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SuperMouse's avatar

Does The Collective have suggestions for a dorm-warming/congratulations gift for our daughter?

Asked by SuperMouse (30798points) August 1st, 2012

My husband’s daughter who has lived with us for the past couple of years is moving with her two children to a dorm room at a local liberal arts college. She was accepted into a special program for single mothers and is going to school on a full scholarship. We want to celebrate her achievement and wish her good luck with a meaningful and practical gift for her new journey. She has a good laptop and pretty much all of the furnishings she will need in her dorm room. We haven’t really discussed a dollar amount so economical and more lavish ideas are welcome. Any suggestions for a gift?

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23 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

Gift certificate at the college book store?

Baby sitting chit once a week for her?

Good for her. Great for her. Really wonderful for her and amazing that the college is astute enough to provide the support facilities.

Trillian's avatar

That is fantastic. How big is the room? Getting the kids out periodically is not only a great idea but probably a necessity. Maybe additionally, something geared for her own personal decompression in the form of whatever she likes to do for relaxation. Maybe an open ended trip to a day spa where she can relax and be pampered, or an overnight retreat after final exams?
The babysitting is going to be really important just so that she can focus on homework, so your time on homework nights may be the most valuable gift you can offer her.

gailcalled's avatar

@SuperMouse: babysitting chit does not have to be specifically for you and Mr. Mouse. There will be lots of them on campus and eager for a little cash.

SuperMouse's avatar

@gailcalled that is a good point. I had kind of ruled out the babysitting idea because we are kind of her go to couple when it comes to taking care of her kids so it is pretty much a given. One of the coolest things about this program is that she is rooming with another single mom in a dorm designed specifically to house single moms so there is lots of peer support and opportunity for study groups and babysitting exchanges. @Trillian, I don’t know how big the room is. They just finished building brand new dorms for the program and she won’t even see her new place until move in day.

It is such a huge achievement for her because when she moved in with me about three years ago she was kind of rudderless and just barely keeping her head above water. I am so proud of her and where she is headed I really want to celebrate her success. We wanted to have a party but ran out of time, so this is our chance to do something meaningful and lasting to let her know how proud we are.

zenvelo's avatar

Does she have a music player? A good speaker system for an iPod?

Does her “room” have a kitchen? If not, maybe a toaster oven or a small microwave.

zenvelo's avatar

@SuperMouse After reading your “answer” I’d go with something fun, fancy and special as recognition above and beyond a dorm warming gift. The spa ideas or a night out to show her how proud you are.

SuperMouse's avatar

@zenvelo oooohh, the music player idea gave me an idea! We are planning to give her one of our iphones when we get new ones in November, but maybe a Kindle Fire. She could use to to access the internet and download books. Hmmm, off to check the price…

athenasgriffin's avatar

A pair of over the ear, noise cancelling headphones are super useful, and will encourage studying later on. A laptop if she doesn’t have one is absolutely necessary.

JLeslie's avatar

Money. Or, take her on a shopping trip once she has been there a week to buy the things she now realizes she needs. Can be a nice day out for all of you. Lunch, and some new things she needs.

muppetish's avatar

Does she have an e-reader? A Nook would be great for loading all the pdf articles she’ll be reading (I’m not sure if the Kindle Fire can do this, too. Anybody know?) Or, what I would love since I’m an organization-nut case, a combination cork board / white board would be great for keeping track of schedules and notes.

ragingloli's avatar

Some sedatives for the kids?

nikipedia's avatar

Buy her textbooks. Those can set you back pretty far.

bkcunningham's avatar

That sounds like a fantastic program she got hooked up with, @SuperMouse. I like the idea of textbooks too. Or like @gailcalled said, a gift certificate to the book store.

What is she studying?

SuperMouse's avatar

Her textbooks are included in the scholarship, just one more really awesome accomplishment! @bkcunningham she is majoring in education.

bkcunningham's avatar

How about a coupon for a haircut or getting a mani/pedi? It can be as expensive as you like. Either way, it seems like a nice gift to give someone who is moving into a new stage in their life. It always feels good to pamper yourself.

tinyfaery's avatar

Shower shoes (Trust me).

JLeslie's avatar

@tinyfaery Hahahaha. I would assume she has a shower where she lives since she has her kids with her and it isn’t a communal one.

Most of us in my dorm didn’t bother with shower shoes, our bathrooms were cleaned twice a day. I don’t know anyone who ever had a problem, but I do know many people who have had problems from showers in gyms. Still, a little precaution is a prudent idea in any circumstance where floors stay wet a long time and multiple people use the area.

Pandora's avatar

See if she can use anything to organize the room so it doesn’t feel cramp. A messy crowded place can feel closed in and make it hard to concentrate.
Oh, also a lavish comfortable computer chair that begs you to sit in it for hours.

Kardamom's avatar

Does she have a kitchen in her dorm room? If not, is she allowed to have any appliances? I’m thinking a crockpot or a toaster oven or one of those counter top electric skillets would come in very handy.

Or maybe look up online what restaurants are near her college and get some gift certificates for several places that you think she would like. Even a big fat stinky (meaning $$$) gift certificate for Starbucks would be great. So she’d never have to pay for coffee during the entire first semester she’s there.

geeky_mama's avatar

You’ve received some great ideas above.. here are a few more, starting from economical, going towards lavish:

1. Rolls of quarters (for laundry machines) & a nice rolling laundry bag
2. Gift basket of gift cards to places that can deliver meals to her
3. Pre-Paid Babysitting / Nanny Services – for when she’s busy studying for finals or has a paper due..

If the dorm room provides her with a room where she’ll sleep and another for the kids—perhaps a gift card to provide funds to decorate/personalize the kids’ room would be a hit?

Congratulations to your daughter – what a tremendous accomplishment!!

augustlan's avatar

What a great program! Good for her! I’d probably go with one of the practical gifts mentioned above, but give it to her at a celebratory dinner in a nice-ish restaurant before she leaves. It doesn’t have to be a fancy place, but a festive one. A nice dinner out can stand in for the party, making it a special occasion.

YARNLADY's avatar

@geeky_mama Public laundry uses those debit card things now, no more quarters

I suggest a refillable gift card from her favorite grocery or department store.

SuperMouse's avatar

She does share a bathroom, but it is only with her roommate and her roommate’s daughter. Near as I can understand they are responsible for keeping the place clean and sanitary. There is a community kitchen that they share with the other mothers on the floor, but the cost of staying in the dorm includes a meal plan with two meals a day for all of them and her daughters will both be fed their third meal at school.

After reading through this thread we are leaning toward a Kindle Fire or some other compact tablet computer along with a certificate allowing/inviting her to do her laundry at our house and some coupons for babysitting.

Thanks for all the great ideas!

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