The Nine Things Every College Student Should Have On Their Desk


Female student taking notes from a book at library.

All you need is a computer, right? Wrong! Unlike high school or living with your parents, office supplies do not magically appear. Living on your own means stocking up on essential desk items. To make your shopping list easier, we’ve come up with nine things every college student should have on their desk in order to get through the rest of the semester.

     1. Stapler and Staples

Here’s a lesson all freshman learn real fast — your teacher will not have a stapler on them, and they will expect you to turn in stapled copies of your twenty-page paper! Come prepared by having a stapler and extra staples at your deskside whenever you need it.

     2. Printer, Paper, and Ink

Sure, you could print at the library, but that’s going to cost you, and there’s no guarantee the library will be open when you need it. A small-sized printer can run you around $30 on sale and ink can be cheap if you subscribe to regular refills.

     3. Pen and Pencils

We love the convenience of a computer, but you have to have a pen on you at all times. There’s no telling when you’ll want to make a quick note or write a letter yourself. And pencils are essential for majors that require a lot of drafting or revisiting of work — such as musicians, artists, engineers, mathematicians, architects, etc.

4. Paperclips

Like staples, you need to keep your paper in order or they’ll become a mess on your desk. And who wants that? With paperclips or larger file clips, attach and go. No fuss, reusable, and cheap to buy — you have no excuses not to have a small supply.

Planner with post it notes and highlighters

5. Sticky Notes or Journals

Sticky notes are great for telling your roommate to pick up more milk or that they need to clean their side of the room. But when you really want to get something out, a journal is a must-have. Check out these school-themed journals if you really want to impress.

6. Stamps and Stationery

Sending a letter may seem so old fashioned, but thank yous written by hand are impressive and classy. Grab a stack of cards, like these vintage university ones, for when the occasion arises. And don’t forget Forever stamps from the post office.

7. Organizer

You’ve got the little things down, but what about where to put it all? An organizer for the tiny desk objects that get all over the place can be a lifesaver — especially when you’ve got five minutes till class starts and you can’t find your favorite pen.

desk lamp illuminating

8. Desk Lamp

Your desk may come with a lamp attachment already, but those industrial bulbs can lead to migraines or poor study habits. Find one that matches your style and has the right kind of light for your work. This dimmable, portable one is the perfect size and look for most college students’ needs.

9. Power Cord

While technically for under the desk, a safe power cord that can support your laptop, printer, chargers, and a lamp cannot be forgotten. Get one that has a surge protector in case of electricity going out.

If you have these nine items, and a few more that we may have missed, you’ll be ready to tackle those study sessions and ace all your exams!

Move-In Checklist for Girls


College Checklist for Girls


College may seem far off in the distance, but the reality is there’s only one year left. That means it’s time to start talking dorm rooms. And of course, figuring out your style and making sure you have the essentials ready to go is an absolute must. This OCM shopping list is the only one you’ll need. Here’s a breakdown of everything that’s on the move-in checklist for girls.


Truth be told, dorm beds are kind of miserable no matter where you go to school. It’s almost universal that you’ll need a few things to make your sleeping space comfy. The first is the right kind of bedding. Extra-long sheets, comforter/quilt, and pillows are the basics. But also consider investing in a great mattress pad if you’re worried about a bad back or a thin mattress.


Communal bathrooms can be intimidating, but they’re a breeze once you’ve got the right gear. Of course, you’ll want your beauty products and favorite shampoos and soaps. We say splurge and get the best to make your shower experience more luxurious. What you really need is a pair or two of flip flops, a shower caddy to carry it all in, and a set of durable towels.

Home Essentials

Colleges do not give their students cleaning services for their rooms — you’re in charge of that. This means you need to stock up on cleaning supplies and gear. Broom or a sweeper are great to have handy, as well as paper towels and some basic sanitizing wipes.

Out of Sight

Small spaces means getting creative with your storage. Under the bed boxes are crucial, as are closet organizers that hang on the door. Trunks are great for being decor, seating, and storage, but you can also consider ottomans with storage built in as an option.

Dorm Cooking

Believe it or not, but you can cook when you’re living in the dorms. Most come with a small, communal kitchenette, and you’ll want a fridge and/or microwave for yourself. That means you’ll also need a few basics — pot, pan, mixing and measuring bowls, containers, mugs, plates, silverware, etc.

