A College Guy's Care Package

Jul 16, 2001

The Bottom Line Have fun filling care packages!

I surveyed my son's friends and roommates and asked them what they liked best in their care packages. Here is what I discovered they wanted the most.


1. Money. Of course, they want bills and the bigger the better. However, a roll or two of quarters will really help with the laundry.

2. Phone Cards. Do you really think that they would phone home if the call was not paid for ... by someone else!

3. Gift Certificates. McDonalds, Burger King, Wendys, Red Lobster, Applebees, Pizza Hut, Blockbuster, Old Navy, Disc Jockey, Deparment Stores, etc. are all welcome. These are BIG HITS!

4. Stamps. Believe me, they will sooner or later appreciate these because most college guys don't think to have stamps on hand these days.

5. Tickets to sporting events at their university. You can buy many of these on-line. And if they already have tickets for these events, then they will be glad to sell the ones you gave them for some extra money.

6. Pre-paid gas cards (if they have a car with them) or train, bus, or plane tickets.

7. Specialty coffees (if they are in to that).

8. Baked goodies such as brownies, chocolate chip cookies, nut bread, etc.

9. Detergent, shampoo, razors, shaving cream, etc. Although they don't get thrilled over getting these, they want them so that they don't have to waste their own money on these things.

10. Snack food such as Pringles, cheetos, candy, peanuts, little boxes of raisons, pretzels, etc. Basically, if they ate it at home, it will travel, and it does not need refrigeration, they will like it.

11. If they have a microwave, send them stuff that can readily be microwaved. My son could NOT live without macaroni and cheese.

12. My son and his friends absolutely love crackers and that squirt cheese that comes in a can.

13. Pictures of family members and pets. I was told that they hide the pictures of the family but are glad to have them. They really like the pictures of the pets.

14. Gatorade or other sports drink mixes.

15. Batteries. I think the guys eat these.

16. Bandaids. None of the guys asked for these. However, I KNOW that they never seem to have them when needed.

17. Magazines such as Time, Newsweek, US New and World Report, or any other one they are interested in. However, don't send any that are more than a few weeks old.

18. My son's best friend said that he'd LOVES getting cotton candy because he can't find that anywhere at school.

19. Condoms. Let's face it, they are doing "it". They may as well be prepared and safe.

20. Some school supplies, but don't over do it.

21. How to Study Books. He will probably hate getting these. HOWEVER, he will still think that you do care. And, you never know, he may get bored enough sometime and read them. At least you can WISH for that.

22. Art projects made by little brothers and sisters. But don't overdo with these.

23. A flashlight. These are great in case the lights go out. Also, guys always seem to need these when they fix stuff that isn't broke (yet).

24. Items that relate to a hobby or interest of theirs. For example, my son collects baseball cards.

25. Ask you son for a list of CDs, DVDs, or VHS tapes that he'd like to have. Then from time to time, send him something from his list ALONG with the receipt (just in case he has bought it for himself).

26. Copies of his hometown newspaper. Better yet, get him a subscription to it.


1. Underwear. I was told, "No self-respecting guy wants to open up a box and have underwear in it in front of his roommates."

2. Clothes. Let's face it, about anything that parents would pick out for college guys, the guys will never wear.

3. Anything remotely feminine. No guy wants to use a pink razor no matter how bad he needs to shave.

4. Posters. Like the clothes, these are guaranteed to not suit them.

5. Fancy school supplies. No guy would be caught dead with pens, notebooks, or other stuff with cute little designs on it.

6. Oregano. Someone may mistake it for pot.

7. Candles. Many schools have banned these. And, most guys wouldn't be caught dead with them.

8. Anything that takes up a lot of space.

9. Anything valuable. It WILL either get lost, broke, or stolen.

10. Anything you ever want to see again. Ditto to # 9.

11. T-paper. As much as they don't want to spend their money on it, they DON'T want to get some in the mail.

12. Food that requires refrigeration, unless they have a refrigerator.

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