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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wiery View Post
    I was going to suggest a case of beer and a box of condoms, but since you are her aunt, something more circumspect might be better...
    Although she's a good Canadian girl, her taste runs more to fruity coolers than beer

    As for the condoms, if she's anything like her mother at that age, she's well acquainted with the concept.

    A printer is also a good gift if she doesn't already have one.
    Another good idea - if I did go that route, I'd get a gift card for the local Staples for the inevitable costly ink refills.

    If the bathrooms are down the hall, a nice robe and flip flops are wonderful to have.
    I like this idea too, maybe with a cute tote to take her toiletries with her? This might be a good gift when it's time to actually go off to college, will keep in mind.

    Everyone's being so very helpful - thank you so much!

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karina1974 View Post
    You'd have been in deep shit if anything had happened. My college had a no-tolerance policy on the "Do Not Bring" list. .
    Yes, well, everyone's college is different, and I'm sure she weighed whatever possibilities there were with hers. I'm sure she is already aware of whether or not she would have been in 'deep shit.'


    Anyway, you absolutely cannot go wrong with a fridge and I have never heard of a dorm in a college that didn't allow them. A mini-fridge can be a lifesaver sometimes. I think she (and her parents!) would be very grateful. I agree that a printer is also a really, really good idea, and a microwave. As others have said, though, I wouldn't get the microwave outright as it may not be allowed.

  3. #23

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    I'll second the Keurig idea as long as you include the My K Cup so she can use her own coffee, and maybe a gift certificate for some more cups.

    The linens are a really good idea as well - neutral and fluffy towels are great to have, along with a bath sheet.
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    An additional concern about buying a refrigerator now for potential use in a dorm next fall: Much of the warranty would run out before initial use.

    Do colleges no longer supply linens? When I was in school 1969-1972, my university (large state school) provided fresh linens every week. We could have used our own, but that would have meant more laundry for us to do.

    Some things that were popular when I was in school, though again they would be specific to the dorm:

    - covered foam pad for window seat, and back rest
    - beads to hang in interior doorway
    - throw rug (we had vinyl tile floors, no carpeting)

  5. #25
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    even when I went to college 20 years ago the school did not provide linens. The idea of that is both and
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  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by acraven View Post
    An additional concern about buying a refrigerator now for potential use in a dorm next fall: Much of the warranty would run out before initial use.
    I think some of you are missing a key point here. I want to give her an impressive gift now before anyone else thinks of starting on college stuff.

    But seriously, lots of really good food for thought here, and do keep it coming because some of this might end up being next year's Christmas gifts when she's been there a couple of months. From friends' kids' experiences, that first semester can be the hardest emotionally, so maybe that's the time to give her the more homey stuff. For now, I think the cool grown up stuff is perhaps the thing. Plus it's more *impressive.*

  7. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by acraven View Post
    Some things that were popular when I was in school, though again they would be specific to the dorm:

    - covered foam pad for window seat, and back rest
    You had a window seat?!?!
    - beads to hang in interior doorway
    You had an interior doorway? Not to mention the linen service. I wuz robbed!
    - throw rug (we had vinyl tile floors, no carpeting)
    My freshman dorm room did have the tile floor.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by genevieve View Post
    even when I went to college 20 years ago the school did not provide linens. The idea of that is both and
    The most practical thing I'd want is a good mattress pad. There's no amount of cleaning or sanitization that would make me want to bunk down on a mattress previously used by college kids

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    Quote Originally Posted by acraven View Post
    An additional concern about buying a refrigerator now for potential use in a dorm next fall: Much of the warranty would run out before initial use.

    Do colleges no longer supply linens? When I was in school 1969-1972, my university (large state school) provided fresh linens every week. We could have used our own, but that would have meant more laundry for us to do.

    Some things that were popular when I was in school, though again they would be specific to the dorm:

    - covered foam pad for window seat, and back rest
    - beads to hang in interior doorway
    - throw rug (we had vinyl tile floors, no carpeting)
    Yeah...no linens 20 years ago and not now either, per my seniors the last few years talking about buying stuff. And I doubt that beads are a hot item these days.

    We had a window seat in our dorm room my senior year. Only room on the entire campus that had one. Also the largest double room on campus. Given the very uniform institutional type dorms most campuses build, I highly doubt there are many window seats. Our dorm building was an oddity built in the Depression. The newer buildings on campus were much more sterile.

