A Piece of Home
After I said goodbye to my family the weekend before school started my freshman year, I walked back up to my dorm at Campus Village to find a gift on my bed from my mom. Among snacks and small things for my desk, she left me a letter, explaining that she would send me care packages every month for at least my first year at school. She also left me a small binder of hand-written notes that were to be read one by one each time she sent me a package.
Honestly, I had a really hard time with homesickness my first semester of undergrad, especially right after I said goodbye to my family. Even though I didn’t see myself staying in my hometown of Las Vegas for the long run, I missed the people who were there. I had the overwhelming question of what to do to make the time pass in my dorm room for the remainder of that weekend before school started, but having those things that my mom left me around my room made it a little better.
In the final year of my undergrad, I was still getting those care packages from my mom. They weren’t as frequent, but they meant just as much to me in my last year as they did in my first. Even though I had grown up and was fully immersed in the new life I created in Denver, I appreciated that those packages made me feel like I was getting a small piece of home sent to me.
For each of these packages, my mom collected items randomly, ranging from sweatpants she found on sale to English Bulldog (my favorite dog) sticky notes, and sent them when she had enough to fill a small box. Of course this tradition didn’t replace us talking as much as we did, which was every day, even if it was just texting, but it served as a pick me up whenever I was least expecting it.
I think having some sort of tradition, whether it be care packages or others that families create, can help incoming students adjust to college, especially if they’re from out of state. I know these thoughtful gifts brought me immense joy, and I’m confident that something like them would do the same for others, making them feel closer to the people they miss. Now a CU Denver graduate, I am so grateful that these thoughtful care packages were a part of my undergrad experience.