You’ve spent 18 years preparing your daughter to be independent and pursue her dreams, but just because she’s off to college doesn’t mean your job is done. She still needs your wisdom, your encouragement and while she’s living on campus, probably a lot of your money. You can limit some of those calls home for cash by setting her up with everything she needs for surviving the first semester of college in style.
Survival gifts for the young woman who likes to do everything herself might include a toolbox filled with the basics and a how-to book like “Dare to Repair: A Do-It-Herself Guide.” For girly girls you can keep it feminine by choosing a pink, durable utility box with a secure closing lid. Include a hammer, a small set of screwdrivers, needle-nose pliers, a tape measure, a flashlight, a roll of duct tape and an assortment of small nails and screws. Don’t forget about all those adhesive-backed hangers and hooks she’s going to need for decorating dorm or apartment walls.
Bus, bike, trolley, train or automobile, your girl likes to explore her environment. Make navigation easier for her by purchasing yearly passes for public transportation, parking passes and pre-paid gas cards if she’ll be driving a car, and safety gear for bicycling, including a sturdy lock. If she’s moving to an unfamiliar place, include an easy-to-read city map and public transportation route.
Rise and Shine!
You know she’ll excel in her studies and make new friends, if only she’ll get out of bed in the morning and get to class. If your daughter isn’t a morning person, time management may be one of her biggest challenges when she moves out on her own. Give her a “Good Morning, Sunshine” kit that will help her hop out of bed and start each day with a great attitude.
Include an extra loud or annoying alarm clock noise that’s sure to wake her up. A basket of bath and body products with invigorating scents like ginger or citrus will wash away the morning drag. And a single-serving coffee maker for her room or a gift card for the campus coffee shop will help her arrive to class alert and ready to learn.
Card that Keeps on Giving
Supplying your daughter with gift cards instead of cash serves two purposes: She gets to do the things she wants and buy the things she needs, and you get to have some idea of what she’s doing and buying. Gift cards to popular student hangouts, book stores, coffee shops and discount stores are essential, but you can win the parent-of-the-year award by with gift cards to the local nail and hair salon or gadget store.
Of course, it takes more than pizza and laptop accessories to survive college. Find out what stress-relieving outdoor adventures are offered in the area and give your daughter a gift card that will get her nose out of the books for an afternoon.
Daughter-parent trips to the mall to select trendy twin-sized sheet and duvet sets are a rite of passage, but she’ll need more than that to survive her first semester living without Mom and Dad. In addition to the material things you can provide, don’t forget your daughter still needs your attention, praise and support. Send her notes and photos from home to let her know you’re thinking of her. When you visit her on campus and find those photos neatly hung on the wall (with the help of her trusty tool box) you’ll know she’s not just surviving college life, she’s thriving.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Danielle, who blogs on behalf of Sears and other prestigious brands, enjoys helping her sister survive college by sending her care packages filled with ‘90s Nickelodeon cartoons. Read her work at eatbreatheblog.com.
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