This year I want to be a good sender of care packages to my niece and nephews in college. Today, I sent the first package this year, of what I hope to be many.
Justin will receive a package of dill pickle chips (he loves these and can't find them in Texas), Lindor truffles, cinnamon almonds, chocolate Pocky, peanut butter, chip clips, thumbtacks, dry erase markers, a variety of post-its, and two Febreze odor-eliminator things that should help in a dorm full of teenage boys.
I hope that Justin and Katie love college as much as I did. I know for them, there will be some of the same kinds of adjustments, but staying connected through social media and skype make the prospects of actually keeping in touch with people so much easier and simpler now.
I remember getting my first e-mail account when I went to college, and having to walk to the building across the street to use it. (And I only used it to communicate with other people from my own school, and maybe two friends from high school at their own colleges - no one else had e-mail).
I was a prolific letter writer, and thankfully, my friends were, too. My mailbox was almost never empty. I kept handwritten correspondence with at least fifteen people, probably more. Ours were envelopes full of silly randomness, personal updates, jokes, newspaper clippings, illustrations, tiny sendable presents, gossip from home, post-adolescent confidences, hopes, dreams, wonderings, theories, and ramblings. They are stickered and stamped on every kind of stationery imaginable. I kept all of them - they are a perfect time capsule.
It's probably somewhat of an even, yet unequal trade-off. Justin and Katie will keep in touch with their friends pretty much instantly and effortlessly. Their friends may not keep their mailbox full, but every now and then, their Aunt will surprise them once in a while.