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Thread: Ideas for final exams care package?

  1. #1
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    Ideas for final exams care package?

    DH's oldest nephew is starting his first round of college final exams next week, and we'd like to send him a care package. You might recall that this is the same nephew that lived with us in Austin for almost a year (part of that was after I had moved to Phoenix) -- I complained about him a lot, because he was lazy and unmotivated for the most part. He dropped out of high school, got his GED, then sat around our house for the better part of a year, not working, not going to school, not having the interest or desire to do either, and not being particularly helpful around the house.

    Anyway, he is doing GREAT in college. He loves it, is making great grades, making a ton of friends, etc. It's great to finally see him be interested in something and to care about his life again. DH wants to put together a care package for him and send it off by the end of the week, so he'll have it when finals start next week. Any ideas on things to include? We're thinking snacks, of course (beef jerky, candy, microwave popcorn, etc.), and possibly some gift cards/certificates to a pizza delivery place (like Domino's or Pizza Hut) and/or Starbucks (which they have on campus), but I'm stumped on other ideas. He lives in the dorm, if that makes a difference.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    When my sisters were in college, I sent care packages to them for their finals as well.

    Some things I usually put in were some home made cookies or some kind of home made treat. Once I learned about Almond Roca, I included some of that as my homemade treat. I bought some treats that were a little higher-end, maybe a bit out of a college students' budget - my one sister really liked the Milano cookies so I tried to remember to include those.

    We also usually included some kind of silly toys. One year we did glow in the dark silly putty, one year we did these tops that lit up when you spun them. Once, I found some keychains that looked like a Rubik's Cube - that kind of thing. The best toy (IMO) was a set that had bubbles and a water gun, the idea being that you'd blow bubbles and then shoot them with the water gun. Unfortunately my sisters didn't figure this out, and put the bubble solution into the gun so that one didn't really work out.
    “When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed
    door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.”

    Helen Keller (1880–1968)

  3. #3
    Eva, I'm so glad to hear DH's nephew is doing well in college!

    How about some study music? Or, if he has an iPod, an iTunes gift certificate so he can create his own study playlist.

    I always appreciated pens, pencils, highlighters- I was superstitious and always used a new pen for an exam. Index cards (for making flashcards) or post-it flags might be fun too, if you have a sense he might find a use for them.

    I also had a study mascot- my then-boyfriend gave me a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle action figure, who stood on my desk as a good luck symbol. In grad school I had a "devil ducky"- a rubber ducky with devil horns and an evil grin- who sat on top of my computer monitor. Something silly like that might be fun, even if it's just a postcard of Einstein for inspiration.

  4. #4
    How about a new deck of cards to use when on a study break?

    You are such a great aunt to do this. I am glad he is doing well in school!

  5. #5
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    That is so great that he is loving college!

    DH received care packages about 4 times a year from his mom, and his favorite items were the silly things that he could use to decorate his dorm room - christmas lights, stickers, funny statues, that kind of thing. They would usually be holiday-related, but he would leave them up all year. So by the time he packed up for summer, he had Halloween, Christmas, Valentine's and St. Patrick's Day all on his walls! It was a pretty funny room!
    We figured there was too much happiness here for just the two of us, so we figured the next logical step was to have us a critter.

    - H.I. McDunnough, "Raising Arizona"
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  6. #6
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    I am so glad he is doing well at school, Eva. A few ideas...

    How about some cashews or other nuts for a protein snack?

    My mom once sent those glow-in-the-dark star stickers and we put constellations on our ceiling.

    DH's dad once made fudge and poured it into a lined poster tube, then sent it. We could not figure out what that heavy tube was!

    Something for a hot drink, like cocoa mixes or coffee or tea.

    One of the clubs at my college always set up a study break room in the library with crayons and paper, play-doh and other toys and that was surprisingly relaxing.
    For you to be here now, trillions of drifting atoms had somehow to assemble in an intricate and intriguingly obliging manner to create you. It's an arrangement so specialized and particular that it has never been tried before and will only exist this once.

    --Bill Bryson, "A Short History of Nearly Everything"

  7. #7
    This is a fabulous idea - I LOVED getting final exam care packages when I was in school. My mom would send me stuff like fun markers, some healthy snacks (nuts, dried fruit) and some unhealthy (pringles, gummy bears). She always also sent me a couple magazines which was the best part, they gave me a very welcome study break! She always sent Cosmo - after all that studying I needed the trashy reading! I guess the equivalent for a guy would be Maxim. In the winter she would send christmas decorations too - an advent calander, ornaments, etc, which was great because I never had the time or money to get any myself! I think the Starbucks card is a great idea and would be very much appreciated!

  8. #8
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    You've got some great suggestions here. How about ear plugs--for studying when no one else is I had a friend in college who swore by Pixie Stix as a late night pick-me-up. You could also send some homemade cookies--I always thought that was a real treat.

  9. #9
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    Eva, if you have time to bake something, I have a recipe for sugar & spice espresso cookies--they're really good and my quasi-nephew-in-law LOVED getting them during exam week, since they combined sugar and caffeine in a new and delicious way. I can post the recipe if you're interested (I'm sure I've posted it somewhere sometime on the Food board, but who knows if the search function will be feeling cooperative today.... )

  10. #10
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    Itty bitty booklight so you can study while your roommate is asleep?

  11. #11
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    My mom was fabulous about sending me goodies just as finals week began and I always appreciated it. I think your nephew will also ( plus it's a good show of support for his new found enthusiasm for school!!!)

