Need a graduation gift idea?

*photos added*
I found it! I found my contents list for the awesome college survival kits I made for Brittany and Dillon!

These are great kits–the idea is so cute and unique, and best of all USEFUL! Both Brittany and Dillon commented on some of the items and the fact that they never would have thought about bringing them, but they were thrilled to have them. This gift is very adaptable because you can execute it on any gift budget. If you wanted to spend a larger amount of money, you can include gift cards to Target, Amazon, local eateries, a bookstore, or even iTunes in this package. You could throw in an iPod or other pricey item. At its most minimal, this can be made as a cute, low-cost gift with a small selection of the items I will list.

I used bath caddies as the foundation of the gift, as a basket. Specifically, a shower caddy with holes for drainage (this is vital!). You can typically find them at Target or a similar store in the summer (in college planning time). When I had filled the caddy I put the whole thing inside a cellophane bag (can be purchased at a craft store) and tied it with ribbon. I then strung this list onto the ribbon on the outside. All throughout the graduation party people were gathering around these baskets to look at them and chuckle.

College Survival Kit

You will need many things to survive college. The most important are your desire to learn and work ethic in completing your assignments. But the following items should help as well:

  • A popup hamper and laundry bag for dorm laundry days.
  • Flip flops for those dorm shower floors (don’t leave home without them!)
  • Index cards, pens and pencils–don’t forget to study!
  • A planner to get homework deadlines, finals schedules, and maybe parties, too…
  • Top Ramen for late-night study sessions
  • Funny magnets (in a world of whiteboards, magnets are king!)
  • Highlighters for marking up those expensive books
  • A shower caddy to carry your things in style, and soap case
  • A stain stick and lint roller to look presentable when you need to
  • Antibacterial wipes so you can clean up without trudging to the bathroom
  • Febreeze for that stinky roommate…
  • A carabiner clip–you can stick it on your belt loops, towel, etc. so you never lock yourself out of your dorm room
  • Cute frame (don’t forget us at home)
  • Sticky notes for marking your books and cute file folders to stay organized

I’ve made these a few times with some variations, but you’ll find a lot of these “lifesavers” to be lesser known but really important. I put a ton of thought into this and I think it pays off when the college student unpacks this basket in his or her new dorm room. Definitely the shower caddy and flip flops are essentials…in fact, you could a “dorm shower” themed gift with toiletries and disinfecting products. 🙂

Some alternatives:

  • A bookbag and/or reusable grocery bags (for holding all kinds of things)
  • Flash drive
  • Retractable card holder (this clips to you and you can pull your ID card out to open doors, etc. – the ID card is your room key, wallet, etc. in college)
  • Stationery pre-filled with your address (or that of family) and stamps to encourage them to write home
  • Lysol spray
  • Laundry detergent and an instruction card on how to do laundry (you’d be surprised how few college students know how!)
  • A calling card
  • Earplugs for the annoying/snoring/partying roommate situation
  • A reed diffuser*
  • Door-mounting dry erase board (everyone MUST have one) and/or cork board
  • University sweatshirt/gear
  • Towel/robe (they make towels with velcro that hold themselves around you, or a terry robe to wear from shared bathroom back to dorm room)
  • Slippers
  • Christmas lights/paper lantern to decorate

It is incredible to me that it’s been SIX years since I graduated, and TEN years since I entered, college! I suppose I should stop feeling like the experienced recent grad and should start thinking “that was back in my day – things have probably changed.” Which is weird and bizarre and a little bit unfathomable.

*Okay, as you can see, I clearly have some stink issues…if you’re wondering why I keep suggesting products that make your environment smell better, well, it’s because I had a year of really smelly roommates. They were girls. I know you didn’t think girls did that. I moved out halfway, but before I could, I had lost 8 pounds just from lack of appetite because it was so gross. True story.

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