9 college care packages for every student you know

An illustration of a college care package that includes a pair of sunglasses, a camera, a bar of chocolate and a cupcake in a pink box full of purple packing peanuts.

There are very few things you can be certain of as a college student. Major? Undecided. Best campus dining hall? Depends on the day (and if there’s mystery meat…). Whether or not your fave study spot is taken? Up in the air. 😬

However, we can all agree that getting a college care package full of things you love is definite “best day ever” material. So whether you’re sending a scholar support during finals season, need a unique gift for someone heading to college soon or just wanna share a spontaneous surprise, check out our best college care package ideas below!

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We’ve got college care package ideas for literally everything and everyone! Feel free to take a peek at each section, but we highly recommend mixing and matching things to build your student’s perfect care package.

For the homebody  

A selection of cozy gifts meant for a college student who's a homebody.

Chances are they’re spending their weekend curled up on the couch, still wishing they were at home. 😂

  • Cozy blankets. Any of these should work!
  • For maximum comfort, make it a hooded blanket.
  • Loan them your favorite book.
  • Fun decor. Help them decorate their favorite place with paper lanterns, wacky art or a colorful garland.
  • Gift a spa day. You’ll need face masks and candles, plus nice body creams.
  • Stuffed plush. They make great snuggle buddies!
  • Fuzzy socks and warm pajamas. Essentials for lazy days.
  • Cute decorative pillows.
  • A hammock. They need to leave the house sometime.
  • Mugs. Not just any mug, but a super awesome, creatively gifted one. See our ideas to make it over the top here.
  • Warm slippers. You can find all sorts of cute ones (including some from franchises like Harry Potter™, Star Wars™ and more) here.

For the film student  

Support their dreams of bringing movies to the big screen one day with these fun care package ideas.  

Don’t forget gifts from their favorite TV/movie franchises, too!


Find goodies from:

•  Star Wars
Harry Potter
•  Disney
Gilmore Girls
And more! 

For the social butterfly  

They’ve joined (and campaigned to be president of) nearly every student organization on campus, can’t go anywhere without seeing someone they know and refuse to spend a weekend inside. Be prepared: They won’t be calling home much.

  • Cool international snacks. Perfect for impressing their friends/roomies.
  • A bundle of new card games like this one to bring out when they’re hosting. Which is like, always.
  • A speaker. Cue ALL the spontaneous dance parties, please.
  • A karaoke machine. With one of these, being the life of the party is an understatement.
  • Fun statement pieces, accessories or jewelry to wear when going out. Think cool necklaces, earrings, sunglasses, etc.
  • A white shirt or pair of white shoes and markers. One of my best friends brings these to new places to make friends. Just ask random people to sign them or answer a silly question—it’s never failed her!
  • A digital camera and scrapbook. They’ll want to document all those amazing adventures.
  • Puzzles. For the rare moment the social butterfly needs quiet time to recharge.
  • A set of their favorite perfumes or colognes.
  • A planner. They’re gonna need help keeping track of that busy social life.
  • An alarm clock. Because again, a busy schedule means top-tier time management!

For the homesick one  

A selection of gifts meant to go in a college care package for a student who's homesick.

I have very personal experience with this one. *ahem* They probably have an emotional-support stuffed animal, blanket or other sentimental treasure from home. Their dorm is covered in pics from friends and family back home, and they’re always counting down the days until the next holiday when they can leave campus. I promise, it gets better, but they’ll really appreciate some support from home.   

  • Homemade treats. Make their faves or switch it up with some of these festive cookie recipes
  • A stationery set, cards and extra pens. They can write heartfelt letters when they miss you.
  • Frozen baked goods or homemade meals. During my freshman year, my roommate kept our freezer stocked with batches of her favorite soup sent from her mom. It was the sweetest thing EVER!
  • A photo album of special memories. Add cute little notes or mini cards inside for extra feels, too!
  • Handwritten cards or letters from friends and family. Tailor them to different moments they might need support, like the first day of a new campus job or during finals week.
  • A decorated picture frame. With a sentimental picture included, of course.
  • A DIY memory box. Bring home to them *literally* by making this unique keepsake with photos, mementos and other sweet trinkets. See our tips on how to do it here.
  • Have loved ones sign a giant card for them. It’s impossible for your heart not to swell at the sight of a jumbo card that’s just for you.
  • A stuffed animal with a sweet voice recording.
  • Or, if they already have a beloved stuffed animal, send clothes to dress it up. My aunt knitted my favorite teddy bear a sweater, and it remains one of the most thoughtful gifts I’ve ever gotten.
  • A quilt made from old T-shirts. If you don’t mind getting a little crafty, it doesn’t get more heartfelt than that!
  • Seasonal decor. Decorating their space will definitely help it feel more like home (minus someone eating their leftovers or having to fight over the remote).

