How to Make a College Survival Kit


Going away to college is exciting and scary. There are all sorts of things a college student doesn't think about taking with her when she leaves home. Assembling a collection of items he may need (but likely forgot) into a survival kit will help make his transition to college easier during those first few months away from home.

Practical Things

  • Include useful items in your kit for moving in like poster putty to hang pictures and posters on her dorm room walls and a hammer and a screwdriver set to put furniture together and fix things. Don't forget a power strip to plug everything into and protect his electronics from power surges.

    Make sure she has a small sewing kit and a pair of scissors just in case her favorite shirt rips or a pair of socks gets a hole in it.

    When he is away from home and gets sick or hurt, it's important that he has a first aid kit with adhesive bandages, aspirin, medicine for a cold and an upset stomach, tissues and a ceramic mug and a box of soothing tea so he can wind down after a long day in class.

    It's important to include things she may not know she needs like an extra phone charger, batteries, stamps and envelopes and a small umbrella, just in case it rains.

    You can also include a shower caddy and flip flops to go back and forth to the communal bathroom, as well as a sleep mask, just in case his roommate has to study late and he has to get up early.

Sentimental Things

  • To cure homesickness and let your college student know you love him, include pictures of the whole family, a roll of quarters for the vending machines, a package of microwave popcorn and a resealable jar full of his favorite candy. Get everyone in your family to write notes. Include an inspiring or sentimental book with an inscription about how proud you are of her. Write a note from the family pet and stamp its paw on it as a signature. Research places to eat near campus and print out the menus and include some money and a note about how you would like to treat him to dinner.

Kit Themes

  • In order to add an extra dose of fun, come up with a theme for your kit. Make it Survivor themed by adding an immunity necklace and drawing the survivor logo on the box. Make it '80s themed by adding some classic candy from the 1980s, like Pop Rocks, and covering the box in neon colors. Make the theme collegiate and include a sweatshirt from the school and decorate the box in the school colors with a picture of the mascot.

Kit Assembly

  • Pick a large, sturdy box or milk crate to put together your kit. Line the bottom and sides with colorful paper or drape a fleece blanket in the box. Put the larger, heavier items on the bottom of the box. Add layers of tissue paper and continue adding items. Arrange the lighter, smaller items on top. If you include food, try to pick things with longer shelf lives.

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  • Photo Credit XiXinXing/XiXinXing/Getty Images
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