Desk Supplies

Keep yourself organized with everything you need — staplers, paperclips, pens, and pencils, together in a sturdy box or desk organizer. You may also want to invest in the must-haves of studying, like highlighters, notecards, notebooks, and other portable items you can take to and from class and study sessions.


A laptop or at least a tablet with a portable keyboard should be at the top of your list; it’s an essential in the digital age. But don’t miss out on other essentials like a personal printer, a surge protector, extra batteries, and a carrying case. A TV in your dorm is also a great addition that will let you have movie nights or just “veg,” and a pair of noise-canceling headphones will keep you sane if you get a roommate who snores.


Now this category is where you can have some fun! Mix in some touches from home (like a favorite throw pillow or a picture of your BFFs) and add in some new, adult items like a potted plant or a gorgeous vintage mirror. The trick is to come up with a theme or particular style and work with it until it feels like home.  

Extra Essentials

Some things don’t fit into categories but are totally necessary. We’re thinking of first aid kits, umbrellas, lockboxes, and other frequently used items. Think about what you use around your house and add it to this category. You may be surprised what you need — and what you can leave behind.

Parents Corner- How Often You Should Check-In


College Student stressed over textbook

Sending your child off to college can be an emotional time for everyone involved. As a parent, it can be especially hard to get into a routine of not having the student around. Setting boundaries and establishing rituals is important in maintaining healthy relationships with college-aged kids. Here’s how you can determine how often you should check in based on your student’s personality or situation.

The Homesickness Factor

One of the most normal phases of freshman year is going through some periods of homesickness. Even the toughest, adventurous, or independent students may go through this when first moving into dorms. Being in a stressful environment or having a lack of familial support only exaggerates it.

If your child is showing signs of homesickness, it may be tempting to increase your contact or encourage them to come home. However, it can harm the student if you tell them that you miss them, increase your phone calls, or pressure them to visit in order to feel better. Instead, ease back, encourage them to get out, and praise them when they find something new to love about living on their own. Set up weekly calls instead of nightly, and help them book one trip home soon so they have something to look forward to.

The Close-to-Homebody

When we think of living on campus, we think of living more than a few hours away from home. Today, however, many students choose to live in dorms not far from where they grew up which can make it hard to determine how often parents should initiate calls or visits.

For homebodies who frequently visit, making calls short and to-the-point will help establish boundaries. You want the student to be independent (and do their own laundry), so over communicating can make them feel like they’ve never left. And it can encourage them to treat dorm life like they are commuting instead of living on their own.

The Long-Distance Students

One of the trickier parent-student situations is when a child decides to live on campus hours away from parents. In this case, it can be terrifying to ease back and let a student be on their own without checking in often.

In this case, it’s important to be honest and have a conversation early on what your student wants and what you expect in terms of them reaching out to you. Depending on your situation (such as if you’re paying their tuition or not), you may be able to call the shots. But as parents of adults, it’s important to remember that your student may not be on board with daily phone calls and video chats. Instead, ask them what they feel is appropriate and find common ground. Same goes for visits.

The Solo Student 

A student who goes dark can be scary for parents. When you don’t know what they are doing or how they are feeling, it can be difficult to adjust to the new norm. But in many cases, a student wanting space is demonstrating to themselves and you that they are setting boundaries.

Using the same advice for long distance students, open the conversation. Ask them how much is too much when it comes to calls or texts. Ask if they prefer one way of getting a hold of them over the other. Suggest a code word for emergencies or a set day to have a check-in chat. They’ll love that you are respecting their wishes and you’ll feel better having a set routine to follow.

How to Look Fit for Break


No one wants to go back for the holidays with the extra freshmen fifteen. While your mom might be too nice to say anything or your dad too oblivious to notice, you want to return from the break looking and feeling your best! On the other hand, it is the time to relax, not to suddenly pick up a fitness or diet regimen. It’s better to focus on that now, so by the time your family picks you up from the airport, you’re not hiding behind flowy shirts and heavy parkas.

Whether you’re worried about facing your family and friends or not, it’s never a bad idea to adopt some healthy habits. If you establish them beforehand, it’ll be easier to keep them during high-stress finals week and the temptation-filled holidays.