For the creative  

Whether they’re an art major or just someone who’s into the creative scene, they’ll appreciate some gifts to help those artistic vibes flow.

  • Canvases with an easel and paint. Or materials for whatever their preferred medium is.
  • A personalized art case to carry their tools in. You can even decorate it yourself with cute stickers (you’re not a professional, so they can’t judge!).
  • A funny coloring book. Or DIY it with some of our free downloadable coloring pages.
  • Yarn and knitting needles.
  • Send a card and impress them with a DIY cross-stitch monogram envelope.
  • This sunset vibes sketchbook.
  • A paint-by-numbers set. Maybe this Harry Potter™ one, or a starry night-themed Peanuts® kit.
  • Tickets to a local art show.
  • Membership to their favorite art museum. If they don’t have one near them, tickets to a local art show instead.
  • Stamp kit (inkpad with blocks)
  • Impress them with a DIY tassel and macramé keychain. See how to make one here—it’s easier than you’d think!
  • Colorful pens. For doodling, note-taking or just looking pretty on their desk, TBH.
  • Wall art.
  • A jewelry-making kit.

For the bathroom hog  

They take FOREVER to get ready, take showers that last an eternity and spend more time primping in the bathroom than anywhere else in the house. In other words, that community bathroom is gonna be their worst nightmare. Soften the blow with these must-haves.  

  • Shower caddy. Plus something to clean it with—they can get icky quickly.
  • Makeup bag. I suggest this cute one for Lilo and Stitch fans, or a Snow White bag for princess vibes.
  • Cute shower shoes. Even plain flip-flops will work, though.
  • A towel wrap for their hair.
  • A robe. The softer and fluffier, the better.
  • Fuzzy slippers.
  • Desk mirror. For those wonderful days when the communal bathroom is packed.
  • Collection of their favorite beauty items/toiletries.
  • Scented hand soaps. Mini hand sanitizers are great on the go, too.
  • Extra toothbrushes. Plus floss and a tongue scraper!
  • A DIY mani-pedi kit.

For the off-campus crusader  

Sometimes, you don’t appreciate what you have until it’s gone—like dining hall pizza and unlimited ice cream, sadly.

  • Gift cards for gas. Or takeout. Mainly takeout.
  • Plants/seeds/gardening tools. Just make sure they have capacity to take care of one first.
  • Tea towels. The key to making any basic kitchen instantly look cozier.
  • Mugs. Because no matter how many you have, extra ones come in handy when you don’t feel like doing dishes.  
  • Lava lamps. Or other fun (maybe even more practical) apartment decor.
  • Small kitchen appliances. Think a mini blender or waffle maker.
  • Emergency party supplies. Whether they’re hosting their first apartment soiree or just want to surprise their roomie with a fancy birthday breakfast, our Celebrate! party collection can help liven things up. 
  • Bougie bathmat and a nice set of bath towels.
  • Rugs. Or gift cards to shop for them. Why does no one tell you how life-changing a good rug can be?!

Faith-based care package ideas  

A selection of gift items meant for a faith-based college care package.

Send blessings to a student committed to their faith with these spiritual gifts.

For the one studying abroad  

When they’re not exploring their new home or curating a feed to make everyone jealous, they’ll love these travel essentials.

  • Flight must-haves. Think compression socks, a passport holder and snacks.
  • A travel journal. For the memories, of course!
  • Foods from home they miss and can’t get where they are. Maybe just stay away from the liquids for this one.
  • A fanny pack. They’re cool again, I promise!
  • Water bottle.
  • Subscription to a language-learning service. Or a mini dictionary for translating while they’re away.
  • Clothes with secret pockets. Only if you don’t believe me about the fanny packs…
  • Comfy travel shoes. If they’re somewhere warm, add comfy sandals, too.
  • An extra pair of prescription glasses. You might have to ask ahead about this one, but it’s one of those things you don’t think about until it’s too late and you’re stuck without a pair of glasses. *shudder* (Can you tell that I’m an anxious glasses wearer?)
  • New camera. Or if they already have one, accessories to go with it.  


If coming up with great college care package ideas was a final exam, we think we passed. Right? RIGHT? 😰 Alright, all jokes (and possible grades) aside, we hope you’re feeling inspired to send all your favorite scholars a little love. They deserve it!


Anddd, if you just so happen to need more ideas to support them, we’ve got a bunch here: