It seems like just yesterday that I was stuffing my 1993 Honda Civic full of clothing, an old stereo, a box of CD’s, and heading off to my freshmen year of college. I was so young, invincible, and did I mention, completely broke. I remember very fondly receiving some parting gifts from close friends and family that literally got me through the first 3 months of college. It seems fitting then that I document in this post 5 incredibly useful gifts for college bound freshmen. I can honestly say that a couple of these gifts saved my butt on more than one occasion.
When I was in college I can remember running down the dorm hallway looking to bum items like band-aids, Neosporin, and even itch relief cream when I got poison oak. Help your college bound student avoid this and create an emergency kit with items that most college students completely forget about, but will inevitable need over the course of their time in school. Other items include a screwdriver, 4 AA batteries, chapstick, tweezers, gauze, ace bandage, Advil, and mending tape.
Dorm Survival Kit
This is a different take on the emergency kit, instead of filling a gift basket with band aids and Advil, fill it with stuff to make dorm living a little more enjoyable and tolerable. My Mom was sweet enough to create one for me when I went away to college. It made such an impression on me that I still remember many of its contents. The items I remember to this day include a book light, post-it notes, deck of cards, 5 Snickers bars, and even a Domino’s Pizza gift card that I used on the night when the cafeteria was serving shepherd’s pie.
Online Gift Card
An online gift card also makes a great gift for a college freshman, especially since you can put as much money on the card as you are comfortable with giving. College students are notoriously strapped for cash so a gift card to buy some music on iTunes or some new threads at American Eagle is a sure fire way to provide some entertainment. Assuming all homework has been finished of course. Can you tell I have three elementary-aged kids of my own?
Grocery Store Gift Card
I can remember like it was yesterday, being at college during the first month just wishing I had some money to go the local grocery store and buy some snacks and not have to rely on cafeteria food for all my meals. Do a couple minutes research on the Internet and find out what grocery stores are close to the college campus of your recipient and buy them a gift card. Believe me, the gift card will be a huge hit and a gift they will treasure until the last cent is spent.
Organizer or Planner
While most can’t afford to give a college bound student a new laptop or smartphone to keep their life organized, a nice alternative is an organizer or planner. For under $20, it makes a useful gift that any college student would appreciate and hopefully use. If nothing else they can use it to keep track of upcoming tests and when term papers are due.
About Kyle James: Kyle runs the day-to-day operations of a coupon website called Rather-Be-Shopping.com which has been featured in the New York Times and on NBC’s Today Show.