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Graduation Gift from Relatives?

figgeryfiggery 42 replies1 threads Junior Member
Our relatives are asking us for graduation gift suggestions -- especially those gifts that would be useful for our daughter to use at college. As this is our first child leaving the nest, I don't know the best items to put on a college wish list.

Please share your ideas for favorite/essential items to start them off on their collegiate journey.
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Replies to: Graduation Gift from Relatives?

  • happy1happy1 24036 replies2408 threads Super Moderator
    Would you feel comfortable asking for a gift card to a place like Target, Amazon, Bed Bath & Beyond so your child can pick out things he/she likes?

    There are lots of lists online of what to bring to college that you can google. Some ideas offhand might be: noise cancelling headphones, surge protector with USB ports, desk lamp, alarm clock (many use phones but I think it is nice to have an alarm clock), small toolkit, towels, pillows, desk supplies (stapler, tape etc.), electric kettle.......
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  • TheGFGTheGFG 6082 replies213 threads Senior Member
    edited May 26
    My kids weren't coffee drinkers, but some students adore their Keurig. If your student will be driving to campus, you might consider buying a dorm refrigerator or microwave rather than renting.
    edited May 26
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  • figgeryfiggery 42 replies1 threads Junior Member
    edited May 26
    Thanks for the ideas.

    She will likely make a wish list on Amazon that we can share, rather than asking for gift cards.

    I have seen the lists online...but I imagine some of those items end up not being very useful and just take up space. I'm really looking for those "can't-live-without" items from veteran collegiate parents, which is why I decided to ask here.

    If there was one must have item, what was it??
    edited May 26
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  • doschicosdoschicos 26687 replies268 threads Senior Member
    Definitely check the college's restrictions. Some don't allow tea kettles. Some supply fridges/microwaves and you can only use those (true at one of the colleges attended by one of my kids).

    Keurigs might be popular with some students but they will be scoffed at by others. Not green at all.
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  • PrdMomto1PrdMomto1 562 replies7 threads Member
    My daughter became a big tea drinker in college. So for her a gift of assorted teas, honey, a nice mug, etc. She also is a healthish eater so we recently got her a monthly subscription to a service that sends her a box of healthy snacks. Last year she had a subscription to pura vida jewelery club which was fun too. A nice planner might be a good idea. Gift cards to favorite restaurants close to the college. A decent quality umbrella. A raincoat/boots if she's going somewhere it might rain a lot. Long phone charger cords. Headphones/ear buds. A book light if she's a reader (my daughter likes to read before she goes to bed). Fairy lights to decorate her room.
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  • songbirdmamasongbirdmama 485 replies23 threads Member
    In a dorm, can't live without a bathroom caddy for toiletries. Having a memory foam mattress topper in twin XL is also nice as dorm mattresses aren't particularly lush.
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  • jenericjeneric 396 replies0 threads Member
    D18 goes to school in FL, umbrella, mini fridge and space saving hangers. We also got her a headboard that she hung with command strips. Most people gave her gift cards or checks and we made a wish list on Amazon. Oh and she does love her mattress topper!
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  • SuperfrogFanSuperfrogFan 61 replies3 threads Junior Member
    Having just returned to campus to clean out here are some things that were very useful, in addition to the great suggestions above.
    I received a soft bath towel with my name embroidered- ensures there will be no mix ups with others.
    A beach towel / blanket to sit out on the grass to study / hang out with friends.
    Frisbee
    A mid sized "purse" as I didn't really have a cute neutral bag to carry things around yet (big backpack person).
    A durable hamper that they got from Land's End
    A small wallet thing??? Basically holds my ID, keys, cards, cash in a small pouch and hangs from a lanyard- always on me.
    Crocs Flip Flops for shower shoes- as ugly as they may be they are some of the most comfortable footwear I have had the pleasure of wearing
    Battery powered lights with clothespins to hang pictures. ticket stubs, etc (check on college rules- mine were LED, but other kinds were prohibited)
    Small decorative signs and posters (make sure that you might know your daughter's theme however)

    And my favorite- A small throw pillow my mom ordered personalized online- color of my school, with name and meaning that creates a cute accent on my bed, and made me think of her :)
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  • gardenstategalgardenstategal 6674 replies10 threads Senior Member
    A backpack that fits a laptop and is waterproof if the high school one needs replacing. (This is more personal). A large, light rolling duffel (i like the ll bean ones) that collapses so takes up less storage room when notin use. Packing squares are not only great for travel - they can be a good way to keep things organized in drawers or in underbed storage.

