Your friend’s brother’s niece is off to college, and for some reason, you feel obligated to send them a going-away gift. Or maybe it’s your cousin, nephew, friend, or sibling. Either way, buying for a college student can be tricky, given the limited space inside their dorm room. Still, it’s a really nice gesture. So how do you get this right? Young adults are nowhere near as easy as kids when it comes to gifts. Great gift ideas for new college students are hard to come by. And there are a lot of questions to ask yourself. How much should you spend, how appropriate is your gift, is it too conservative, and so on. Luckily, we have four great gift ideas to inspire you.
Without further ado, here are four easy gift ideas for a college freshman that they’re sure to find useful.
Gift Ideas For New College Students: 4 Great Ideas For An Excellent Gift
1. Hanging Lights For Their Walls
Student dorms can be somewhat bleak. However, the fact that they are impersonal is a good thing. Why? Because each student can personalize it to match their personality. Now, it terms of college dorm decorum, there is a design element that is not only really cute but also universally acceptable: lights. Students can make their space a little cozier by stringing up some lights above their bed or desk. Even if space is limited, lights probably won’t interfere too much with other decorations or furniture. This is an easy way to contribute to their aesthetic while also (literally) providing a little light in their life.
2. A Coffee Subscription
Young adults are really into coffee! Whether it’s a super-complicated Starbucks coffee or a simple iced-coffee, this beverage is very popular with students. This is especially true during finals. Finals are rough for anyone, but they can feel especially overwhelming for freshmen. Feed their coffee addiction, and subsequent all-nighters, by sending them the best coffee subscription you can find. That being said, check first to make sure they have a way to roast their own coffee in the dorm room!
If you’re unsure about roasting their own coffee, then consider buying them a coffee maker. That can really put a smile on their face! Consider opting for something affordable, with little to no maintenance. Students don’t really have time for chores.
3. Regional Weather-Appropriate Gear
Maybe they grew up in southern California and are en route to Michigan. Or they’re from New York about to enter California. Either way, they’re probably missing some essential gear that only locals and the Internet know about. Rain boots, sunglasses, warm mittens for snow, or a beach towel might all be appropriate and thoughtful gifts.
You can do a quick google search on various student forums or Facebook groups and ask around. Students or ex-students can definitely give you great ideas and suggestions!
4. Something Ridiculous
Vague, sure, but this is a tip that will give them a good conversation-starter at parties and maybe even also a laugh before they leave. Consider drunken cookbooks, beer can holders for the shower, or even a bullhorn — they’re sure to appreciate your zany sense of humor.
You can also take into consideration their are of interest. Provided you know them well enough, you can really get this right. For example, if they are into medicine or are going to med school, you can buy them a blow-up doll. It will be really fun, though it can also be super-inappropriate. Getting the right kind of ridiculous gift can be challenging. There’s a fine line between ridiculous and funny and ridiculous and inappropriate.
As you can tell, shopping for soon-to-be college students is no easy task. But by considering their unique situation, sense of humor, and even planned discipline, there are a plethora of gift ideas out there for the taking. From useful subscriptions to funny gifts, you are bound to find the right one eventually. Don’t shy away from doing some online research beforehand, or even ask people online for suggestions. You’d be surprised how much valuable information you can get from actual students. Good luck!