How to Help Your College Student Survive the End of the Semester

Written by Lyndsay McCabe  |  15. May 2014

It is that time of the semester where most college students become recluses, hiding in their dorms and the university library as they hit the books harder than before to wrap up their final papers and study for the last exams of the semester. For many students, this means giving them a lot of space, and letting them slide on some of their normal responsibilities and chores.  Instead of calling them each week, send a text instead so they can continue hitting the books, and help your student break up the finals season blues with these fun care packages and tips to finish up their semester.

One-of-a-Kind Care Packages
The number one necessity for college care packages is food. Whether your student can cook or not, time is valuable during finals week, so if you can send them something that is ready to eat or gift cards to nearby eateries for them to grab food to go, it will definitely be appreciated.  Even just a bag of their favorite snack or candy will help make the studying doldrums a little less dreary.  Coffee and tea, or even energy drinks would be especially appreciated when they are pulling all-nighters.  Also, send them some of the essentials, such as body washes and lotions so that they can help be comfy and relaxed during the most stressful season of the year.  To keep on top of the stress, also consider sending along refills for their medicine cabinet, including pain relievers, antacids, and Vitamin C supplements to help their immune systems get through the rough week.  If you think your big kid needs a bit of a break, send over a cute desk item, like a mini magnetic sculpture, or even a small game like travel Yahtzee so they can take a short break and play with friends.  If you do not have the time to put a care package together yourself, try ordering one from a website like CarePackage.com, where you can find themed packages like healthy food, energy food, and fruit packs.  Above all, do not forget to send a special handwritten note and maybe a photo or two to encourage your college student to keep going, and to let them know that you believe in them.  The personal touch will make all of the difference.

Spending the Last of the Meal Points
If you have a load of meal plan points to use before you leave school, try throwing a party at your place and treating your friends to some post-final snacks, or even treating them to dinner at the student center.  If everyone clears out right away or you are just looking to get back home, stock up on non-perishable items.  Cereal, soups, mac and cheese, bottled water, toothpaste, soap, and toiletries are always useful to have around.  You can even use your points towards homecoming gifts for your parents as a thank you for their support.  Be sure to check with your college to see if your points rollover, or if they are gone forever at the end of the year.  Lastly, many schools give students the option of donating foods to food pantries, so look for donation bins and buy soups and other nonperishables that you may not want and donate them to people who could really use them.

Knowing When to Take a Break
To go into finals week without going crazy, it takes the right mindset that allows for studying time and break time.  Most people cannot study for hours straight, and the brain requires a break so that it can remember information.  Make sure your student still gets sleep during finals week, and suggest some tips for taking a break, such as going out to get coffee or watching an episode of their favorite series on Netflix (as long as it does not turn into watching multiple series on Netflix).  You can send your student a board game for them to play with friends, such as Monopoly, Taboo, Life, or Apples to Apples so that they can get together and get much needed downtime without overwhelming themselves with their organic chemistry final.  Students might also want to take advantage of their school gym membership one last time and go run on the track or use the other machinery to get the blood pumping and get their brain ready for more studying.

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