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Best Gift Ideas for a Freshman Entering College

written by: Nicole Borkoski•edited by: Amanda Grove•updated: 7/1/2010

Are you struggling with what sort of gift to get a college freshman in your house? Read on for some ideas.

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    Great Gift Ideas!

    Freshman year of college is a time of change that can include stress and joy. One way of alleviating this stress is a gift for the freshman in your life! Here are some of the best gift ideas for a freshman just starting college.

    I chose to go to college out of state, and my first year was very hard and lonely for me. My mom, on a weekly basis, would send me care packages. I can’t even tell you how much I looked forward to those care packages. It reminded me that I had people in the world who loved me. Each week, my mom would mail a small package containing some of my favorite food, a small gift and a love note.

    Another great gift I received when I was a freshman (13 years ago!) was a quilted blanket of the school I was attending. It was such a great gift because it made me feel like I was part of the school and that I belonged there. In fact, I still use the blanket every day.

    Does your freshman need some motivation to do well and look towards graduation? The last amazing gift I received while at college was an empty frame emblazoned with my school’s name that would eventually hold my diploma. I wanted to make sure I could actually put my diploma in the frame, so it made me work harder and gave me something to shoot for!

    Who Moved My Cheese by Spencer Johnson, MD, is a great book about change, and how we all adapt to change. If we don’t adapt in a healthy manner, we will get left behind or stay stuck in an unhealthy rut. Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen R. Covey, is another great book that talks about the habits that effective people follow. For example, the first habit is about being proactive. What great lessons and gift ideas for college students!

    Most freshmen have no idea what it entails to live on their own. A great gift would be to stock a bunch of necessities (laundry detergent, cleaning supplies, quarters, paper towels, plastic silverware, etc.) into a large laundry basket. Quarters are key! Most dorms have washers and dryers in the basement, so they would be especially helpful. You could also buy a backpack and stock it with essentials like paper, folders, a planner, highlighters, pens, pencils and notebooks. All of these items get expensive for a freshman to buy.

    Last but not least, gift certificates are always great. Think of your freshman’s favorite restaurants. Dorm food can get old pretty quickly, so a trip out to a restaurant would be great! Once your freshman gets to school, he or she may want to join a fraternity or sorority which can be quite expensive. Perhaps you would want to donate money to toward the Greek system to help brighten your freshman’s day!