Look at the Dining Hall

Just because this is the stuff that the school is feeding you doesn’t mean that it’s the best for your health. The food that is served in the university dining hall probably covers a lot of ground — Asian, Tex-Mex, fast food, sub sandwiches, etc. Having such a wide range of options at your fingertips constantly can overwhelm even the strongest-willed person, especially if this is the first time you’ve ever been entirely in charge of your own diet.

Some university dining halls also have beverage machines. There’s nothing wrong with the occasional indulgence, but limitless soda is definitely bad for your health. Furthermore, just moderating your soda intake can help you lose weight. My dining hall even had a limitless milk dispenser, and even though milk is often touted as a nutrient-rich beverage, drinking more than a glass a day is concerning.

It can be tempting to just indulge in all the tasty food at the dining hall, but really examine every option before you eat it. The salad bar or sandwich station might seem like a healthy option until you see that all the dressings and meats are filled with fats and calories. This is where you can find some of your healthiest options, of course, but you need to be mindful of what ingredients you choose. Keep this in mind no matter what station you choose.

Prepare Ahead of Time

Okay, this is probably the most repeated advice ever, and also the least followed. Yes, we all know it’s easier if you plan out your meals ahead of time. Instead of scrounging for the cheapest meal in the dining hall, it’s better if you pack your own salad before leaving for class. But no college student has the time or the willpower for that, especially after a long night studying.

The trick is to prepare something that will last you a long time. That way, you only have to prep once and then you’ve got something to grab for the week. Things like breakfast pizza, a tray of lasagna, or any sort of pasta will keep in your fridge for a long time. Just watch your portions on these!

If you absolutely cannot bring yourself to prepare ahead of time, then there are on-the-go meals you can fall back on, but they’re not always the most satisfying. Don’t always rely on these, or you’ll end up in a food coma once you get back to your mom’s cooking.

Stay Active!

As the weather gets colder, you might be tempted to drive or take the bus to class, but it’s important to stay active. Walking or biking to class can help you offset the typical winter weight gain (which you WON’T have because you’re following these tips!). You’re also probably not moving around outside as much, so try to find some winter sports to participate in.

At the very least, hit your student rec center or local gym. Being active in the winter takes commitment; you can’t just wait around for the next ultimate frisbee tournament like at the beginning of the year. Plus, with more exam pressure, you’ll have to really want it to stick to your plan.

If you develop a consistent workout schedule now, it’ll be that much easier to stick to when you get home as well. Instead of wondering what happened to the fit high schooler they knew, your family will be impressed that you’re managing yourself so well! At that point, you can indulge a little bit in some festive foods, but don’t overdo it. You don’t want to go back to school looking different than when you left either!

8 Things that Definitely Surprised You About Freshman Year



This can’t be real. We’re almost done with our freshman year of college! After dreaming of this year for what seems like forever, it’s over with. Now that we’re hitting finals week, it’s time to reflect and look back on what things we have loved and hated about our freshman year of college.


  1. The (Lack of) Fashion

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I guess we always imagined that college was like the movies with well-dressed, preppy girls wearing the latest styles and guys in leather jackets and designer jeans. In reality, it’s pretty much pajama pants, leggings, sweatpants, and old cardigan sweaters every single day.


  1. How Terrible the Food Is

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We were warned. We even had a small taste of it during our tour, but we really didn’t expect… this. Sure, there’s some items on the menus we get excited about (hello Taco Tuesday!), but for the most part, we’re planning on spending sophomore year learning the art of dorm cooking.


  1. Homesickness

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Surviving summer camp was supposed to prepare us for long stretches away from home. And we’ve been aching for freedom since freshman year in high school. But when the moment came to say goodbye to our parents, we felt that sting of homesickness.


  1. Our New Friends

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Making friends as adults is tough. It’s not like you’re forced to finger paint with someone. However, we found that making new friends wasn’t as bad as we had thought once we opened ourselves up. Joining a sorority/fraternity, signing up for clubs, group projects, trips off campus, etc. gave us plenty of ways to make a new, college BFF.


  1. Your Major Isn’t a Big Deal

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All of our adult friends are constantly asking us what our major is. But when you’re a freshman, no one but them seem to really care. And it turns out that being undeclared is totally cool. It gives you freedom to find what you like and are passionate about, and there are countless numbers of freshmen and sophomores who are just as clueless as your are.

