It’s that time of the year when I got a call from my college student telling me she’s sick. From over 3000 miles away, I can tell she’s not feeling good as soon as she says hello and is confirmed when I ask, “How are you?” Even though she’s experienced at adulting and has survived campus crud before, I just want to take care of her. There are a few things I do when she calls. One includes ordering items for a get well soon care package for a sick college student to feel better fast.
How to Take Care of a Sick College Student from Afar
Whether your college student is on the other side of the state or country, when they call and they’re sick, it’s because they need us. Here the 4 things I do when my daughter calls and tells me she’s not feeling well.
1. Drop Everything and Listen
When your college student calls or Facetimes when they’re sick, they need us to listen and feel sorry for them just like when they were little. Since they’re more likely to call us before visiting campus health or initiating a telehealth visit, they might be calling for our help to figure out whether they have a cold, the flu, COVID or something else that would require medical attention.
2. Help Them Figure Out How to Treat Their Symptoms
These days we’re all wondering if it’s cold, flu, or COVID! If what they have could be remedied by over-the-counter medicine, ask what they have on hand. If they don’t have meds they need that can help them feel better, place an order from Target that can often be delivered the same day or the day after.
I like ordering over the counter cold and flu relief type meds from Target because they tend to be a better price than Amazon, especially when you buy generic.
Here’s what we always make sure our daughter has on hand in her dorm room. All items are linked to Target so you can add things to your cart and place an order to send to your college student.
- Advil or Tylenol (or generic ibuprofen or acetaminophen)
- Daytime/Nighttime Severe Cold & Flu (like DayQuil/NyQuil)
- Allergy meds (generic Zyrtec, Allegra, Claritin, etc.)
- Nasal spray (generic Flonase tends to work for our family best)
- Nuun Immunity or Nuun Vitamins tablets to boost immunity and replenish electrolytes to prevent dehydration and/or Emergen-C Immune+
- COVID tests (order 4 free ones to send to your college student via gov) and masks
- Digital thermometer
- Aquaphor Lip Repair Stick to help moisturize dry, chapped lips
- Any other over the counter or homeopathic meds they would take at home when sick
Any Target order over $35 ships free so you can also add tissues, lip balm, hand soap, hand sanitizer, laundry detergent, and any other supplies they might be running out of to make their lives a bit easier.
3. Assist Them in Seeking Medical Care
If you suspect they might have something more serious, insist they seek medical help from campus health or your health care provider’s telehealth services. Trust your instinct and teach them to do the same.
First year college students might not know where the closest urgent care is located. Help them find it with a quick Google search and figure out how they can get there (campus shuttle, friend’s car, Uber/Lyft).
While we want our college students to be independent young adults, but when they’re sick they’re not at their best. Trying to navigate health care when they’re sick seems like a monumental task and I’ve found a little help goes a long way!
4. Send a Get Well Soon Care Package
A get well soon care package for a sick college student is most welcome. When college students are sick, they struggle to take care of themselves. They feel too crappy to venture out to the dining hall for food they may or may not want to eat. Honestly sometimes it’s better if they stay put and don’t spread the crud to others on campus!
Thankfully online ordering and fast delivery services make it easy to send a get well soon care package for a sick college student. An Instacart delivery or GrubHub order of comfort food goes a long way.
I personally love using Amazon Prime to order shelf stable items my daughter can use now and have on hand the next time she doesn’t feel well feeling good. Amazon has a better variety than what’s available through Target.
Here are some of my daughter’s favorite things to be able to reach for when she’s sick that can be easily ordered through Amazon Prime.
Miso soup packets are something my daughter keeps in her room because she can make them quickly by adding hot water. They’re great when she’s not feeling well because the tofu gives her a bit of protein and they’re mild in flavor. I like this set of 20 because there are 5 different flavors- tofu, green onion, wakame seaweed, fried bean curd, and spinach- and they’re vegetarian friendly.
I love the pouches of True Primal soups because they’re a convenient, quick, easy, and nutritious meal when your college student is under the weather. I can personally attest to the Tuscan-Style Chicken and Roasted Chicken Soups being hearty and delicious. They’re also a nice gluten-free, paleo-friendly alternative to all other canned soups making them a good pantry staple as a quick and nourishing meal option any time.
There are times when my daughter is sick and she wants something super flavorful that she doesn’t have to leave her dorm room to eat. Tasty Bite’s Indian pouches were a favorite at home and are also a great thing to have on hand. The single serving pouches are nourishing and full of flavor thanks to lentils and chickpea protein and abundant vegetables. These microwavable meals are also vegetarian.
Your student could probably snag tea bags from their dining hall when they’re feeling better but for now, add this Celestial Seasonings Herbal Tea Sampler to your order. The 18 count box contains 5 different flavors (chamomile, Lemon Zinger, peppermint, honey vanilla chamomile, and Sleepytime) to give them a nice variety.
Here are some other supplies to include in a get well soon care package for a sick college student that are helpful to have and use throughout the year:
I am in love with Hey Dewy’s wireless rechargeable cool mist humidifier that is the perfect size for a small dorm room that can really help combat dry air to relieve dry, itchy throats and runny noses.
Every college student needs one of these to make hot tea or instant soup if they don’t have a microwave in their room.
An insulated mug is a must as weather turns cold to keep hot beverages hot during classes, lectures, labs, and studying. My daughter loves her Well Told Custom Tumbler ($34.95) that features a map her hometown. The triple-wall vacuum insulated stainless-steel tumbler keeps drinks hot for 12 hours or cold for 24 and features an easy slide-close lid for on-the-go spill protection.
A Box of Hugs!
And if your student just needs a hug, I love BOXFULL OF COLLEGE HUGS’ Original Bear Hug in a Box as the next best thing. Your sick college student will feel your love and warmth when they open the box to find a new fuzzy friend (you get to choose the animal) with outstretched arms, ready to give them a hug. They’ll also find a special poem and a message where you can write a note of support and encouragement.
Samples were received to facilitate this post but all opinions are my own. Affiliate links are included in this post. Images courtesy of the companies.