Last year at this time, my daughter was dreaming of finishing her senior year in high school and heading off to college. Knowing this, many friends and family members tried to buy gifts that would help her during her freshman year. Unfortunately, many of those gifts, though well intended and appreciated, were rarely used and, come move-in day, her father and I were scrambling to find the things we did not know she needed until the moment we opened her dorm-room door.
As she began to settle into her classes, more things were added to the list. As the matriarch survivor of a child’s freshman year of college, I decided to write a gift guide to highlight a few items that your favorite student is sure to use.
1. Twin XL bedding
That’s one of those things I found out last minute, and I wish I would have know in advance. Twin XL mattresses are pretty much the dorm-room norm across the country; as an extra precaution, check with the applicable college regarding mattress sizes in their freshman dorms. Unfortunately Twin XL bedding is not always readily available in non-college towns and/or throughout all times of the year. When you find them available in stores — usually right before classes begin — there is a serious rush on them and selection is often very limited. With a little search I found a site that carries Twin XL bedding in lots of designs. Isn’t that awesome? Ohhhhhh if I had only known! (TwinXL $120)
2. Flash drive
This is one of those things my daughter could not live without. She took it from class to class, library to dorm room, and any place she needed to work, so she could pull up her work anywhere. The flash drive above is from Walmart. (Walmart, $13)
3. Single-cup coffee maker
There will be lots of late-night cram sessions during the freshman year, and there’s nothing like a good cup of Joe to get them up and keep them going. The adorable one above is from Target and comes in various colors. (Target, $110)
4. Mini wallet with keychain
This was another must-have for my daughter. It helped keep her dorm key, money, bank card, license and student ID all in one place. The clear slot makes it super-easy to show a student ID when checking into the dorm. The one above is available from Coach. (Coach, $50)