Hey Santa! I’m glad you’re reading this. As the class of 2020 is wrapping up their first semester of college, they’re more than likely running low on basic supplies. Luckily, with the holidays approaching, there is a chance for everyone to restock. That being said, it is important you know exactly what it is us college kids need. If you’re shopping for a college student, here is a list of small, affordable things they are probably wanting or needing, but don’t want to buy.
1. Mini Clorox Wipes
It’s expensive to buy a whole closet worth of cleaning supplies, and no one really has room for that in a dorm or small apartment. Luckily, we live in an era with Clorox Wipes, the most versatile cleaning product on the market. In this last week alone I’ve used them to clean counter tops, mirrors, couches and my laptop’s keyboard. They’re gentle, but they work magic.
2. Spices and Seasonings
Cafeteria food gets boring. Here at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, most of the dorms are apartment-style and have full kitchens in them. Whether or not a student’s dorm does, though, dorm food can be bland. Ramen, rice and mac-n-cheese only go so far, for so long. Recently, I’ve been looking for ways to spice up the traditional dorm food. Lemon pepper, chili powder and garlic salt have all been helpful in making my cheap, quick meals a little more delectable.
College kids are broke, and often can only afford the essentials. Things like shampoo, body wash, toothpaste, etc. used to be boring gifts, but now I’m praying I’ll find them in my stocking. It’s not that I’ve run out, it’s that I am tired of spending my money on it when what I really want to do is buy a smoothie. If I get one bottle of shampoo in my stocking, not only do I get to avoid the store for a day (yay, minimal human interaction) but I also get to treat myself to something I’ll enjoy.
4. Amazon Gift Cards
The holidays fall in between the end of one semester and the beginning of another. This means students are probably stressing over getting supplies for their upcoming classes. Amazon gift cards rock because you can find nearly anything on the website, and for the most part, Amazon’s products are fairly priced. Whether a student needs books, pens, journals or Doritos, Amazon will be able to send it to them as soon as they realize they want it.
5. A Portable Charger
College students are constantly going, going, going. Whether we’re in the library studying, at a restaurant getting dinner or at a friend’s dorm playing Mario Kart, a dying phone can be stressful. Portable Chargers are handy because you don’t need to find an outlet in order to get power. These chargers can be found in nearly any store, and some of them even come as cases for phones!
6. Himalayan Salt Lamp Night Light
College is known for being anxiety inducing. Students don’t get enough sleep; they’re balancing class with work with a social life with family, and it is emotionally and physically draining. Himalayan salt lamps are incredible because their light pink light is soothing, they cleanse stuffy dorm room air through hygroscopy, and they can even increase energy levels. While I love my big salt lamp, I know that there are also small night light versions perfect for stockings.
7. USB Drive
Students need to bring their work everywhere they are. Whether it’s a Word document with an essay or a 10 minute long group video, USB drives can hold it all. They’re super handy, and there are some really cute ones for great prices. I’ve found ones shaped like R2D2, bananas, lipstick and even fingers. There’s a USB out there for everybody, and the best part about these is that you can never have too many!
While we all know that we have to pay for printing, not nearly enough people complain about the lack of staplers in college. That’s pretty worrisome considering most professors won’t accept papers turned in unstapled. Luckily, staplers are pretty easy to find at stores, and there are adorable ones to choose from, too. Having a stapler keeps students from running around the library 30 minutes before their essay is due, searching for one of the four free staplers. I’m sure in those moments, any student would be happy to own their own stapler.
9. Stickers, Buttons, Photos, etc.
In college there is only so much room and time to show off who you are as a person. Some things that I really rely on are my buttons for my backpack and the stickers on my laptop. As for my dorm, I use photos to show off what I do and who I love. Not only are photos good for expressing those things, but receiving them as a gift is always heart warming. For a relatively cheap price, stickers, buttons and photos are a great way to show any college student that they’re loved.
10. Anything and Everything Warm
Walking to class in the winter is the worst. Snow hasn’t even stuck yet at my school, but I dread walking across campus every day to get from class to class. If I reach into my stocking and pull out nothing but gloves, a hat, a scarf or hand warmers, I would be overjoyed. Then at least I would be a little less miserable leaving my cozy bed to face the cold. Even if I’m not feeling warm, I’ll still be feeling the love of such a thoughtful gift.
For the most part, college freshmen are easy to shop for. We still need help getting basic necessities, and now we’ll be excited to receive them. Not only that, but we’re going to be excited no matter what, we’re back home for a bit. I know I’m more excited for the holidays than I’ve been since I was little because I’m excited to spend time with everyone I love and miss. That being said, I’m excited for the chance of restocking my Clorox wipe stash, too.
Lead Image Credit: Srikanta via Unsplash