Don't buy new college students "Oh, the Places You'll Go"

Aug 11, 2017

With a new class of freshmen heading off to college over the next few weeks, parents, friends and relatives are scrambling to get their students situated and send them off with a memorable gift. Marketplace Weekend spoke to Emma McAnaw, market writer on BuzzFeed's shopping team, about her picks for goodbye gifts for college students. 

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Subscription services make great, easy gifts, McAnaw said. Students love getting packages in the mail, and subscriptions can be for anything from healthy snacks to, well, less healthy treats. McAnaw recommends a $25 per month ramen subscription from CrateJoy.

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Noise-cancelling headphones are one of McAnaw's top picks. She said they're a stylish, tech-savvy choice and a useful study tool.

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A wacky but useful choice for new freshman is the Shlocker, McAnaw said. The Kickstarter-funded item is a lockable shower caddy, meant to deter roommates and hallmates from pilfering shampoo or searching through your toiletries.

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To spruce up your student's home away from home and make it feel more cozy, McAnaw recommends aromatherapy diffusers, nice bed sheets in muted tones, throw pillows and, above all, a mattress topper.

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For homesick students, McAnaw found necklaces with states on them, available for a wide range of prices, to feel like home is just a bit closer. Need something more tangible? Cozy up to a pillow with your pet screen printed onto it, available on Etsy.