  1. The Stress Factor

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I think we all feel stress differently. Some of us breeze through college without missing their necessary eight hours or more of sleep. The rest of us basically ping-pong back and forth between relaxed and about to explode from the pressure. If you’re heading to college next year, just be warned you may be on either spectrum.


  1. The Freshman 15 Exists

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We already talked about food. But we can’t forget about how easy it is to not move around. With tiny dorm rooms and lack of time to hit the gym, getting a good sweat can be difficult. What’s easy is packing on the pounds. Our biggest piece of advice to incoming freshman: schedule your workouts or bring along some hand weights.


  1. How Much We Love It

This list could really go on and on. College is like a complete shock to our systems… and we love (almost) every second of it. We wouldn’t trade the meals in the cafeteria with our new friends, the times we were overwhelmed with projects for classes we actually enjoy, and the highs and lows of living away from home for anything in this world.

College Guide: Second Semester Vibes


College Guide- Second Semester Vibes

WELCOME BACK FRESHMAN!!– What does second semester look like for you? 8 AM’s every day or 9 PM classes? Making new friends or maybe even joining a sorority/fraternity? Say goodbye to sleeping in every day in your nice comfy, big bed at home and say hello to eating pizza for breakfast and cereal for dinner. You’ll get back into the swing of things…soon…hopefully…I promise.

1. First Day of Classes-Don’t be that kid who shows up five minutes late the first day of classes. Not a good first impression

2. Remember what your teachers taught you from your first semester- Whether it was remembering the proper grammar to use in a sentence or becoming organized.

3. Caf food for any time, any day- Pancakes for dinner, pizza for breakfast… who cares. Your parents aren’t there to stop you.

4. Budget yourself- You now know how much money you spent last semester. Know your limits. Spend wisely this semester on EVERYTHING. 

5. Mental Breakdown- What would college be like without pulling your hair, wearing different socks… or shoes to class and crying to your mom how hard college is? Don’t worry. We will all get through it.

6. Sleep, sleep counting sheep- Don’t forget… sleep is also important too.

7. Weekend treat- After a long week of hard work, you get a nice reward by treating yourself to a nice weekend of a fun time with friends at home or an out and about, night.

8.WORKOUT- No excuses this semester. Summer is around the corner… Get that beach body for summer 2017 on!

9. Stay up to date on what is going on- Even though Netflix is nice, you’re in college. Be aware of what is happening around the world.

10. Do not second guess yourself- Be confident. New Semester. New Teachers.

Hope everyone has a great start to a second semester!!!!

xoxo ariel

10 Lessons You’ll Learn in Your First Semester at School



With fall semester winding down, I think we can all agree that this semester has been… well, a learning experience. Let’s forget about the facts and figures we’ve been jamming into our head as we prep for finals. Instead, we need to talk about all the lessons we learned in our first semester of college. From dorm hacks to #squadgoals, here are our top 10.


1. Survival of the Fittest

Image via Imgur

Procrastinating lead us to the ultimate college experience — the late night cram session. Luckily, we learned quickly that we weren’t alone and that our college library had late night hours or our dorms had study rooms available for rent. Oh, and also, that pizza delivery goes until 2 AM.


2. Independence Isn’t All We Thought

Mom! We’re so sorry we didn’t listen to you when you were trying to teach us how to properly do laundry or make rice. We are also so sorry for all the times we told you that we couldn’t wait to get out of the house. Now that we’re on our own, we are just not into this whole adulting thing!  


3. Sharing is Caring

We were prepared for roommates, but not for roommates. The best way to get along with strangers you’re forced to live with is to share, compromise, and bring along noise canceling headphones.


4. Disconnecting is Connecting

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We all have those moments where we are hooked to Facebook and Instagram. It happens, especially when all our old friends are constantly posting there. But when we spend too much time on our phones, we miss out on new moments.


5. Budgeting Matters

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Money. Some have it; we don’t. Even that part-time job just barely provides enough to cover our expenses, and everyone’s always talking about that student loan bill we’ve got coming. That’s why we are committing to learning how to budget and stay on track. No debt here!


6. Vacation is Everything

The only thing that gets us through the hard times is having that calendar with the dates circled and bolded with our days off. Sure, it may just be going home for a few days to do laundry… but it counts.


7. Communication is Critical

Being honest about how we feel was usually reserved for those sappy TV shows we watched in high school. But now that we’re responsible for everything from our grades to our sleep schedule, we have learned how valuable communicating our needs and wants really is.


