Monday, July 22, 2013

Ready for College?

This post probably isn't about what you think it's about.  Oh well.

My niece/nephew is about a year away from going to college (well, I hope, we hope!) and has a birthday coming up.  And it's really hard to think of things for a birthday for this kid.  To be honest, that's great, because hir parents have enough money to provide the necessary stuff and more, and do.

So I'm thinking, what should a soon-to-be college student get for hir birthday?

I, too, have a summer birthday.  And between high school graduation and my summer birthday, I got some really great stuff for going away to college:

electric typewriter!  (Yeah, not so much now, but it was helpful then.)
stapler  (I still have it and use it in my home office.)
pencil sharpener (still have it, but mostly use mechanical pencils these days.)
luggage (well, a big steamer trunk.  My sibling got regular luggage, though.)
dictionary (again, still have it, and still works well for most dictionary tasks.)

Help with ideas, please!


  1. How I loved the electric typewriter I got for my birthday one year! I earned (small) wads of cash at college by typing up papers for people. It was a loyal companion for years, but I can't say that I miss its noise.

    I realize that this is not at all helpful.

  2. Well, following the theme of your list, I offer the following suggestions:

    --Pink Pearl Eraser (1 lg.)
    --geometry compass and protractor
    --deluxe desk set (pen, mechanical pencil, notepad, calculator)
    --coins for the pay phone

    Seriously, though, maybe food coupons for restaurants in the area of hir college?

  3. I was given a really good backpack with a built-in umbrella. I don't know if anyone makes such a thing anymore, but it was the best present I ever got. I used it for years, and the umbrella came in handy more than once.

  4. An easy to use cookbook, I think I've seen them aimed at cooking with appliances available in a dorm. Maybe include a can opener, a cold press coffee pot, a couple of microwave safe containers..

    A compact set of tools, maybe with a "how to fix stuff" kind of book.

    A laundry basket filled with stuff like soap, a laundry bag, clothes pins, a sewing kit, safety pins, stitchwithery, an iron etc.. and maybe extra-long twin sheets, a couple of towels, a bathrobe..

  5. If ze is going somewhere where it rains, go with delagar's idea. If a student was coming to college in island state, that is exactly what I would get them (because newcomers underestimate how much it actually rains here & so they buy crap little umbrellas instead of good small ones). I'm a big fan of Manhattan Portage for bags; they are indestructible and cool. I love mine.

    Stapler. I start all my writing classes with a mini lecture on the necessity of stapler. Real ones, not sparkly ones the size of a quarter.

    A lot of things I can think of FYS needing are money--money for printing, food, unexpected supplies, textbooks, busfare.

    A good, but smallish, printer. Students need a computer, and so everyone who can afford to brings one, but I hear FYS wishing they had printers too. In fact, I just read something this morning about a kid wishing he had a printer.

  6. I second the tool-kit suggestion. I gave each of my children a compact tool kit when they went to college, and they got a lot of use.

  7. My favorite going-to-college gift was one of those pillows with arms that you use to prop yourself up to read in bed. They make super fancy ones now with reading lights and side pockets, but mostly, in a dorm room, you need somewhere to sit other than a hard desk chair.

  8. Thank you all! These are great ideas!

    (Zie hasn't yet applied to colleges, so no telling where zie will end up. Somewhere zie will be happy is my only hope.)