College Unboxed

Connecting Students To The Local Businesses

College unboxed is a marketing platform that aims to solve a core issue of every college town: connecting students to the local businesses in their community. We function as a subscription box being delivered to students once per month, bringing not only local products but also local experiences like restaurants, coffee shops, gyms, and more.

Every college student should have the opportunity to immerse themselves in their local community. unboxed was started to create that opportunity for everyone. As a freshman going to school seven hours away from my hometown, I was a complete and total disaster.

We are talking not being able to cook, not being able to create a basic spending budget, not knowing where to go to have fun, and overall, having no idea of how to adult. Eventually, I figured that if I put a little time into making myself healthy, explored the city around me, and got better at organizing school stuff, I would be pretty much set to not freak out about growing up.

College unboxed is pretty much me putting all of the tools that helped me be healthy, adventurous and smart in Gainesville into a box and sending it to anybody who might need some help adulting in this city.

My best friend in college, very much like myself, is a first-generation college student in America, and she also struggled in our first years of school. She is paying for her entire education entirely on her own with the help of scholarships.

Her family is so incredibly proud of her and so supportive, but to be honest, they don’t truly understand the weight of that cost.In a phone conversation (that is now quite funny) with her mom, her mom asked her the genuine question, “Mija, what do you mean I don’t help you pay for college?

I sent you $30 this month!” Those $30—or in our language, 3 days’ worth of Starbucks—meant a lot to her mom financially but not a lot to us as students. So the question then became, “How can we turn those $30 into something meaningful?”

The answer was to ask some of our peers (to be more specific: about 700 of them) about the things they struggled the most with when they started, transferred to, or emigrated for college. We narrowed it down to three main areas: knowledge, self, and exploration.

As a big believer in both business and the potential of Gainesville the next step was obvious: what are the companies that are already addressing those issues?

How can we get what they offer and make it fit in a box that we ship to students for $30 every month? From tutoring companies to laundry on-demand, to coffee, soap, and snacks,Gainesville has done a beautiful job of creating resources to help students live better.

We want to hand this community’s beautiful work into the hands of students who need it. In every box, you’ll find the following:

  • Three items that will help you accomplish your academic and professional goals (from free tutoring coupons to office supplies to planners along with studying strategy and techniques)
  • Three items that will help you stay healthy (from snacks to tea to essential oils and free workouts or meditation sessions from local experts)
  • Three items that will help you explore the city (from shirts, sunglasses, chargers, and more to exclusive coupons for local restaurants, events, and other activities)

This is an opportunity for unboxed to learn how to empower the local community and its students in Gainesville first at both the University of Florida and Santa Fe College to then be able to expand this model to every college town in America.

It is an opportunity for us to learn how to convey the essence of a city so that one day we can create boxes that deliver what you might want to experience from Turin, Italy, on a trip. Or Austin, Texas, if you’re transferred there for work. As a person who has moved houses 24 times in my 21 years of life, I know how hard change can be but I also believe that making wherever you are feel like home is an important power to have.

College Unboxed

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