Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Gifts for Grads

Gifts for Grads
I'm a really big fan of practical gifts in general, but especially for graduation. I remember when I was graduating and I didn't even know what to ask for because I wasn't sure what I'd need, but now that I've been in a while, I feel like I can vouch for the necessities.
Firstly, money is always great. Always. But falling in that category are gift cards and rolls of change for the pesky laundry machines in the dorms. I never had coins and always had to find random ways to make change at 8 o'clock on Sunday nights, so I would've appreciated being sent off with a cute change jar. Also, gift cards and a seriously big help. When I graduated, my boss and some of my coworkers put in for a bunch of gift cards for me and they were awesome! They just picked a few general places that they have everywhere (Subway, Walmart - great for when you're broke and need gas too!- Starbucks, Izzo's, Yogurtland, etc) and whenever I was hungry but also broke - everyday of my life -  they really came in handy!
If we're talking school supplies, the best splurge item is a good backpack. I am really in love with my North Face one (I have the Borealis style), but Patagonia and a few other companies also make them. They're water resistant, hold everything, and still feel comfortable, unlike the cutesy Vera Bradley one I started with that fell apart my sophomore year. To go in your back pack at all times, I'd suggest a good water bottle. I have a Camelbak and love it, but anything that's not disposable is good because you're not constantly buying bottles. I also have an LSU Tervis Tumbler and that's my favorite for coffee/hot chocolate because it's easy to wash. Another handy thing to have is a good rain coat. Again, I chose a North Face one because I'm familiar with them and they're really good quality, but really anything that is lightweight and can be folded up to keep in your backpack is a good'un.
In the dorm supplies category, if you want  full packing list, you can see my printable one here, but I'd say any easy dorm decorations are good idea. Cute cork boards, picture frames, wooden letters, etc are easy to transport into your dorm and move year to year, but they really take a boring dorm and make it feel a bit homier. For the coffee addicts out there, a Keurig is a seriously good gift. All of my friends had one freshman year and they're really convenient because they only make one cup, work super fast, and they're much better than having to drag yourself to the dining hall before breakfast. 
Lastly, in the miscellaneous category, something I'd wish I had before my first day were my college's spirit shirts. I know that sounds trivial, but really the majority of my causal tshirts were from high school and I was not going to wear that to class. I ended up buying a few throughout my first year, but I still don't have as many as I would like, and it does make you feel like you belong a bit more, so if you're stuck for what to give a recent grad, those are easy to get your hands on and relatively cheap! Anything in that family is actually really good, because I loved getting LSU keychains, tumbler cups, sweatshirts, etc when I graduated. Last but not least, a good duffle bag is a must. It can hold everything you need to bring home on a long weekend, but it can also hold your laundry for laundry runs and it's something that you don't think about until you need it. Again, I started out with my Vera Bradley matching set and soon found out that it's always better to invest in quality before cuteness, so I'd recommend a good grown up one that'll last throughout the years. (I love the J. McLaughlin ones, but Marley Lily has a few budget friendly options, and they can both be monogrammed).
Hope these ideas helped, and good luck to all those graduating really soon! Soak it all in and enjoy it!

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