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Care Packages: A Spark of Joy in the College Struggle


It starts with the yellow card, the not so subtle nudging from parents who know how incompetent we might be at “adult-life,” and in consequence the checking of post office boxes. The excitement and mystery grows as you turn in the card and receive a box. Maybe you shake it? Maybe you fast-walk/ run to your dorm room? Maybe you’re as impatient as I am and tear into it at least partway before you even leave the building. If you haven’t guessed already: I am talking about care packages.

Care Packages: little bundles of joy and happiness. They are an oasis in the desert of projects, a sauna in chilling finals. They are that little spark of home that relieves our sickness and that touch of love that lets us know that we truly weren’t forgotten when we were dropped off in the middle of nowhere. Whatever personal meaning you might find in them, care packages often can be the single ray of joy on a cloudy day.

I, admittedly, greedily watched as others received their packages. Bringing the gifts to class, they proudly showed their treasures. They were little pieces from home, a cake, a book. All items that sent them over the moon.

And then, mine came. I got my yellow card out of the box. I took it to the counter and exchanged it for a medium sized brown box. I went to scamper off to my dorm, but impatience got the better of me. I saw my mother’s handwriting briefly as I reached for my car key to slice open the tape that bound the jewels lurking inside. I got halfway through and peeked in. I saw cloth and smaller cardboard containers mingling with a beat-up plastic black and clear container. I quickly closed the box and fast-walked/ ran to my dorm room.

My care package

I took each piece out one by one, marveling at the fact that these were all things I suddenly felt I had needed in my life. I suppose that is, in one way, the beauty of care packages. It does not matter the content. It is sometimes surprising how a simple cardboard box from home can instill the effect of pure happiness upon the recipient, but it works.


Photo Credits: Residence Hall Association, Fair Hope Supply, Andrea Evans


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