College Survival Kit

This is an idea for a going away gift for anyone going to college. My neighbors daughter is leaving for college and I wanted to give her something special to take with her. I found a very nice small vintage looking suitcase at an estate sale. I have had such fun filling it with inexpensive necessities and I am really proud of myself at how thrifty I have been.


Items included in the suitcase are, cookies, instant ramen noodle soups, instant hot chocolate, a pretty mug, again purchased at a estate sale. Pencils, pens, highlighters, a dayplanner, a phone card which was a buy one get one free at Walgreens drug store, a pretty package of notecards and a book of stamps. Gifts do not have to be expensive to be a blessing! All of the items I have purchased at estate sales, or at a very good sale price!

By Bobbie G from Rockwall

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September 5, 20070 found this helpful

My friend's oldest daughter did it in reverse: a "mom survival kit after sending child to college". She wrapped 30 tiny presents (chocolate, hand-written cards etc.) to be opened one a day for the first 30 days she was gone. Since the parents are in Japan and the daughter has gone to the States, this was a big trauma, and the mom has really appreciated it!



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By DollarCamp (Guest Post)
February 5, 20080 found this helpful

We have a College Survival Pack that teaches kids about CREDIT CARDS and STAYING OUT OF DEBT. More than 50% of students are getting into $5,000 or more of high interest credit card debt by the time they graduate (according to the Jump$tart Coalition for personal finance).

Our illustrated financial survival pack teach kids everything they need to know about building credit, controlling their spending, and budgeting. We also cover the most common mistakes that students make.Check out .

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By Loli (Guest Post)
February 12, 20080 found this helpful

2 - Different dorm friendly snacks, popcorn, pop-tarts, top ramen, trail mix, ect


3 - PRINTER INK! seriously, some of us students use it more than others but it is EXPENSIVE! parents if you can put it in the care package!
4 - Quarters of course
5 - MEDICINE! Cold and Sinus meds especially. We're leaving our "normal" environment (Home) and moving in with other people and theirs germs. How many of us have sniffled our way through long lectures?
6 - and of course ENERGY DRINKS, for the almighty all nighters

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By Jean (Guest Post)
March 8, 20080 found this helpful

Everything that was already said plus a laundary basket or a laundary lug around thing if they come home on weekends to wash clothes. A flash drive would do great wonders. Otherwise more expensive items like a labtop, tv, fridge, etc. I think a radio would be appreciated plus a few cd's if you are generous, oh, and an alarm clock and a water bottle (don't be cheap an give em an aquafina bottle) aka a reusable bottle, plus dish soap and towels to get their dishes clean.


Last thing, add an item(s) that they would or do enjoy doing. Ex. if they like to read give that a novel or a gift certificate to a local bookstore.

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By (Guest Post)
May 19, 20080 found this helpful

This is a list of things that I'm going to put in a basket/box for my brother; who is going to college this year. I did some research and found that these are the main components, other than toiletries and the big stuff like laptop, microwave, mini-fridge, and desk stuff. i know that some of these have been said before, but I don't think that duct tape has been and that is very important.

-Air Freshener
-Instant Hot Cocoa
-Cool/Funky Mug
-Pens, Pencils, Highlighter etc (Emergency Only)
-Ear Plugs
-Book Light
-Energy Pills, Gum, & Drinks


-Pizza Coupon/Certificate
-First Aid Kit
-Popcorn (Big & Personal Size)
-Clothes Hamper
-Big Bag of Gum & Mints
-Roll of Quarters (Vending/Phone/Laundry)
-Stress Ball
-Nail Clippers
-Screw Driver Set
-Duct Tape *** Very important
-Bike Lock
-Pics of Family
-Pizza Cutter
-Medicine: Ibuprofen, Thermometer, NiQuil, DayQuil, $2 Target Nose Spray
(MIracle worker), Cough Drops (Brown Kind aka: good kind; Yellow kind
aka: yummy tasting kind)

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By Friend (Guest Post)
June 6, 20080 found this helpful

these are great lists. I thought of just a few extras:
-Playing cards
-febreeze or any fabric freshener
-draw string backpack

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By Lene (Guest Post)
August 3, 20080 found this helpful

Thankx everyone!

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By princessdw (Guest Post)
September 18, 20080 found this helpful

Other good ideas are the Chefmate Dorm cooking Kit 40pc. Can be found at for $30


Also a Hot Pot. Totally different than a Hot plate (which is not allowed at most dorms) Great for boiling water for Ramen, Oatmeal, instant coffee, tea & hot drink meds. $10 at Target or Walmart.
One more thing is an Air purifier, this will help the air circulation in those cramped areas, preventing many illnesses. $30-50 at Target or Walmart

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By tiana (Guest Post)
November 28, 20080 found this helpful

One thing I needed was a stand for my text books. I didn't have a whole lot of room in my apartment, of course, and an open text book lying flat took up my entire desk! One that stands the book up and keeps the pages from falling.

Ink for the printer and computer paper. If they are in a dorm (especially for guys) I heard the shower floor can get all sorts of nasty, so get them flip-flops. The place where I went to college had very cold winters and very hot summers, so anything to help with the weather was great.

As far as gift cards go. Instead of getting them calling cards get them pay-as-you-go cell phones (if they already have cell phones, then calling cards wouldn't do much good, anyway). But get them a card for their local grocery store, definitely, and gas cards are nice. Also it is a lot cheaper for them to get their text books off of rather than at their school book store so an amazon card is great.

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By kate (Guest Post)
December 31, 20080 found this helpful

Airborne! (its a medication-type thing that boosts your immune system for when your roommate has a cold and you don't want to get it)

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December 27, 20110 found this helpful

My suggestion is a small toolbox that includes: flat and Phillips head screwdrivers, set of mini screwdrivers, hammer (doesn't have to be real heavy), crescent and needle-nose pliers (medium sized), small/med. vise-grip pliers, old medicine bottle with screw asst., another with nails, one with thumbtacks & pushpins, tape measure, duct tape, masking tape, strapping tape, some "no nail" wall attachers with hooks (the kind that an be removed with no marks/holes), zip strips and/or velcro strips, short extension cord(s), power strip, and optionally: ratchet and socket set, glue gun & glue sticks, wire snips, exacto blade or package blade, washers (metal and rubber, asst. sizes), and any other 'basic' tools you come across.

These can often be picked up at the dollar store or yard sales. They don't have to be beautiful, just safe to use. Such a kit will come in handy so many times and will often make the owner the "go to gal or guy" of the dorm floor (or building!). Make sure the student knows how to use each tool safely. Not a glorious gift but ultimately practical. Don't forget to add a sharpie marker and a shop pencil too. Oh, and a small level.

The list can keep growing but be sure to start with a strong but small tool box to put everything into. Once the box is full - stop. Small is the key. (I used an old metal fishing tackle box that had a 2 strong latches for my daughter's kit. It sat in the corner of the closet until needed -which was often in the first month of school and often after holidays!) Etching each tool with name of initials is not a bad idea, either. Even paint on with bright nail polish to further mark as "mine" if needed.

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