College Survival Kits – 8 Must Have Items




The college experience is mixed with feelings of exciting independence, fear of failure, and stress-fueled coursework. No matter what semester your college student is experiencing, by surprising them with a college survival pack, you can easily brighten their outlook, inspire healthy living, and encourage them with your support.




This list of must-haves will curate various thoughtful care packages with a few easy tips for freshman, dorm rooms, finals week, and more!

Freshman Survival Pack Ideas

Freshman year at college can be chalk full of emotional rollercoasters. Torn between new friends, tough professors, noisy dorm rooms and missing home. FOMO officially just turns into MO. Sending your student a care package may be the perfect way to brighten their week.

School supplies: Honestly, you just can’t go wrong here. You don’t realize how much you relied on your high school teachers for things like hole punchers and staplers until hundreds of notes are flying out of your jam-packed folders. Note cards, pens, highlighters, graph paper, and binder clips are all excellent gifts as well.





First aid kit: This is probably something that didn’t cross their mind when they packed for school, but it’s very handy in the first few months. College campuses are full of germs and unfortunate accidents, and a handy first aid kit can help avoid a long line at the campus nurse’s office. Providing a carrying case for these items can ensure it makes it into their backpack so it’s always handy.

  • Bandaids & antiseptic ointment- you don’t realize you took them for granted until you need them, badly
  • Cough drops – coughing through the lecture or study group is sure to get you a few dirty looks
  • Travel toothbrush & paste- yep, for the inevitable all-nighter.
  • Acetaminophen or ibuprofen – lectures, homework, reading assignments, roommates – none are tolerable with a headache
  • Hand sanitizer – like we said earlier, campus germs are everywhere

Left-the-Nest College Housing Survival Kits

Whether they’re bunked up in a dorm room or are living in an off-campus apartment, there are a few items that become game-changers for navigating life away from home.




Silipints: It’s like Silipints were made for college students. They’re ideal for life on-the-fly, in cramped spaces and on a budget.

  • Heat up a bowl of soup in a 12oz Base, top it with a Silicone Travel Lid, and you’ve got lunch to-go since you’re probably already late to class.
  • Brew your own coffee and fill up a 22oz Bomber with a Travel Lid to-go; you’ll be caffeinated for at least three lectures, save money, and reduce waste!
  • Every 18oz Squeeze-a-Bowl is perfect for cereal, soup, ice cream and everything in between. It is our most recommended dorm room essential. Being tolerant to extremes and easy to clean, they’re a no-brainer for any college student care package.

Token of Home: College students don’t always make it through Thanksgiving break easily, even though they may not admit it outright. The feeling of missing home can really take ahold of some people, so it’s nice to put in a little reminder of home in your care packages. Something as simple as a picture of the family pet, or a throw blanket that they’ve grown up with on the couch. You could also consider wall decor with their hometown or home state name on it, or a t-shirt from their favorite local restaurant or team.

Laundry Supplies: If you’re able to swing by for a visit, bring a gallon of laundry detergent. It’s bad enough that their laundry is sitting in a hamper for far too long, don’t give them a reason to hyper-ration their soap use. A roll of quarters hidden in a fresh pack of socks is also a wonderful surprise.

Finals Week Survival Kits

Midterms and finals weeks are a whirlwind of emotion and activity for college students. From lack of sleep, not getting the right food, and finding ideal study locations (that aren’t packed), this time, in particular, produces a lot of stress. Sending a themed gift basket to get them through exams can be pivotal to survival and passing grades.




Healthy Snacks: Brainfood is essential to finals week survival because it fills you up and supports learning! Healthy fats like coconut oil, flax seeds, and hemp hearts can easily be added to meals on the go, while trail mix, homemade energy bars, even a jar of peanut butter can help fight hunger and are easy to pack. Green juice supplements like Organifi or mushroom elixirs from Four Sigmaticprovide amazing benefits for immune support and hormonal balance, and can be easily thrown into a lunch bag or backpack wherever the student travels.




Ear plugs: It’s highly unlikely your student thought earplugs were cool enough to buy for themselves but they’ll really appreciate receiving a few sets in a gift basket, and may even have them in permanently for studying. They’re great for on and off campus life, whether at home, in a coffee shop or even at the library. Earplugs make instant peace-and-quiet magic happen.

An Encouraged Break: Talk about a life saver, or a brain saver really. Their brains need to rest, even if your student doesn’t realize it. Send them their favorite movie and snack. Attach a little note to remind them that study breaks and a good night’s sleep are essential to allow the brain to rejuvenate for the next learning opportunity.



Fun Ideas Throughout the Year

Another great way to build a care package is coordinating with a holiday theme. Sending decorations and yummy treats to celebrate fun holidays like Valentine’s Day, Halloween, and of course, their birthday, are great ways to show you care. As you near Thanksgiving, send them a mini menu so they can get excited about coming home to a fabulous home-cooked meal. Or, if graduation is coming up and you have something planned for them, give them a sneak peek into their graduation gift or party.

In any care package, just remember it’s the thought that counts. Really, they just need the reassurance that you believe in them, doing great in school ebbs and flows, home is always there if they need it, and you’re just a phone call away.


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