    Gift cards, especially for Amazon, can be really useful.
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  • SammoJSammoJ 231 replies2 threads Junior Member
    A steamer. S19, who just finished his freshman year, asked for that for his bday coming up.
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  • MassmommMassmomm 4228 replies85 threads Senior Member
    Mattress topper. You want one that lasts all four years, even after being rolled and stored all summer. My son's split, and we had to replace it.
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  • MAmom111MAmom111 294 replies15 threads Member
    Here’s what we’ve gotten my daughter for next year:
    IKEA Frakta bags (for packing)
    Vacuum space bags (for packing)
    Gel mattresss topper (at least 3 inch)
    Mattress pad
    Comforter twin XL
    Sheets twin XL
    fan
    Storage drawers or bins
    Safe for meds or $$/gift cards
    Hamper
    Foldable laundry basket
    Quick dry towels
    Robe
    Shower shoes & caddy
    Power strip
    Desk lamp
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  • bjscheelbjscheel 733 replies5 threads Member
    Extra long (10') phone charger. In case the outlets aren't handy to the bed/nightstand.
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  • PrdMomto1PrdMomto1 562 replies7 threads Member
    Is she going to school oos? We live in Wisconsin and my D was going to school in Texas so we bought a couple of cute things that represented that. One was a mug that showed the state of Wisconsin and the state of Texas with an airplane flying between them. Another was a shirt that said, "Life took me to Texas but I'll always be a Wisconsin girl." Both were from etsy.

    We also bought a few of her friends compass necklaces that were really cute that were packaged with "Enjoy the Journey" cards.

    I can't post links here but if you want any, message me.
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  • SJ2727SJ2727 2706 replies14 threads Senior Member
    Will she be cooking at all? The trader joe college cookbook was one of my daughter’s favorite items from her freshman year.
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  • bopperbopper Forum Champion CWRU 14507 replies106 threads Forum Champion
    A gift my SIL gave my DD was a bulletin board (the kind with the ribbons crisscrossed) with a bunch of gift cards.

    I would say an amazon gift card would be the most flexible in terms of what you get.
    You could also have your child make an amazon wish list and people could buy things off of that.

    If your daughter is going to school where you have to drive a long way to get there, it is better to get things like mattress toppers delivered to her.
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  • thumper1thumper1 78321 replies3530 threads Senior Member
    The one thing we bought that my kid said she was so happy to have was a cushion for the hard wooden desk chair.

    Surge protector is also essential.
    In a dorm, can't live without a bathroom caddy for toiletries

    My kids both had hallway bathrooms. We got a bath caddy for kid one. That kid never used it...actually didn’t even take it back with him second year. We hung onto it...and gave it to kid 2. That kid never used it either. I think it still had the tags on it when that kid donated it to the college charity tag sale.

    Ask your kid...mine found it easy enough to carry soap, shampoo and a towel to the bathroom.
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  • figgeryfiggery 42 replies1 threads Junior Member
    Thanks!! These are all great ideas. 😄
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  • happymomof1happymomof1 30768 replies197 threads Senior Member
    ^^^^ This. Cash is the best. People might prefer ideas about "things" because what they truly can afford to give would look stingy in a check. But heck cash is cash. When the student gets to college and finds out what really is needed (textbooks?? notebooks?? paintbrushes?? theatrical makeup?? dressmaker's shears?? lunch?? just to mention items that Happykid ended up needing) cash will make the difference.
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