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13 Gifts Any Incoming College Freshman Will Appreciate

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Kate MurphyGuest Blogger
August 09, 2016 · 2.3k Views

Source: The Odyssey Online

Back-to-school season is just around the corner. Many will be starting a new chapter in life as they had off to their first semester of college. You remember those days well – being away from home for the first time, meeting people, and making discoveries. But most of all you remember sharing a miniscule dorm room with a complete stranger. There were so many things you wished you had at the time to make the space cozier and college life just a little bit easier. Now is your chance to help an incoming freshman out. Whether it’s your own child, a friend’s child, or niece or nephew who is off to college this fall, you will want to get them a gift that is both thoughtful and practical.


  1. Caffeine fix. There will be many late nights spent studying or just having fun. A morning dose of caffeine will help your college freshman get through the next day. The Keurig K1-/15 Brewing System doesn’t take up much space, makes coffee and tea, and is easy to maintain.

    Source: Bed Bath & Beyond

    Find this brewing system at Bed Bath & Beyond, but make sure you apply a coupon from DealsPlus before you make your purchase.

  2. Power up. One of the best things about that first year of college is always having something to do. A portable phone charger is a must for those days of back-to-back classes and evening activities. The Insignia Portable Charger comes in array of stylish colors.

    Source: Best Buy

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  3. Tune out. In a college dorm, there is now such thing as quiet hours. Headphones will help drown out the noisy neighbors and come in handy during long study stretches as the library. Check out the Hesh 2 Wireless headphones from Skullcandy.

    Source: Skullcandy

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  4. Clean Sheets. In college, you take sleep when you can get it. So when the chance of sleep finally comes, tucking in between soft and cozy sheets will feel like heaven. Sweet dreams await in these Charter Club 500 Thread Count Pima Cotton Sheets from Macy’s.

    Source: Macy's
  5. Carry on. Carrying books, a computer, and all the extras to class will be made easier with a smartly designed backpack. Herschel is known for their classic, durable products like the Heritage Backpack, which has a 15” laptop sleeve.

    Source: Herschel Supply
  6. Tech accessories. Not many still take notes the old fashioned way with a notebook and pencil. Chances are, your incoming college freshman will be using an iPad or similar gadget to manage their studies. This Kate Spade iPad Hardcase from Macy's is chic, protective and has a built in kickstand to make taking notes and surfing the Internet easy.

    Source: Macy's

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  7. Gift cards. College students are always low on cash. Eating out at a restaurant or going to the movies are rare luxuries that happen about once a semester. Gift cards to Whole Foods, Target, Starbucks, Olive Garden, or Chili's will be most appreciated most appreciated.

    Source: Delish
  8. Functional décor. A decorative throw pillow will add some color to a drab dorm room and can be used to rest a weary head. Target has a great pillow selection with lovely items like this watercolor print pillow.

    Source: Target

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  9. Organization is key. Within a couple of weeks, the college dorm desk becomes an unloading dock and disappears under stacks of papers, books, and other miscellaneous items. Cool desktop accessories like these stackable bins from The Container Store will help keep the area organized.

    Source: The Container Store

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  10. Bookends. Maintaining a tidy desktop is essential to productivity. Rather than throwing books wherever, bookends help keep track of books so they are always at arm’s reach. These beautiful agate bookends from West Elm are not only functional but make a wonderful decorative accent.

    Source: West Elm

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  11. Wrist it. A wristlet holds things like a student ID, bankcard, and cash and dorm keys can be affixed to the strap. It’s incredibly useful for short runs to meet friends at the dining hall and fits easily in a purse or backpack. Check out the wristlet selection available at Nordstrom.

    Source: Humble Chic

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  12. Write it down. These days, our thoughts and ideas are typed straight onto a computer or phone screen. But sometimes, it just feels good to write things down. Similar black notebooks to the Moleskine Classic were used by the likes of Ernest Heminghway, Oscar Wilde, and Pablo Picasso.

    Source: Pulp Addiction

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  13. Mirror, mirror on the wall. Dorms usually come equipped with one full-length that hangs on the back of the door. Even if two roommates totally get along, sharing it to get ready in the morning is not always going to be a pleasant start to the day. Small hanging mirrors like these ones from Urban Outfitters not only remedy the situation, but also help make the space seem bigger.

    Source: Urban Outfitters

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catherinemurphy profile picture
Kate Murphy is a native of Pennsylvania. After receiving a degree in art history, she moved to New York City to test the waters. She enjoys writing about art, culture, fashion, design, and travel. In addition to writing, Kate works with artists, leads, street art tours, and moonlights as an illustrator.

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