Our students love to get mail. Which in this electronic age we live in, is very interesting. One of the first places they go when they return to their residence hall after class is to their mailbox. You see lots of big smiles when there is a letter in the box. Care packages are great but they can get expensive and sometimes you just want to throw something quick in the mail. Below are some some ideas to consider.
- Greeting cards – Send a cute or funny card for holidays or just because. Of course, there are the obvious – Halloween, Thanksgiving, Easter, Valentine’s Day. But think about some unexpected or offbeat occasions as well. How about the first day of spring, or a half a card for a half birthday, Groundhog day, or St. Patrick’s Day? Even just a “thinking of you” card. And really, if you find a funny card and its not connected to any holiday or special event, just send it. That will give your student a good laugh. Spend a little time in the greeting card aisle or better yet, create your own greeting card.
- Postcards –Postcards are great! Quick and easy. If you go anywhere, send a postcard. Send a postcard from your hometown, the local museum or local tourist spot. Find an old postcard from your favorite vacation spot.
- Magazines – Is there a certain magazine your student likes but they won’t buy for themselves because they are broke college students? Maybe a magazine that is related to their field of study? Send your student a subscription. They get a magazine every month plus they learn something along the way. Win-win!
- Local newspaper – Order a subscription to the local paper for your student. They keep up-to-date on the local happenings plus, as they read the paper, an article/photo related to a friend/former teacher/local organization, etc., might jump out at them and they can reconnect with that person. Not to mention, networking! The local paper can be a wealth of information.
- Photographs – In this age of digital photography, it’s still fun to look at a physical photo. Find a few old photographs and put one or two in an envelope each month. Share those great Halloween photos, the family Christmas shots or a photo from a favorite vacation. Also, send a photo of a family member (grandparent/aunt/uncle, etc.) from back in the day and share the family history that goes with the photo. Keeping the family stories and history alive is a plus. These treasures will probably end up on a bulletin board in the student’s room.
- Sibling notes – Are their still brothers and sisters still at at home? Ask them to write a note. If they are younger, send a drawing or one or two school assignments. What a great way for your student to stay connected and support their siblings. If the siblings are older, encourage them to share with their sibling real life stories…success in college courses, embarrassing stories, success in the work force. This allows the siblings to reconnect as “adults” not just on the sibling level.
- Giftcards – Slip a giftcard in an envelope. It doesn’t need to be a major gift. Just a $5.00 card to a local coffee, movie theater or their favorite place in their college town.
- Recipes – Does your student do any of their own cooking? Slip a favorite recipe or two in an envelope each month. Recipes are another great way to share family history. A favorite recipe with a family story allows your student to learn about many family members and appreciate their family story.
- Comic strips, jokes or articles – See something fun or interesting in the newspaper? Cut it out and send it. Who doesn’t like to open a letter and get a laugh?
Do you have ideas to share or questions? Send them to Ask Priscilla at email@example.com.