Happy almost-holidays everyone!
I am so excited to post about the holidays soon – I cannot wait! Like many others, this is my favorite time of year. There are so many fun things to do here in Florida for Halloween (i.e. Halloween Horror Nights and Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party), not to mention my birthday and fall break are in October too! But for Thanksgiving and Christmas, I head home, which is all sorts of exciting!
Although it is a bit early for Christmas talk in my opinion, I wanted to make a wish list so parents, friends, and other family members can get an idea of what to get their soon-to-be college student. Maybe some of these will be on sale for Black Friday, or maybe you’re better than me and get your shopping done early!
Twin XL Bedding Set – I think this is the centerpiece of your dorm, therefore I would recommend investing in a nice one. Florida is a bit tricky because you don’t want to get bedding that is thick, heavy, and ultimately too warm. If you want to splurge, I recommend Pottery Barn Teen and their dorm section. If you are on a budget, check out Target. I got my freshman bed spread from Macy’s and it was reversible and neutral, so I was able to flip it when I got bored yet it matched my roommates side! I opted for a gray/brown quilt (since duvets were too heavy in my opinion) and fun polka dot sheets. This made the style a little quirky yet grown-up, which is very me! If you wait to buy bedding upon arrival, there are options, but beware it may be slim pickings! Overall, be sure to buy Twin XL bedding to fit the dorm beds!
Organization Supplies – One of my favorite things in my dorm is this makeup organizer I got at Target. It was about $25 but it holds all my makeup. If I want to sit at my desk and do my makeup there for better lighting or simply comfort, it’s easy to grab the whole thing. I think it’s super nice looking and I will definitely be keeping this for my future apartment post-graduation.
Lights – I never had a string of lights in my room, but many people like it! I think this is a cute, inexpensive gift for your soon-to-be or current college student. They also come in different colors and shapes if you shop around!
Art – I like to find cute art on Etsy. I think that art makes your dorm feel less like a dorm and more like a home. You can order quotes or even get a painting of your beloved animals. My freshman roommate was a huge Hamilton fan, so her grandma got her a quote from the musical. It was a cute, sentimental idea.
Rolling Hamper – This was my mom’s ingenious idea. I got mine at the Container Store and it is most definitely meant for something other than laundry (maybe for teachers?) but I love it. It even has a pocket for my laundry pods! I got so many compliments on it freshman year lugging my laundry downstairs when I lived in Adams. Everyone wanted one! Now that I am in New Hall, laundry is a lot closer, but I appreciate not having to carry it down the hall. Mine is also a cute pattern and I know I will be able to re-purpose it after college. Not going to lie… I have used it to carry lots of things around when I have tabling for clubs or an event to help set up!
A Nice Backpack – I think you can find good deals on backpacks this time of year because it is “off-season” to be buying one. I love the brand Herschel because they are cute and well made. They have a great warranty as well. One of my Herschels had a broken zipper and they sent me a new one no questions asked! Your backpack is an investment since I have used mine all throughout college and even for trips as a carry-on. Make sure it is big enough to hold a lot of stuff like books and binders, an umbrella (it’s Florida), and a laptop if you plan on having one!
Space Savers – I like being organized, as you can see from the above items. When you live in a tiny area, especially when it is shared, I recommend investing in items that help save space. I have tiered hangers and a slim, hanging jewelry organizer. I prefer using tubs for shoes and having it under my bed. I also have a file organizer that is stacked on my desk. This keeps the clutter away. I also bought a desk organizer for my pens and note pads. Having cute bins to save space is stylish but practical. I used these bins to store my stuff over summer without worrying about dust or bugs. I can also use these in my future home.
A Plant – I have a plant in my room that I got at the beginning of freshman year. His name is Greg. I think he makes the room brighter and more refreshing with his green leaves! I love that I get to see him grow and I hope to pass him off to my kids one day. If you have a sentimental plant at home, consider passing it on or propagating it!
A Cute Pillow – I have a pillow I got on Etsy with my home’s coordinates on it. I love that it is comfy, cute, and sentimental. Things that have multi-purposes is nice in such a small space.
Sunscreen – A good stocking stuffer would be a nice facial sunscreen. We need it here in Florida. Even when it’s cloudy, we get tan. Save your skin!
Caddy – I use the term caddy very loosely. There is the typical caddy you take to the bathroom with you in the dorms (which is very helpful/useful), but I am thinking of a bigger caddy. I bought my large rolling caddy from Ikea and I use it to hold all my beauty stuff. It has multiple shelves so I can be more organized. I leave my makeup on the top, skin care in the middle, and hair supplies on the bottom. It looks cute but leaves the small room feeling less cluttered and full. I have also seen them at Sam’s Club for about $30. It’s so practical, I even made Chris get one for his apartment!
Laptop – A more obvious “Santa” gift could be a nice laptop. I use mine everyday in class, for homework, and to watch Netflix! Maybe consider waiting until the summer to benefit from the college student discount at Apple! May I recommend AirPods for now?
Pictures – I use the Super Snaps to print my photos. I like to get the big ones in matte with black corners. I use this to take up a good amount of wall space and make it look more modern/stylish. It can also be sentimental and help beat the homesickness when you look back on pictures of loved ones!
A Place to Relax – I think if you can swing it, find a tiny bean bag or cozy small chair! It is important to have a place to sleep, study, eat, and RELAX in your dorm. When you associate your room with just sleep or just work, it will never feel cozy and calm. Make it a point to get at least one item to help you relax! I have a body pillow I lay on when I watch Netflix!
Time-Saving Items – College is a constant battle of time management. You have to learn somewhere, right? I recommend investing in a nice blowdryer, steamer, and other time-saving items. If you can quickly steam your clothes, that’s an extra 5 minutes of snoozing your alarm. Your college student will love you for this.
So it might not be the most glamorous holiday season of gifting, but it surely is a practical one!
Have a happy Thanksgiving and Black Friday with all your friends and family! ~ Maddie Dietrich