The holiday season is upon us, and with those tidings of joy come the headaches associated with gift giving. Your student may have finished shopping for friends and family, but chances are you haven’t finished shopping for your student. If you are having a difficult time trying to come with a gift for the college student in your life, we’re here to help. Here are some great gift ideas to show your SUNY student how much you care!
- Professional Clothing – It’s never too early to begin thinking about professional attire for those in college. Whether you just need a few key pieces or an entire wardrobe, at this time of year clothing retailers offer great discounts on items like suits, ties, and dresses. Many of the items for sale during the winter can also be worn year-round, so make sure whatever you buy is also durable and comfortable enough for the warmer months. When looking for wardrobe staples, it is also a good idea to invest in a good piece of jewelry, like a watch. It will help you not only get to where you need to be on time, but help make a great first impression during an interview. Nothing says “college student” more than whipping out your cell phone to check the time. Before handing over your credit card, look for guidelines on appropriate work wear from professional sites suited to your industry or guidelines posted directly from your school. SUNY Maritime offers some helpful advice for dressing for interviews.
- A wallet filled with all the necessities – For all of those emergencies, midnight snacks and morning coffee runs, cash and gift cards make the perfect present. Cash is the easiest item to load in a wallet, but for those who want to go the gift card route, we suggest ones tailored to interests or needs. Gift cards for a favorite clothing or electronics store, gas, movie theater, the school bookstore, or a coffee house are always a hit with the college crowd. If you’re feeling extra-generous, a AAA membership card comes in very handy in the northeast when your car just won’t start.
- Survival kits for the cold winter months – The bitter winter weather is here and college students, more than anyone are dealing with it. Walking to class in knee-deep snow and ice, shoveling out cars, and living in drafty dorms are just a part of the college experience. To help your student be prepared, send them off to school with the necessities. Whether it is a winter car emergency kit (with a AAA membership, hand warmers, blankets, road flares, jumper cables and a shovel), coffee lovers kit (coffee pot, selection of coffee and a portable mug), outdoor gear (hats, gloves, scarves and lip balm) or just some inside activities (board games, books and DVDs), these gifts helps anyone get through those long winter days and nights.
- Cookbooks and family recipes – One of the most pervasive stereotypes of college is that college students survive on nothing but beef jerky and Ramen noodles. Make sure your student is getting the nutrition they need and learning to cook at the same time by purchasing some cook books or copying favorite family recipes. Cook books don’t have to be anything fancy. There are even ones designed just for college students with simple recipes that do not require much equipment. Just make sure it is something they want to cook and that the directions are easy to follow. You can also make copies of favorite family recipes, which is inexpensive and a great reminder of home if your student is far away.
- Tablet computer – Tablets are becoming a valuable teaching and learning tool in many colleges. Students can take notes, download reading and other files for class, and study with digital flashcards. They are also much lighter and easier to transport than a laptop might be. Tablets may be a more affordable alternative to purchasing a traditional desktop or laptop computer for you. Your student can use this for class and supplement with a more powerful machine at the campus library. Before you go ahead and purchase one, do your homework! Assess what your student’s needs are along with price and technology, and read through online reviews and buying guides. There are many tablet options available to suit any student’s needs.