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Creating a College Survival Kit [Graduation Gift Idea]

When it comes to graduation gifts, most people settle for giving gift cards or cash. These are kind gestures and greatly appreciated by the graduates, but often those graduates don’t know exactly what they need to buy for their lives in college. Sometimes they need gifts they never thought about.

If you’re the parent of someone graduating from high school, chances are that you have multiple gifts to give, too. Take a trip to the nearest warehouse store to buy things to put in a collection of college survival kits.


Depending on the size of the kits you make, you can place the items into jars (mason jars or empty jars you’ve collected throughout the year when you finish off the pickles or salsa). Some might choose, instead, to put the items in a plastic storage container that the graduates can use for storage when they get to school. Still others may opt for a traditional gift bag. Check pricing to help you decide.graduation

Potential Items To Include

If you’re making multiple college survival kits, buying these items in bulk will likely be the most cost-efficient. However, if you’re only making one kit, you’ll probably be okay shopping at the dollar store.

  • Quarters- Include a roll of quarters, or just enough quarters to cover one load of laundry, in case of a laundry emergency.
  • Stain remover stick- Sometimes only one spot on the clothes needs to be cleaned.
  • Coloring pages and colors- Never underestimate the power of coloring to focus the mind and relieve stress, no matter your age.
  • Bandages or a first-aid kit – Mommy’s not always there to kiss the boo-boos.
  • Flash drive- Save often and in multiple locations, just in case.
  • Air freshener- Communal living can be smelly.
  • Chicken noodle soup- To cure what ails you
  • #2 pencils and a sharpener- It may sound archaic, but those Scantrons have very specific requirements.
  • Lint roller- Black pants attract everything but money. Clean them off.
  • Pain reliever- There are times when college is a pain.
  • Flashlight- Shine a spotlight on what goes bump in the night. Don’t forget the batteries.
  • Batteries- Those remote controls don’t recharge themselves.
  • Tissues- These serve as a remedy for allergies, the common cold, and breakups.
  • Sewing kit- When the freshman 15 rips a seam or pops a button, you need something to rein them back in. This is cheaper than a new wardrobe.
  • A deck of cards- All work and no play makes for a miserable college experience.
  • Highlighters- Not all textbooks have an electronic version. Also, the highlights remind you what you have and haven’t read yet.
  • Eye mask- Living with someone else means sometimes having to sleep when they still need to study.
  • Ear plugs- Some people snore. Loudly. Also, see above.
  • Hand sanitizer- For picnics, in class, and after riding public transportation.
  • Sticky notes- Post-its serve multiple functions: bookmark, notecards, and prank material.

Of course you could also add snacks or movies, depending on how much space you have left or how much money you want to spend. This list will give you some basic ideas.


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