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With my birthday just passing (March 24th), it brought up this idea – birthday gifts for college students, especially necessities, as a college student. Of course, most people have a majority of their dorm essentials, however, there are other things that someone in college may benefit from. Here’s what I recommend:

  1. Money/Gift Cards (Visa, General)

This one is going to be first because nothing is better than getting money. You can use it on anything you need or want and beats the hassle of having to specifically ask for something (for the socially awkward girlies) and get rid of the stress and struggle the gift giver could have from having to find a gift. 

  1. Gift cards (Specific stores)

This one is next up because it’s almost as good as money. It’s a close second since these gift cards are designated for a certain store. However, they’re just as good, especially if the gift giver is smart enough to get the gift card from a place they know you shop at a lot or just love!

  1. Food

It is essential for ALL college students. It could be snacks like chips and dip or ramen and cereal cups. Food is beneficial just in case you are someone who doesn’t have the time to go to the dining hall 3 times a day. 

  1. Medicine

OMG, this one. Over-the-counter medications are seriously expensive for absolutely no reason so getting this for someone or receiving this is a lifesaver. Especially with spring coming around, allergy meds like Claritin or Aleve can help broke college students. Don’t forget Nyquil, Dayquil, and Tums for the peeps who don’t get as much relief from life. 

  1. Hair supplies

This is more specific to the “wake up and makeup” people, but hair supplies can be helpful. Something as simple as a mini flat-iron for those who like to be made up for the day – or even – clips, pins, and hair ties for those who want to look good without all the effort. AND DON’T FORGET DRY SHAMPOO!!

  1. Socks

As a kid, getting socks for Christmas sucked, but now with the laundry machines EATING THEM UP, what better than to get a mega pack of neutral-toned (black, white, gray, and/or brown/beige) socks! 

  1. Febreze/Glade

Since we can’t have candles in the dorms because of ‘fire hazards,’ Febreze sprays or Glade air fresheners can spruce up the room. If it’s your trash being extra smelly or just the building being gross from the heat, this product is essential!

  1. Dorm Decor

Last but not least, is general dorm decor. Tapestries, posters, and signs are all useful to create a comfier living space – make the cell block rooms feel less like a prison and more like home!

She/they LGBTQ+ Lasell '26 Graphic Design Major