25 August 2014

gift ideas for a new student

I love approaching Autumn. I love getting ready to start a new academic year.
I have said it before, but for me, September feels like the start of the year far more than January ever does.

With that in mind, I though I would share a few ideas for gifts for stocking up and preparing new students. These are all things I was appreciative of or bought when I started university two years ago. To be honest these are all things I stock up on or would still use in my final year!
I know a few of you have children at university and I certainly have younger friends heading off for the first time. These are all items that would work well as leaving gifts or just as little extras that you may not have thought of.

Disclaimer: I am a woman at a British university. I don't know how much of this is applicable across the pond and I also know for sure that my brother would not appreciate being sent off to uni with a pretty mug. Just saying.

1. Slippers.  Living in halls during my first year I walked everywhere in slippers. Down to breakfast, to see my friends, to the library. I lived in a college where everything was contained in just a few buildings so slippers were essential and comfy.
Even if your student isn't in halls, accommodation can be chilly!
These sweet slippers are from Next. 

2. Stationary voucher. Space is always a premium when travelling to uni and I found that I didn't really know what I would need/use until I got there. I think a stationary voucher would make a great gift as it can be used to buy those heavier paper pads and folders once your student is at uni and has worked out what they need.
For UK based folks, I use Rymans as they offer a cracking student discount.

3. Photo gift card. So many of my friends take lots of photos at uni however have no idea where to print them. I use photobox for all my photo printing. A gift card can be used whenever you want and the photos can be delivered to your accommodation.

4. Storage bags. Hands down, one of the best things I bought for myself in my first year. These bags are super strong, look pretty and hold a huge amount of stuff. I used one for storing all my 'extras', one for holding quilts and bedding and one for washing. They look pretty out on display in your room and are great for packing up at the end of term. Also, they are super cheap. Can be found here. 

5. Key fob. I was presented with a lot of keys when I arrived at uni. Room key, accommodation block  key, library key. I promptly lost these in the depths of my handbag. A big chunky key fob is essential. A little boring but your student will thank you later. Can be found here.

6. Tins and loose change. Most university halls will have big washing machines which take small change. In our case £1.80. One of the best things my mum got me before I left was £20 split into 50ps, 20ps and 10ps. I put all this in a pretty tin and kept it solely for washing money.
Cath Kidston do a sweet set of tins but anything pretty would work and helps to set the money aside as just for washing (not for coffee shops. ahem).

7. A pretty mug. I drink a lot of tea. I appreciate a nice mug. A few nice mugs and a tin of biscuits breaks the ice in those first few days. The one pictured can be found here.

8. A proper wall calendar. My uni supplies us with a big academic wall calendar but it neither stays up or looks pretty. These calendars from the rifle paper company are just beautiful. I like a calendar to plan holidays, plan work and schedule in fun things!

9. A washing crib sheet. This would be really easy to make. My brother has one of these and though we laugh at it, it is very useful. On one side are all the washing symbols and what they mean, on the other is a description of different types of stain and what to use to get them out.

10. Graze Box. Snack box that arrives in the post. A lot of my friends at university have these boxes and really appreciate them. They can be set up as a gift and scheduled weekly or monthly. They contain four little snack pots and are a healthier option to chocolate and biscuits! Not that I would say no to chocolate and biscuits! Either way, food in the post has to be a good thing! Found here.


Julia said...

Abi this is inspired! I'm saving this for 3 years time when dd will hopefully be heading off to uni!

scrappyjacky said...

This will be so helpful to a lot of people,Abi.

Susanne said...

What a great list - I'm sure a couple of suitable substitutions could be made for the fellas.

Anonymous said...

Hi Abi!
That is a beautiful cup.
Also, being new to your blog, we are wondering what you are studying at uni -and where?
Smiling at you from the east coast of the US, m & jb

Lizzie said...

Oh, excellent post! I will try to add the link to my "Lizzie Likes" tab of useful & inspiring websites & posts!

Daphne said...

What a great list, Abi! Makes me feel young again and reminds me of my time in the 90s when I went to university!
I especially like the mug. You cannot have enough mugs, right?!

Sian said...

I think this is a fantastic post! What a great idea. TSO has been asking me all summer about organising a Graze box for her brother. I think she thinks a precedent might be a good idea..

debs14 said...

Some great ideas here Abi. Especially the loose change, I guarantee you can never have enough 20p pieces for laundry machines! I like the look of those colourful bags, I think one of those might come in useful around here too.

furrypig said...

Great ideas thanx Abi off to make a new pinterest board tho won't need this for 2 years!

furrypig said...

Great ideas thanx Abi off to make a new pinterest board tho won't need this for 2 years!

Ruth said...

This is a really fun post and I hope you have everything you need (and more) as you head off for your final year.

Mel said...

Great post! I never have any cash on me and its always a nightmare trying to find parking without cash!