Care Package for a New College Student

olly ultimate immunity

When I was in college my mother would put together these thoughtful packages every season. In the fall she’d send pumpkin scented candles, a scarf, and jack-o-lantern mugs filled with candy corn. In the spring she’d send pastel colored socks, new sunglasses, and a bag of mini candbury eggs. One spring, she included a set of pastel clip-on hair extensions. My old roommates and I still get a laugh out of that, my mom has always had a great sense of humor. I loved getting the packages each season, it was such a sweet surprise from home when my head was so distracted with studies and the college social scene.

We probably all have someone we know and love that is headed to college: whether a sister or nephew, or maybe an older son or a favorite babysitter our kids have loved this summer. I thought it would be fun to put together some ideas for a college care package in partnership with Olly and their Ultimate Immunity wellness boost, a delicious tangerine-flavored gummy packed with zinc, vitamin C and beta glucans for immune system support. Keep reading for some favorite things we would include in a college care package and a fun little DIY to personalize it as well…


Have you heard of Olly Vitamins? They’re new on the shelves this spring and are such a game changer for me. They’re all delicious gummy flavors but still packing in all those important vitamins you need for your day and with simple-to-read labels so you know exactly what it’s for (i.e. no more googling ingredients in the vitamin aisle). There’s everything from Restful Sleep and Probiotic to Effortless Digestion and Prenatal. I’m pretty terrible at taking vitamins but the gummy part of it makes it feel like a little treat so I look forward to it every day.

We included the Ultimate Immunity vitamins in our college care package to help keep keep their immune system healthy and strong. College can be hard on the immune system: close quarters with fellow students, poor health habits, little sleep, lots of stress during finals week. A little tangerine-flavored gummy wellness boost can be exactly what they need to make it through!


Here are nine other ideas of things to include in a college care package (these are kind of female focused but you could switch them up for a masculine version) :

1. A laptop sleeve (many would forget they need one)

2. Some cool headphones to keep focused on studying (or zoning listening to a new Beyonce album)

3. A comfy scarf for long walks home from class at night

4. Some favorite family recipes written on index cards when they don’t feel like eating cafeteria food

5. A lighthearted relationship book like Mindy Kahling’s Why is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?

6. A moleskin notebook for lists and drawings

7. Fancy pens (but not too fancy since they’ll probably lose them anyway by Christmas break)

8. A fancy chocolate bar (or two) they won’t find in the vending machines

9. Comfy slipper socks for late night studying

9. An instant film camera like this Fuji Instax + film to document weekend adventures

And here’s a five minute DIY to make with the instant film camera:

1. Gather some of your college student’s favorite people- siblings, aunts, friends and take a photo of them with the instant film camera.a-day-in-the-life-of-say-yes

2. Make a simple chalkboard board with cardboard and black contact paper so they could write a little message to the college student.


3. Take a roll of magnetic tape and cut a small piece,  stuck it to the back of each photo.



A fun way for them to remember the family and friends they left behind. And some good reminders too. Does anyone actually floss in college??

Thanks to Olly for sponsoring this post. Get 20% off any online purchase at with the code SAYYES. Expires 9/30.

Photography by Liz Stanley. Assisted by Sarah Iveson.


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Thank you for this !!! I just sent my first child to college last week, still weepy…
And I was JUST putting together a care package when I read this…
great tips….
I write a blog all about the college ride my daughter and I have been on, so Lisl if you would like to read…
Liz , I love reading your site, you always have fantastic ideas, and you bring back memories of when my two teens were little….

Thank you for this!! As a parent with two high schoolers and one in college, it’s hard to find blogs or posts aimed at parents with older kids so this hit the spot! Where is the “How to Do Laundry” card from that is hanging on the fridge in the last photo? That would be perfect to include too!

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