If you’re a college-bound high school junior or senior, this holiday break will probably find you completing campus visits, filling out forms, gearing up for the big test day, and completing any number of other tasks.
Take a moment amidst the chaos to mentally fast forward a year (or two) to your first winter break from college. What gifts will you bring back home with you?
The good news is, everyone knows college students have precious little cash, and no one is expecting a fancy gift. But that’s no reason to skip out altogether. Sometimes the best way to show your appreciation is by sharing your college experience. Hit the ground running with these five easy suggestions:
1. Capture important moments.
Try to get a copy of your first college speech (which most professors record for later review). Have a friend snap pics at your first art opening or onstage performance. Take a quick video of your daily walk to campus. Even seemingly mundane moments can prompt a flood of memories and funny stories to share later.
2. It’s like scrapbooking, only cooler.
Once you’re settled into your dorm or apartment, set aside a junk drawer for random news clippings, orientation pamphlets, student ID cards, and other memorabilia. Later you can organize everything in a “Freshman Year” album that will reduce your mom to tears…in a good way.
3. Mix it up.
As you explore the college music scene, start creating compilation CDs and shared playlists to keep your parents and younger siblings on the cutting edge.
4. Get the hookup.
If your relatives are fans of your school’s sports teams, try to score player signatures and other gear at student appreciation/giveaway nights. Even better, see if you can get cheap tickets using your student discount.
5. Make introductions.
You’ll be anxious to enjoy your newfound freedom, but at least once a semester, invite your family to join you on campus for a few hours. It’ll be a great chance to catch up, enjoy some quality time, and show them all the ways your family’s investment is paying off.