    Mom always included....
    coffee or g/c to starbucks
    micro. popcorn - several flavors
    a slinky or other silly childhood toy - once it was silly putty and I copied part of a neuroscience book onto it and mailed it back to her - I'm such a geek!
    chocolate - lots of chocolate
    pistachios ( my fave nut )
    cash - to pay for the late nights at IHOP or elsewhere studying away from noise
    tylenol - you get headaches reading under all that pressure!
    sometimes cookies or brownies she had made
    hard candy - sometimes having something in your mouth will help you from falling asleep when you shouldn't!!!
    Terri _A
    I'm anal retentive. I'm a workaholic. I have insomnia. And I'm a control freak. That's why I'm not married. Who could stand me?” -Madonna

    Read my ramblings about food and my nutty life on A Girl in the South!

  12. #12
    A few cans of Red Bull? It's coming up on finals week at my university, and the kids are all chugging this stuff!
    Never take life seriously. Nobody gets out alive anyway.

  13. #13
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    These are all great idea's. I've included most in care packages to DS when he was in school.
    Would you believe that there is a shop in Amherst, MA that exclusively bakes and delivers warm cookies! They deliver a dozen large, warm cookies in a pizza size box. They were very busy during exam times when everyone wanted the extra sugar kick
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  14. #14
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    Not coming up with anything not covered, but had to say it's great that he is doing well and that your are encouraging him.

  15. #15
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    I'm glad your nephew has found his stride!

    The Starbucks card is a must! A quadruple shot venti latte is almost $5 now

    If he perks coffee in his room, a nice sleek travel mug might be nice--Starbucks always has some, but I think the ones at Caribou are so cool. Eddie Bauer also carries some nice ones. (a lid that will completely shut is a must so you can put the cup in your bag)

    His favorite snacks... I always got homemade chocolate chip cookies and brownies. I know guys are more meal eaters, while girls tend to munch on lots of stuff like cookies, chips, fruit, etc. and skip meals during exams. (at least at my school)The pizza place/restaurant cards would probably be really appreciated.

    I also agree about a few fun things to decompress. We loved slinkies, those twenty-five cent rubber balls, and silly putty.
    If loving me is wrong, you don't want to be right.

    Don't touch the hair!
    JB

  16. #16
    Originally posted by Gilgamesh37
    I have a recipe for sugar & spice espresso cookies--they're really good
    I made these last night and they were very good. DH loved them.

  17. #17
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    Thanks for all the great ideas! I am making DH a list so he can go shopping tonight. I especially love the idea of silly toys. Alex would appreciate that.

    The sugar & spice espresso cookies will definitely be on my to-make holiday baking list, but unfortunately, I doubt that I have time to include anything homemade in this package.

    Thanks again, everyone!

  18. #18
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    Does he have a video game console? Video games make for a great study break. I was just at Toys R Us and they have a good selection. There were some good deals to.

  19. #19
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    I know he has video game systems at home, but I don't think he has any at school with him. Apparently, his dorm room is TINY and they don't even have a phone. (They get phone service, but neither he nor his roommate have bought a phone to plug in, so they have no phone. How he goes through college without a phone, I have no idea, especially since I know for a fact that he doesn't have a cell phone either!)

    Anyway, thank you again for all your great suggestions. We sent off a nice box yesterday of all sorts of assorted goodies and silly games/toys. I wanted to throw some magazines in too, but the box got too full. But I have a great list of ideas for future care packages too.


  20. #20
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    Originally posted by aggie94
    (They get phone service, but neither he nor his roommate have bought a phone to plug in, so they have no phone. How he goes through college without a phone, I have no idea, especially since I know for a fact that he doesn't have a cell phone either!)


    He sounds like my cousin, who is 23 and just recently moved into a new apartment at the beginning of the school year. He is in his first year (I think) of grad school.

    We do a Christmas drawing in my extended family each year, and we have a little questionnaire that people fill out to give the gift-giver some ideas. One of the questions was something about "do you need anything for your house?" His answer: My apartment is complete.

    OK, now how can a 23 year old guy live in an apartment for less than 3 months and have a "complete" apartment?

    I suppose if he has a couch AND a TV, that's all he needs

    Sorry for the hijack, Eva.
    “When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed
    door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.”

    Helen Keller (1880–1968)

  21. #21
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    No problem, Lara. I completely get what you're saying. The funny thing is, our nephew has managed to get himself a girlfriend (his first ever, I think ). But he doesn't have a phone???

    He sure made Christmas gift-giving easy for us this year, though. Duh, we're getting him a phone!

  22. #22
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    Maybe his girlfriend lives in the same dorm and they don't need a phone. I really don't understand guys that age.

    DH had this cousin's name in the drawing, and since he didn't need anything, we sent a package to a soldier in Iraq in lieu of a gift.
    “When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed
    door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.”

    Helen Keller (1880–1968)

  23. #23
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    In all seriousness, earplugs.

    College dorms/apartments tend to have noisy tenants at all hours of the night when it's crucial to get that precious sleep.
    More calm, cool, scathing logic that drives women crazy...

  24. #24
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    A basket of snacks. Raisins, trail mix, hot chocolate, pretzels, peanut butter crackers, tea, jelly bellies, popcorn. Simple, easy to grab snacks.
    Hope he does well! We knew who our daughter's friends were, at her school, so we fixed each one of them a basket. They all loved it and were so surprised!
    Joyce
    You may have had a lot of unfair things happen, but when you look back over your life, remember something good that has happened for you. Replay the good memories. Joel Osteen

  25. #25
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    Originally posted by Escher
    In all seriousness, earplugs.

    College dorms/apartments tend to have noisy tenants at all hours of the night when it's crucial to get that precious sleep.
    Or a baseball bat to crush your noisy roommate's computer.
    If loving me is wrong, you don't want to be right.

    Don't touch the hair!
    JB

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