Once that I'm-finally-free-from-my-parents'-clutches feeling wears off, plenty of college students sink into a state of homesickness that can be cured by only one thing: a care package from home. And if you're going to school out of town, you'll be missing home while trying to explain the awesomeness that is Chicago to those goons from Ohio.Pack these hometown favorites in your bag or drop a hint to your parents, relatives and friends when you leave this copy of RedEye on their pillow.
1. Cards Against Humanity
What's that? You didn't realize this genius game was conceived in your hometown? Now you do, and you have permission to brag about it whenever the cards are summoned for pregame purposes.
2. Blackhawks headband
$10 each, toewsandkane.etsy.com
Getting your new friends to cheer for anything other than football will be next to impossible, but these Blackhawks headbands will fuel your inner fangirl.
3. Besk (Malort)
$16, Letherbee Distillers, select Binny's locations
But it's Chicago's favorite shot, you'll tell them. For 21-and-over co-eds, this small flask is the perfect way to bring Chicago to campus.
4. DIY Intelligentsia K-Cups
$15.99, Intelligentsia El Gallo breakfast blend; $14.99, Solofill refillable filter cup, Whole Foods
These DIY K-Cups will make you want to pull an all-nighter, and the smell of Intelligentsia in your dorm room will ease your homesickness. Simply add ground coffee to the reusable filter and pop into a Keurig.
5. Garrett Chicago Mix popcorn
$33, one gallon tub
Opening this tub of salty-sweet goodness will transport you to summertime on Michigan Avenue, sans tourists. Share with your RA for a free pass on just about anything.
6. Bears bunting
Six feet of Bears pride to hang just about anywhere. Your Lions-loving roomies won't know what hit 'em.
7. Chicago flag goodies
Clark Street Sports: $24.99, T-shirt; $19.99, tank; $34.99, flag
Have you ever seen a better-looking flag? Didn't think so. Wear it, fly it and love the heck out of it.
8. Cubs socks
Essential for the first half of December, when you realize the gas bill is under your name.
9. Vosges Mo's Milk Bar
Who's crazy enough to put bacon in a chocolate bar? A Chicago chocolatier, that's who. For vegetarians, try the coconut caramel and tart cherry bar ($7.50).
10. Chicago magnets
Pint-size magnets for your impossibly small fridge that holds nothing but water and fresh produce, right? Right.
11. "Hot Doug's: The Book"
Because your coffee table could use an upgrade. And the foie gras-covered sausage isn't going to explain itself.
12. Lou Malnati's pizza
$58.99 for two deep-dish pizzas, tastesofchicago.com
For an inconsolable case of homesickness, Lou Malnati's should do the trick. Frozen deep-dish pizzas are shipped on dry ice and ready to bake upon arrival. Optional: Lou Malnati's gift card ($10-$200, tastesofchicago.com): Dealer's choice: Lou's, Portillo's, Vienna Beef, Garrett Popcorn, Fannie May and more.
13. Skyline mug
This hand-painted mug will come in handy when you run out of bowls for ramen and mac ‘n’ cheese.
Morgan Olsen is a RedEye special contributor.
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