How To Create a Gift Basket for a College Freshman

Leaving for college is an eye opening experience. Most college freshmen have never lived away from their parents or their hometowns and will likely experience an adjustment period. This adjustment period may range from hysterical crying to obnoxious partying and everything in between.  Adding to the “adjustment factor” is the fact that many college freshmen simply don’t realize some of the basic items they need for survival in their dorm or apartment. The steps below will guide you in creating a gift basket filled with items that the college freshman on your list will soon realize he or she desperately needs.

Step 1

Purchase a basket. In this case, the basket that you purchase should be a laundry basket. For many young adults, their freshman year of college will be their first experience doing their own laundry. The laundry basket will serve as the basket for all of the other items you will purchase in the following steps. (Don’t spend a lot of money on the laundry basket; a plain old plastic one will do the trick just fine.)

Step 2

Throw in a load of necessities. The freshman on your list will need laundry detergent and dryer sheets in order to get their laundry done.  The facilities that are available to them in the dorm or apartment building might require quarters so go ahead and throw a roll of quarters in the laundry basket as well.

Step 3

Quick clean up items. There is no sense in disputing the fact that college freshman don’t spend much of their time cleaning up after themselves. Any item that this age group can use and dispose of quickly will be greatly appreciated.  Get a multipack of bleach wipes, dusting wipes and glass cleaning wipes. Those should last your gift recipient at least six months.

Step 4

Shower them with a few more thoughtful items. For college freshman who are living in a dorm, sharing the shower facilities with an entire floor of co-eds can be a gross wake up call. Throw a few pair of shower shoes (flip flops) in the laundry basket so he or she can keep their feet off the ground. Also, a shower caddy will be helpful in carrying the co-eds shampoo, soap and other toiletry items to the shared shower facilities. If the co-ed is living in an apartment, he or she is likely sharing a bathroom with one (or one dozen) other people; these items are required under apartment living circumstances as well.

Step 5

Ever heard of the “freshman 15”? This phrase refers to the 15 pounds that college freshman often put on when they leave home. It’s commonplace for freshman to choose quick and inexpensive foods such as Top Ramen and Macaroni and Cheese when doing their grocery shopping. Entice them with healthy alternatives by adding granola bars, trail mix and popcorn to the gift basket. These are snacks that will fill them up and give them energy, but won’t require a new wardrobe come spring. 

Step 6

Enough with the practical gifts! Put something fun in the gift basket that you think the freshman will truly want, but might not be able to splurge on. A few examples might include gift cards to clothing stores, electronic stores, coffee shops or concert venues.

Because of the fact that freshman year can be such a tumultuous and exciting period in a young person’s life, don’t be surprised if your “thank you” card is very delayed in coming. Now that they’ve left home, there are many things the freshman will have to learn on his own; graciousness is one of those things that can sometimes take a while to learn.

This article was written by Collin Walker who writes for where you can find a dog tracking collar or a dog training collar.

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