  10. #30
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    I know the fridge seems to be out now but Jenny, you said you wanted to give an actual give that sort of makes an impact and increases her anticipation, so if you give something that she needs to keep in the box and might have to be changed, wouldn't that put a damper on her anticipation? I know it would on mine because it would be a "maybe" gift that may end up being another one, so it's not really mine yet.

    As far as the printer is concerned, that was a very good idea! I spent the past six months in the US without a printer at first since I wasn't sure whether I'd be back for good after six months and whether or not my parents would be able to move to the US permanently. I don't print much in comparison to a student but one of the first things I got myself once my parents got their permanent resident card was, in fact, a printer.

  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by michiruwater View Post
    Anyway, you absolutely cannot go wrong with a fridge and I have never heard of a dorm in a college that didn't allow them. A mini-fridge can be a lifesaver sometimes.
    They weren't allowed in my dorms, and in many dorms I've been to fridges wouldn't have even fit because of lack of space (yes, even the small fridges).

    IME, the best time to purchase non-essential dorm items like that is just after the student has moved into the dorm. Then you know exactly how much space there is, what the other roommate wants or doesn't want, what's provided, what's prohibited, etc. Dorm shopping just after moving can be quite the fun experience.

    For Xmas, I would think something like a computer and printer would be better. Those are expensive, but absolutely essential for college. So there would be the big present dynamic, but no worries about it not possibly being used.

    Finally, just to put it in perspective, dorm fridges cost all of $50, so they really aren't a big deal. Ditto with microwaves. Computers on the other hand...

  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by agalisgv View Post
    For Xmas, I would think something like a computer and printer would be better. Those are expensive, but absolutely essential for college. So there would be the big present dynamic, but no worries about it not possibly being used.

    Finally, just to put it in perspective, dorm fridges cost all of $50, so they really aren't a big deal. Ditto with microwaves. Computers on the other hand...
    Mini fridges actually run from around $90 to $200 at Best Buy and Target online depending on size and quality.

    Printers...I'm not sure about. A lot of students will submit assignments online in college now (usually to a database that checks for plagiarism) and may not need to print all that often. Someone in traditional college here could maybe speak to how big the need is for printing on campus these days.

    Depending on her intended major an ereader may be a good purchase. As a history major in grad school, most of my books are available as ebooks for a much lower price...but I can't afford an ereader. If she is going to be doing humanities that may be helpful. Other fields, not so much.

    A laptop is a definite need--but that's some serious money!

  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wiery View Post

    If the bathrooms are down the hall, a nice robe and flip flops are wonderful to have.
    Just to add to this excellent idea, a basket or carry bag to bring along soap, shampoo, towels, etc. is also a great thing to have in such situations.
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  14. #34
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    Jenny, you're a very sweet aunt!

    Re: Printer - my campus had free printing up to some outrageous number of pages that nobody ever fully used up, so she might not actually need one. Again, depends on where she goes.

    In my experience, things were about 50/50 as far as electronic/paper submission. I definitely had one day where I printed out the paper, ran out the door late, and the day was so blustery that the paper blew right out of my hand. I didn't have time to go back and print another copy so I was literally running people down, pushing them out of my way, chasing this sheet of paper down the quad, yelling obscenities at my own stupidity, until it landed and got wedged in a bike rack Prof was kind enough not to comment on the mud on it.

    I don't think anyone else has mentioned this, but my campus had no air conditioning in the freshman dorms. It got up to 105 degrees in the summer - NOT fun. The first thing we bought after we saw the room was the biggest window box fan we could find - hell, the university even printed out sheets telling you which fans to buy and where Then again, I just remembered you're in Canada, so YMMV.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PDilemma View Post
    Mini fridges actually run from around $90 to $200 at Best Buy and Target online depending on size and quality.
    You can spend a lot on a fridge to be sure, but here's a brand new Hello Kitty fridge from Walmart for $59.00

    http://www.walmart.com/ip/Hello-Kitt...ridge/16541093
    Printers...I'm not sure about. A lot of students will submit assignments online in college now (usually to a database that checks for plagiarism) and may not need to print all that often. Someone in traditional college here could maybe speak to how big the need is for printing on campus these days.
    I work in a traditional university, and you're right that a lot of submissions are online nowadays. But not all profs allow this, so printers can be useful. Also printers provided by the university aren't usually available for use 24/7, so if a student needs to print something off in the middle of the night, they will often need their own printer. Plus a lot of readings can be downloaded, and students often like to have hard copies of required readings to mark and such.

