Whether your college bound student is heading back to school or starting their first semester on campus, there’s a lot of moving parts and changes in the coming months that can make campus life hectic. With moving into the dorms, learning a new schedule, social gatherings, and trying to remember to eat in between classes, you can help your student better manage campus life while staying connected to the family using a few of these creative, fun ideas.
1. Surprise Them With a College Care Package
Of course, a list of ways to keep in contact with your college student wouldn’t be complete without sharing our college care packages with you. We have a large variety of snack boxes that are perfect to send to your student throughout the semester. Welcome them to their new dorm with the College Snack Time box, send them the Study Buddy box to deliver on enough snacks they can share with a friend, or send them the Exam Slam box to help them get through finals week. With over 10 different college care packages to choose from, there are plenty of snackin’ options to share with your student. Plus, you can include a personalized message to every box you send out.
2. Create a Facebook Chat Group
You don’t want to create a Facebook chat group to start pinging them daily GIFs and messages. Heck, they may not even reply if you only post once a week, but a Facebook chat group is a great way to post a message that the entire family will see and can engage with. Words of encouragement, a funny meme, or a quick “Look what I did today,” can help you better interact with them on campus.
Don’t get discouraged if they don’t reply. They likely saw the post. They probably even smiled. They may even go back and take a look when they’re missing home.
3. Send Them a Video Message
You don’t have to be a videographer to create a short video. You don’t even have to know what TikTok or Reels are (but it’d be cool if you did). Use your smartphone to shoot a quick video telling your student hello, miss you, love you, look at dad’s new talent, etc. and send it to them in the Facebook chat group or directly to their phone. You’ll get a smile from them if you make the video funny, but words of encouragement are always a hit with students too.
4. Add Funds to Their Food Card
Starving students. Will work for food.
What better way to share the love with your student than with food! Reach out to your student’s college and see how you can add funds to their food card. Next time they grab lunch, they’ll be surprised with the extra funds they have to stock up on sweet treats.
5. Schedule Thursday Facetime Dinner
It may be hard to schedule a weekly dinner with them, but you may be able to do at least once a month. Chat with your student to see what their schedule will allow for to do a Facetime chat or Google Hangout with them. A dinner would be a great way to bring them back to the dinner table, but if all they have time for is to connect between classes make it happen!
6. Send Them Campus Gear
Get on the campus website and head over to the campus store. Most students are surrounded with campus pride and love to be in head-to-toe campus gear – especially on game day. Shirts, hats, hoodies, socks, blankets, water bottles, and so much more! Order some campus swag and have it delivered to their dorm. Better yet, have it delivered to your home, add a handwritten message, and ship it off to them.
7. Make Sure to Attend Parent’s Weekend
Most college campuses have Parents Weekend or Family Weekend that you should make sure to attend. It’s a great opportunity for you to learn more about campus life for your student. There are usually events planned this weekend that includes museum visits, watching a football game, exploring different campus buildings, and engaging with the different campus groups like music, performance, and theater.
8. Help Them Get Organized with Technology
There’s a lot of pressure for students returning to campus – or starting their first day – to keep things organized. One of the best ways to help your student learn to manage their new schedules and campus life is to invest in tools that helps them keep things organized and efficient. Speak with your student on what time management and organization tools they like to use and offer to pay for their subscription for the semester. You could also surprise them with a subscription to some of these student favorites.
- Trello or Asana are great tools for time management and organization. Students can create a list, track goals, and collaborate with other students using one of these tools. There are free versions of these two tools, but more advanced features require a monthly subscription of $10-15/month.
- Grammarly is a great writing tool for writers of any age. This tool helps scan written documents for common and complex grammatical errors. Although there is a free version, the paid version gives students access to extra features to improve their writing ability while also providing plagiarism detection.
- Canva is a design tool that helps make presentations and creative material stand out above the rest. It also gives students access to tools to create videos and reports and tons of brilliant templates for social media. Like the other tools, Canva has a free version, but the paid version will give your student access to lots of extras.