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Jeanie Groh column: Gifts for grads

High school graduations are next weekend, and if you have a graduate in your life but still haven’t figured out what to give him or her for a graduation gift, you still have time to find the perfect gift. Here are some ideas for you to consider:

  • Money (or gift cards): You can never go wrong by giving a grad money or a gift card. They’re going to spend a lot of money over the next few months (and four or so years), so allowing them to get the clothes, dorm essentials or even textbooks they need will be a huge relief.
  • Dorm essentials: Dorm life is a completely new experience, and graduates who will be attending college away from home (even if it’s just across town), will need all kinds of new things as they start this new chapter of life (relatively) on their own. Think about getting them things like bath towels (the bigger and fluffier the better); a few plates, bowls, utensils and cups; extra long sheets or even photos of their high school friends to decorate the walls.
  • College gear: Surprise your grad with a sweatshirt, shirt or bumper sticker with their college’s logo on it. Over the summer, it will give them the opportunity to show off where they’ll be heading this fall, and once they get to school, they’ll fit right in on campus.
  • A camping hammock: College kids love to hammock! It’s not uncommon to find hammocks set up all around college campuses, especially during the first few nice weekends of spring.
  • A refillable water bottle: College campuses are increasingly focused on going green and becoming environmentally friendly. Not only do reusable water bottles avoid waste, they also save money.
  • Their favorite snacks: When I was a college student, my late night study and paper-writing sessions were always made more bearable with Cheez-It crackers and Diet Dr. Pepper. Make sure they have what they need to make it through those long nights.
  • Rolls of quarters: Many schools have a coin-operated laundry on campus. If your graduate is headed to one of those schools, rolls of quarters can be a life saver.
  • A bike: For students attending smaller colleges like Catawba, Livingstone or Gardner-Webb (my alma mater), this may not be as much of a priority, but for those attending large colleges that sprawl out over several miles, a bike will definitely be appreciated.
  • Overnight or duffle bag: College students often find themselves on the road a lot, whether it’s traveling with sports, for a class or visiting their new friends’ homes. A duffle bag is just the right size for those weekend getaways.
  • A trip or experience: When I graduated from high school, my parents took me on a trip to New York City to celebrate. We went to see my favorite Broadway show, went shopping and explored the big city. Looking back now, it’s one of my favorite memories from that summer before college.
  • Wristlet with ID holder: This one’s for the girls. A wristlet is much more manageable than a purse, and it has just enough space for the college girl’s essentials ­– her college ID card, driver’s license, debit card or cash and a tube of lip balm. If the ID holder is on the outside of the wristlet, a college student can get in and out buildings on campus with controlled access without having to dig through her purse, then her wallet to find her card to get in.

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