them in a fancy box, your student won't know. 

2. Night-In Movie Box 

"Going out" looks a little different during COVID-19, so why not send your student some goodies for a night-in? You can include some cozy socks, popcorn, and their favorite candy. 

3. Coffee or Tea 

Caffeine is a must-have for many college students. If your student is a coffee drinker, you can send them a care package with a cute mug, gift card to a local coffee shop, and some K-cups. 

4. Seasonal Care Packages 

My mom was guilty of sending holiday-themed packages to my roommates and I during my freshman year- they were always so fun! For Halloween, she'd send Reeses pumpkins (my favorite, at the time), spooky candles, and dorm art. At Christmas, she'd send stockings (that we'd later hang on the door) filled with candy canes, Christmas socks, marshmallows, and string lights. 

5. Treats from Back Home 

This was my first summer spent in Vermont (rather than Connecticut), so I had to miss out on my favorite summer drink: frozen peach iced tea. It was made with real peach nectar from a local orchard and always tasted like summer to me. Since she couldn't send me a frozen beverage in the mail, my mom instead took a picture of herself drinking one in-front of the orchard. It was almost like the real thing!

If there are some local dives that your student loves eating, such as donuts, fudge, or candy, you should definitely send them some. It will be a little taste of home from far away! 

6. DIY Baking Night 

Sometimes, it can be hard for students to take time away from their work to bake and cook for themselves. But, having the supplies makes it a tiny bit easier! You can include a baking pan, spatula, chocolate chips, cake mix, and any ingredients your student might need to make tasty treats for themselves!