Practical Ideas for College Final Exam Care Packages

College finals are always a big deal. Whether your student is a first semester freshman or a seasoned upper-classman, the stress of exam week is intense and a little care package is much appreciated. Being practical moms, we don’t go overboard on finals care packages. Between the cost of travel, holiday gifting and January tuition bills, our bank accounts are groaning quite enough.

Fortunately you can come up with a little something that says I’m thinking of you without blowing out the budget. We’ve found five categories of things students crave during finals week. Pick one or two, or if you’re feeling flush add more. Here are several of our student-approved ideas:

Something Comforting

Anything that lets your student know every time they look at it that they are appreciated and loved. Ideas include:

  • Fuzzy socks
  • Cozy sweatshirt
  • Encouraging notes
  • Picture of family pet
  • A goofy mug
  • Something fun

Something Fun

All students need some relief from the stress and tension of finals. Exercise is great but we’ve also found that the pressure of being “adult” brings out the little kid in them. Some fun ideas:

  • Silly string
  • Play Doh
  • Nerf basketball and hoop
  • Frisbee
  • Slinky
  • Shake weight
  • Something with caffeine

Staying Awake

It’s no secret finals is a time when students need help staying awake. Energy drinks are hard to pack and we’re a little leery of them. We like to send:

  • Coffee shop gift cards
  • Packets of tea
  • Hot chocolate

Good Things To Eat

At 1:00 in the morning, when they are starving, students need healthy, hearty things to eat. Try:

  • Microwave mac and cheese, soups, stews
  • Trail mix packets
  • Mixed nuts
  • Popcorn
  • Gift cards to pizza and other food places that deliver – late!

Something To Help Them Study

  • Noise canceling headsets
  • Eye drops
  • Gum
  • New highlighters, pens, pencils



  1. Joan & Nancy great ideas! I especially like the necessary 1:00 am meals:) Just wanted to let Moms know if they are not able to make a care package themselves another option is to order a care package from You can even add a personal note.

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