8. Saying Goodbye is Hard

The first semester of college can feel like a funeral. We’ve had breakups with boyfriends and friends that disappear from our lives. And while we may be heartbroken, we know that letting go of old relationships open us for something more.


9. Saying Hello is Even Harder

We had no idea how hard it is to make friends once you’re over the age of 18. It’s seriously difficult! While we still sometimes struggle with going outside our box and just saying hello, we’ve managed to build a squad of our own.


10. Dorm Food is Terrible (and Awesome)

Did you really think we’d go a whole article without mentioning college food? Basically, you learned that you could live your whole life on Ramen if it means avoiding the cafeteria, or you have memorized the food schedule. Either way, we salute you, dorm food eater. It’s one lesson we know we won’t forget.

Move in Day Madness! 11 Things you need to bring to college


Dorm Room Packing

Congrats newest freshman! You made it to your first day of college! Welcome to move in day! This might have consisted of crying to your parents about how much you’re going to miss them, or spending 8 hours making your room just the way you want it. Well, I have a few tips on what things you won’t regret bringing from home. How do you envision your ideal dorm room for this upcoming fall? Christmas lights and tapestries hung up? Sofas and canvas wall hangings? Let’s take a look at what I used for my room and what things were really needed.

Dorm Room

My room at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut.

What important things to bring from home: 

1. Mini Fridge

  • Leftover pizza, midnight snacks and your daily dose of Arizona Iced Tea. Buying a fridge is the perfect idea for an on the go breakfast or keeping your water bottle cold. My roommate bought one before we moved in and it definitely was worth the money! Go out and buy yourself a mini fridge!

2. Dorm Space saver!

  • Even though you think you have enough space no matter how big your dorm is, you will not regret buying this! A Dorm Space Saver (be it a trunk or under the bed storage) will keep all of your personal belongings in an organized space.

3. iHome

  • Don’t forget about your alarm clock for those 8 am classes! It definitely helps me when I need to wake up early for those 9AMs. An iHome will become your best friend. It has a charger for your phone, AM/FM stations, Bluetooth and so much more.

4. Fan, Fan, Fan!

  • Depending on which school you go to, most freshman dorm rooms don’t supply air conditioning. Definitely bring those fans with you because it gets very hot! Large or small, it does not matter!

5. Trunk

  •  A trunk is another great way to store anything you don’t need immediate access to — think winter blankets or clothing that’s out of season. You can also use this as a way to liven up your space. Slap on a bunch of bumper stickers and band stickers for an indie look, or spray paint it in your favorite colors.

6.  Plastic Storage bins

  • For all of you who complain to your mom how you don’t have enough space around the room, buying these bins was worth every penny! I know that I couldn’t fit all my stuff in that small closet they give us so buying these bins made my life so much easier! It helped me organize them from underwear to sweaters I will not be using now, towels, sheets and gym clothes!

7. Command Hooks

  • The easiest, cheapest and best way to hang up your picture frames, tapestries and a DIY canvas. You can pretty much find these anywhere – and you’ll be glad you bought them. Screen Shot 2016-09-05 at 2.39.08 PM

8. Hangers

  • For all of those clothes us ladies bring, you must must must bring over 50 hangers… I know it seems like a bit much but you will not regret it! I brought so many hangers and it kept my closet organized from dresses, pants, skirts and shorts.

9. Light Up Make Up Mirror

  • Do you really want to put on a full face of makeup on in the dark for an 8 am? Invest in a mirror with a light, specifically one that gifts off natural, daylight hues.

10. Coffee Machine

  • Espresso, chai teas and much more! Who doesn’t love their early morning coffee? I know I can’t live without my daily dose of tea!

11. Batteries

  • You might be thinking right now why would I need to bring a pack of batteries? When I say trust me, trust me because I needed so many batteries setting up my dorm room, for things like remotes and lights!

4,3,2,1… The Final Week Before College


Freshmen year

Hey there fellow freshman! How are you feeling knowing that it is your final week before you move into your new home away from home? Have you been packing thousands of bags and furniture to load into your family car, and going to a goodbye parties to say goodbye to your best friends and closest family? Maybe even a Bruce Springsteen concert at Met Life Stadium? Here is what my last week looked like.

