By Emily Glory Peters
Saying that finals week can be nerve-wracking is an understatement, especially if it’s your first time taking them at the college level. But since 2017, Scripps families have stepped in with support, launching care package assembly parties to provide first-year students some comfort during exams. While COVID-19 put the in-person gatherings on hold, now the parties are back—with a twist.
“This year, care packages weren’t just for first years, but all students,” explains Delanie Pacheco, digital engagement specialist with Scripps’ Parent Engagement and Philanthropy team. Instead of delivering them to students, says Pacheco, the packages were distributed on Scripps’ Bowling Green so students could pick them up on a first-come, first-served basis.
While the College provided parents with a list of suggested care package items, Pacheco says, families added whatever they thought students would enjoy—from snacks to spa items and beyond.
“Care packages are completely parent-funded, and Scripps is pretty hands off, so parents put their own spin on them. In the past, groups have gotten pretty competitive,” she laughs. “Any parent from Scripps who wants to participate can join in if they’re in an area where a family is hosting [a care package assembly party].”
Collectively, parents assembled hundreds of unique gifts for Scripps at care package parties across the US, with hosts in Northern and Southern California, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Washington state, and Washington, D.C. For many, the event was their initial time connecting with other local Scripps parents.
“[Our student] Emily is a sophomore and I think during COVID there weren’t as many parent events in lockdown. For me, the pandemic really crystallized the need for actual, in-person contact, and I thought this would be a great opportunity to meet other parents in our area,” says Debra Cady P’25. Together with her husband, Bruce Cady, Debra hosted a group of 15 parents in their Seattle home.
“We had parents of first years, sophomores, even a junior and a senior,” she adds. “The parent of the senior was actually my neighbor from across the street!”
Debra says their packages were assembled so quickly that her group spent most of their time getting to know one another and sharing their students’ experiences at Scripps. She hopes to participate in additional events and tailor future care packages even more closely to student needs. As she shared with her daughter, Debra notes, a little self-care can go a long way in hectic moments.
“I reminded her that you can’t study all night long, not eat right, not sleep, not do fun things. That extra hour of sleep or time to chat with a friend isn’t going to make or break your exams,” Debra says. It’s advice she hopes all Scripps students take to heart during finals, adding:
“Care for yourself. You’re smart, and you’re gonna do great.”
To learn more about how you can get involved as a Scripps parent or family member, please visit our Families page here.