    So in general I think having a printer is very helpful.
    A laptop is a definite need
    Yes, absolutely. There's no single item more necessary for a college student than this!

  16. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by mkats View Post
    Jenny, you're a very sweet aunt!

    Re: Printer - my campus had free printing up to some outrageous number of pages that nobody ever fully used up, so she might not actually need one. Again, depends on where she goes.
    But printing from your room is SO much more convenient.
    The cost for printing at Fed Ex is so ridiculously low and I passed one each day, twice. I still got my own printer. It's just one of those things, I guess... Besides, if you get a nice one with scanner and copy function... Depending on the quality it might also last beyond college.

  17. #37
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    The best kind of printer for a student is one that copies/faxes/prints, which seems to be most of them these days, by the way. I use my copier as much as the printer. Saves a lot of time.

  18. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by milanessa View Post
    A combo fridge and microwave is also a good idea but not knowing if the microwave is allowed is a problem.
    All of the dorms where I am already have those in every room and students are not allowed to replace them (they aren't all that great; when the microwave runs, the refrigerator doesn't).

    Dorms are really hard to predict. A hot pot is a good idea, but it's not exactly an exciting thing to open on Christmas. Neither are most of the other things I can think of that would probably go anywhere--collapsible laundry hampers, nice shower caddies, many rolls of quarters, underbed storage, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by PDilemma View Post
    Printers...I'm not sure about. A lot of students will submit assignments online in college now (usually to a database that checks for plagiarism) and may not need to print all that often.
    Most of my students don't have printers, whether they live in dorms or not. If they need to print something, they take a flash drive to a computer lab and print it. But it is more convenient to have a printer in your room, especially if your dorm is a hike from the main campus,

    Flash drives are good stocking stuffers for college students; we have boxes and boxes of lost flash drives in the library .

    Quote Originally Posted by PDilemma View Post
    Depending on her intended major an ereader may be a good purchase. As a history major in grad school, most of my books are available as ebooks for a much lower price...but I can't afford an ereader. If she is going to be doing humanities that may be helpful. Other fields, not so much.
    She might also like a tablet. A lot of students love their iPads and carry those around to classes instead of laptops. iPads are lot lighter and smaller, and can be used for quick notes, checking the 'net and reading email; of course, they also aren't as useful as laptops and you can't write papers on them. Well, you can, but only technically.

    Quote Originally Posted by PDilemma View Post
    A laptop is a definite need--but that's some serious money!
    Christmas is a pretty good time for sales, though, and students usually don't need high-end laptops; they mostly use them for writing papers and surfing the 'net, which don't require a whole lot of computer. If she plans to major in something like art, though .

    But some colleges now include computers in their tuition, too.

    Does she like coffee? She might like a good single cup coffeemaker. I sure would have loved one in college. But that also doesn't seem like something she would open and say "Oh, college stuff!"

    Hmmm.
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  19. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prancer View Post
    All of the dorms where I am already have those in every room and students are not allowed to replace them (they aren't all that great; when the microwave runs, the refrigerator doesn't).
    They must have bought cheap from the lowest bidder. The ones we had in Air Force dorms and TLFs worked great.
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  20. #40
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    Thanks for all the continued ideas!

    For computers etc I'm pretty sure she's got all the latest, and that has traditionally been something her father provides so I'm staying away from anything like that.

    I really like the shower caddy idea - perhaps filled with nice products, plus a bathrobe and flip flops, etc - this to me seems ideal as an "off you go" gift next summer, when she's starting to gather stuff and will likely just pack up what she already has around, so something new and suited to shared bathrooms would be welcome. I do have to remember that her mother lived in both residences and off campus during her university years, so at some point she is likely going to start gathering this stuff too though - perhaps at that point I will coordinate with her.

    Will think further on the fridge - not quite ready to let that idea go yet! The model I was thinking of (linked earlier) is about $225, so although compact has more space than a lot of models I've seen that are more like mini bars in hotels.

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