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College freshmen have left behind summer days with friends at the beach and are heading off for their new dorm rooms and new friends. This will be the first time away from home for some and most will miss the comfort of their old bedroom. Whether they admit it or not, they will miss Mom and Dad at some point. To minimize the “homesick blues” help them feather their new nest. Green and blooming plants are a nice addition and will make the dorm room a friendlier place. So when you are moving them in, bring along a bright blooming gerbera plant or a vivid neon pothos.

Flower PowerAnother way to bring a smile to the face of a new freshman, or any college student, is to send flowers. Send a bouquet that will brighten a lonely day, bring a chuckle or tug on a heart-string. Flowers make people happy on both sides of the arrangement! In fact, research from Rutgers University shows that a gift of flowers creates instant delight and enhances life satisfaction and enjoyment. Another study from Harvard shows that people feel more compassionate toward others, have less worry and anxiety, and feel less depressed when flowers are present in the home (which, in this case, would be their dorm room!). In that same study, participants confirmed that they feel least positive in the early hours, but reported being happier and more energetic after looking at flowers first thing in the morning and had a boost of energy that lasted through their day. Says lead researcher Nancy Etcoff, Ph.D.: “The morning blahs, it turns out, is a real phenomenon, with positive moods – happiness, friendliness and warmth, for example – manifesting much later in the day. Interestingly, when we placed a small bouquet of flowers into their morning routines, people perked up.”

Here are a couple of ideas to get your creative juices flowing on what to send to your student to bring smiles and help them adjust to their new college life.

Color my world: Surround them with their favorite color to bring back memories and make them feel at home. Perhaps an arrangement that matches the colors in their childhood room to bring in the comforts of home. Or one in their new college colors to get them in the school spirit. Another option is to pick a message you want to send through color. For instance, a whimsical design of bright, bold colors to inspire celebration, a nurturing arrangement of pale yellows and whites, or one in tranquil blues and greens to provide a moment of calm amidst the busy schedule of a college student. Or simply send flowers in their favorite colors. This arrangement is inspired by a freshman who loves pink and purple.

Hugs to keep you warm: Along with flowers, send something familiar. The inspiration for this arrangement is the current trend of working textiles into home decor. The vase is covered with a sleeve that was cut off of an old wool sweater and it brings texture to the arrangement. The flowers are done in a monochromatic style (all one color) that has an added calming effect. You could also ask the local florist to attach a scarf in your student’s new school colors to get them excited about the beginning of fall and their new life on campus.

A professional florist has lots of creative, fun ideas to match the personality or feeling you are trying to convey. Ask them for suggestions. To find a florist in your student’s new town, click here. And while you’re at it, buy yourself some flowers. The happiness factor will help you too until your student returns home on break.

Please share your stories of your college student here.