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Opinion

How to acquire an appropriate gift for your most-loved college student

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December 9, 2011

Around this time of year many a college student is being hounded for information. I’m not talking about education information, but gift information.

Every parent, cousin, grandparent and every other part of your extended family wants your Christmas list.

For some, this list may be the same thing every year, but others, like myself, may not really give any information out because they may not be able to come up with anything.

The goal of this column is to help you, the gift giver, figure out what is the best gift for the college student in your life. Whether it is for a friend, sibling, son or daughter.

I’m sure all of you can guess the No. 1 thing on any college student’s Christmas list: money.

My eighth grade history teacher, Mr. Wasmer, always requested money for his end of semester gift because money “is the gift that keeps on giving.” Every college student is hurting for money, so it certainly tops the wish list. Whether it is money for tuition, housing or food, it is always the best gift.

Speaking of food, and this one goes out to the parents, if you really want to give your college student food, please do so in the shape of a gift card. Care packages are nice, but if you are giving a gift, a McDonald’s or Subway gift card is a much nicer present than a six-pack of Raman noodles. If you would rather spend money than give money, there are plenty of gift ideas for you as well. Obviously it is very cold in River Falls, and the rest of Wisconsin, so you may consider giving some cold weather gear. Even if you are a college student buying a gift for one of your friends, a pair of gloves or a nice warm hat can go a long way. Especially when we have days where the temperature doesn’t go above zero.

It is difficult for parents to go wrong with clothes, for the most part. I mean, really, you should know what your kid likes to wear, so it shouldn’t be tough to buy clothes. If you are really in doubt then take them shopping and buy them some things that they want.

Personally, this wouldn’t be the ideal gift for me, but for others it may be awesome.

This next point goes out to the parents looking for a gift that can’t go wrong. If your college student is involved with various school programs and needs to keep in contact with other people, then texting would be a great gift.

I know most of you reading this assume that everyone has texting, but that is not true. There are some of us out there who don’t have it.

Like I have said, money is always the gift that college students prefer. Hopefully this article has given some of you gift-givers ideas about what to buy when you head out Christmas shopping. Maybe if you are lucky, Santa will bring you what you want if your parents do not come through. Worst-case scenario, you can always return everything you got the day after Christmas anyways. Merry Christmas and happy gift giving.

Benjamin Lamers is an alumnus of UW-River Falls. He was editor of the <em>Student Voice</em> during fall semester 2013.