Going into college is a scary experience. Not only do you have to worry about the questionable cafeteria food (unless you're lucky enough to go to one of these universities with epic dining halls), but you also have to worry about making friends, classes, and living on your own for the first time. For nervous freshmen, a college care package can go a long way.

When my little sister left for the University of Toronto this year, I was pretty worried about her being alone. I mean, the girl almost lost her fingers after she picked up a mouse trap with her bare hands (admittedly, Rach was six, but not much has changed since then). How was she ever going to survive on her own?

I started writing down a list of things to send to my sister and bam, this care package was born. It's literally fool-proof (no offense, Rach). Your sister will not starve, freeze, or get sick with this package. Now all she has to worry about is what's in the cafeteria's mystery meat.

#SpoonTip: Please note that some of the items in this package are related to alcohol. Spoon University does not support underage drinking, so if your sis is in a city where she isn't legally allowed to drink, think twice before including them. 

Instant Coffee

black coffee, tea, milk, mocha, cappuccino, espresso, coffee
Rebecca Buechler

You know those nights when you have an essay due the next day, so you blast Taylor Swift and chug coffee at 3 am? Yeah. These instant coffee packets are for that moment.


sweet, chocolate, condiment, salt
Angela Kerndl

Salt is perfect for tequila shots, lip scrub, and also removing red wine stains from her dorm room carpet. And of course, adding a little flavor to some of her favorite dorm room recipes.  


Specifically, send your sister embarrassing Disney Band-Aids to remind her that she's not as cool as she thinks she is.

Corkscrew/Bottle Opener

Your sister will be the most popular kid at any party with these handy appliances, especially if one looks like a pretzel. Tuck one or both into her care package, or go big and get one that serves double duty. 

Herbal Tea

green tea, tea

Because your sister is probably stressed out trying to learn where all of her classes are, and only herbal tea can cure her.


You know better than anyone how dramatic your sis can be when she's sick. Send her some emergency Tylenol (bonus points if you attach your mom's chicken noodle soup recipe, too).

Coconut Oil

Claire Waggoner

Send your sister the ultimate beauty hack. Coconut oil has 50+ uses, including removing eye make-up and taming fly-aways. You're welcome, sis.

Instant Oatmeal

milk, sweet, oatmeal, rice, porridge
Christin Urso

Let's be real— there will be mornings that your sister goes to bed at 6 am and sleeps through her cafeteria's breakfast. Make sure that she gets fed with some instant oatmeal.


For making balloon animals to impress her new friends, obviously. Jk, jk. Remind your sister that safe sex is always best (especially if it's a random dorm hookup).

Wine Condoms

You gotta #wrapitup (wrap up your wine bottle, that is). These wine condoms are an easy and disposable wine stopper so you can save any bottles of wine that go unfinished. 


soup, rice, vegetable, broth, ramen, chicken
Davi Lennon

During those nights when the mystery meat at the cafeteria looks questionable, ramen is the answer.


Rachel Weitzman

Not only does gum fight the obvious bad breath, but it's minty flavor can help her improve her memory for her next exam. Go sis!


bowl of popcorn, popcorn, corn, cereal, salt, kettle corn, cottage cheese
Julia Gilman

All your sister needs to survive those homesick nights during her first semester is popcorn, a microwave, and a really bad rom-com.

Fuzzy Socks

If the heating breaks in her dorm room during the winter, your sister will be singing your praises as she lounges in her fuzzy socks.


Your sister can eat it after the cutie from psych class breaks her heart (while on FaceTime with you, obviously). Or just as a snack, because yes, chocolate makes for a great snack. 

Safety Pins

Because gaining the Freshman 15 means that her boobs are going to get bigger, and if the front of her shirt rips open, then your sister's going to need some safety pins. 

Protein Bar

notes, textbook, study snack, snacks, studying, clif bar, tangerine, cutie
Jocelyn Hsu

When your sister is slaving away in the library over lunch hour, she's going to be grateful for the pick-me-up. This ranking of the best protein bars can give you some inspo.

If you have a younger sister heading off to college, I'm sure she'll appreciate a care package. But the best gift you can give her is some of your thoughtful advice and support. 

Speaking from experience, if you yourself are a nervous freshman reading this article, don't worry; I promise that everyone in your residence hall is just as lost as you are. The truth is that nobody has any idea what they're doing in college. We're all just living off of ramen and trying to remember to shower occasionally. Trust me when I say that you're not alone. And besides, college is like wine — it just keeps getting better with time.