If your friend or a family member is heading away to college for the first time, consider making them a college survival kit. This gift can help them survive this very important time in their life, helping them settle into college life. Here's how to make a college survival kit:
- Find a container. Select a large container that can hold the college survival kit and will also be useful for storage later. A laundry basket or plastic storage box will make a good container for the college survival kit. You can purchase this container first, filling it as you purchase the contents, or wait to purchase it until you know the size of everything else you've purchased to go inside it.
- Start with basic supplies. Most college students have never lived away from home before. Start with a basic first aid kit with over-the-counter medications and bandages, batteries in several sizes, a small tool kit, and a sewing kit. Then, include a roll of quarters for laundry, a package of poster adhesive, postage stamps and an address book with important addresses and phone numbers already included.
- Add gift cards. Add a Starbucks card and a gas card to your college survival kit. You may also want to purchase gift cards to general retailers, grocery stores, or restaurants. Do your research to be sure that the store(s) you choose are located near the college campus.
- Purchase college logo gear. Every college student needs a hooded sweatshirt, t-shirt, or blanket with the university's logo. By buying these ahead of time, your college student will be able to avoid the rush in the first few days of classes, when all the stores selling college gear in the college town will be packed. In many cases, you can order college logo gear online or by phone rather than by visiting the university in person.
- Don't forget about snacks. Pick the student's favorite snacks, ideally ones that do not require refrigeration and will keep for a long time. Consider replenishing the snacks by sending a batch of cookies several weeks into the semester.
- Include personal items. To personalize the college survival kit, add a family photo and a note from home. Many college students become homesick during their first semester away from home. The college survival kit should not just be the necessities for settling in to dorm life, but also provide comfort for homesick students.
A college survival kit is an excellent way to help your friend or family member get used to the new environment of going away to college. This thoughtful and useful gift is the perfect way to send your loved one off to college. These essentials will help your college student make the transition from living at home to living on a college campus. You can personalize the kit by adding anything that you think your college student may need or want, but may not think to pack.