Your Last Days Before College

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Day 4:

“I have never cried as much as I did today” I sobbed to my mom from across the kitchen. Today was the day that my two best friends left for the University of Miami and it finally hit me that we will be 1,368 miles apart from each other. At this point, I think my mother finally started realizing that all of her daughter’s friends (or what she considers her second children) were not around anymore. Also, I think it hit her that her own daughter is leaving in less than a week. After both of my closest friends left, I did realize something, though: even though my friends are 21 hours away by car, I believe it made our friendship even closer than before.

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Day 3:

What better way to spend your last few days then to go to a Bruce Springsteen concert!? “It was one of the best concerts I have ever been to” my dad said. My family and I are huge Boss fans and it was something I wish I could do all over again. We enjoyed each others company over some hot dogs and Mrs. Feild’s cookies. And this night was special for another reason — “Bruce Springsteen breaks his own record for longest US concert” as cited by the New York Post. I will never forget the smile my family had when walking out of the stadium and it is a memory I will take with me to college and cherish forever.

Bruce Springsteen Concert

Day 2:

GIRLS DAY! Nails, lunch date and having the hardest goodbyes… what more could I have asked for? Today was one of the saddest days ever because I said goodbye to so many people at one time. Spending the last few hours with my friends was such a special moment and time in my life.


GIF via Giphy

Day 1:

Besides crying for hours last night on how much I am going to miss my best friends, the last people I said my goodbyes to was my family. Instead of having our normal family sit down dinner, my mom and dad thought it would be a great idea to take my sister and I out to our favorite sushi restaurant. What better way to end my final night with family than at my favorite restaurant? Besides saying goodbye to my family, I know the one thing I am going to miss a lot is all of my mom’s help – from laundry to waking me up before my alarm!

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I love you mom and dad. Thanks for everything.

 How did you guys spend your last week of college? I hope you’re settling into your new schools!

Fun Ways to Stay in Touch With High School Friends


Stay in touch with high school friends

Leaving for college doesn’t have to mean saying goodbye to your old friends forever. Keeping important relationships from high school is essential, even if the distance makes it difficult. Whether you live in a different dorm or are separated by an ocean, make it a priority to keep up with these fun ways to stay in touch with high school friends.

Schedule Video Chats

Calls, texts, and snaps are all essential. But there is nothing more powerful than putting a live face to the name or voice. Video chats via an app or web services like Skype, Facebook Messenger, or Google Hangouts makes it so easy to pretend like everyone is in the same room. Plus, if you avoid using your data, it’s free for everyone!

Video chatting is especially important in the early months of starting colleges when you most likely will feel lonely or even homesick. Having a familiar face can make you feel more at home. Plan to stick to a schedule. Share your class and activity schedule and pick one hour out of the week to chat. If you’re planning on a larger group, designate a day that works for most and host theme video chat nights such as craft night or cupcake talk. Get creative!

Send Care Packages

When you have a friend in need, you’ll want to be there. If it’s impossible to physically be there, consider sending a care package to show your love. Send candy for breakups, soup for illnesses, or flowers for celebrations. They’ll love the extra thought and care that goes into each package!

You can make your own Pinterest-inspired packages, such as a college survival kit. Or, you can buy a pre-made one that you simply purchase online and send to your friend’s dorm room. For flower deliveries, contact local florists or national delivery services. It’s worth the effort to spread joy.

Go Old-School

Another option is to bring back old-school letter writing. There’s something really cool and personal about getting a letter, especially if it’s on a cute card. Encourage your friends when times get rough, or send silly notes at random times just because you can. For birthdays and holidays, gift each other stamps and stationery to encourage the other to keep it up.

You can even share your new college adventures by sending a monthly package to one another with goodies from your school or special treats you found at a local store. The sky is the limit when you think out of the box!

Meet Up and Travel

If money isn’t an issue or your distance isn’t that far, map out the in-between zones for you and your friends. Just knowing there is a halfway point that isn’t that far can make you feel much closer to your friends. This town or city may just become a very special place for you to meet up, explore, and enjoy with your high school friends

On the other hand, halfway may still be too far. In that case, start saving up and plan for a spring break or homecoming trip for some extra quality time. Think of ways to make extra cash (such as tutoring or babysitting) and hunt down cheap flights or bus tickets. Even spending time planning your trip can bring a group together!