New York City is weird and wonderful and filled with everything a college student could want — well, almost everything. Some things are unique to home, wherever that may be, and once school begins, that means not being able to have one’s favorite homemade treat or hometown specialty. But, there is one solution to this problem: the care package.
Care packages are beloved by college students as something that can brighten a day and provide a special reminder of home as many as thousands of miles away in New York City. Cheyenne Quintela, a CAS sophomore, said she receives a care package from her mom every holiday that she is not at home in San Angelo, Texas, and she really appreciates the thought her mom puts into the gifts.
“My mom does include things for other people [too]” Quintela said. “For my five best friends, she makes a mini care package for them, and they really appreciate it.”
Care packages that include food are a welcome respite from the typical diet of ramen, dining hall food and coffee students tend to subsist on. Receiving this food not only provides a somewhat nutritious boost to a hungry, poor student, it also reminds college kids of happy times spent at home with family and friends. Gallatin first-year Benjamin Kubany especially misses one particular dish that his mom makes and wishes that he could taste the delicious delight here in the city.
“My mom makes a killer apple cake that I’ve already [been sent] two of, and I want another two,” Kubany said.
While being able to have a little bit of the familiarity of home in the concrete jungle of Manhattan is lovely, unfortunately mom and dad cannot put every piece of home into a box and ship it. Quintela explained that she still misses some elements of her life in Texas that a care package, sadly, cannot include.
“If they could figure out some way to send me sweet tea, that would be amazing, but I know that they can’t because it will go bad by the time it gets here,” Quintela said.
Care packages really are not necessarily about the physical objects they contain — the thought and consideration that someone else put into sending them matters much more. Brittany Gilman, a Steinhardt first-year, left her home in Kenai, Alaska for NYU and was quickly reminded recently how much the people she also left behind care about her.
“The best care package I’ve ever gotten I received just last week,” Gilman said. “The mothers of my friends from growing up got together with my mom and made homemade care packages for each of us. I loved it because it had lots of homemade treats and was special to be from so many people who cared about me.”
This time of the year seems to be a time when people really miss family members from home. As homesickness starts to set in and classes become harder, the novelty of the city fades a bit, which is precisely the time when students need some cheer. Though the NYU bookstore also sells care packages, they’re not quite as personal.
Care packages do not need to just be a special excuse to receive reminders of home and food from mom and dad, though. They can be sent by anyone to anyone just as a way to make the person feel cared about and remembered. So, if you enjoy care packages from home, send one to a significant other, a sibling or a childhood friend.
Email Faith Marnecheck at [email protected]