Gifts of Spring


Graduation day is just around the corner, which might mean you’re thinking about parties and gifts. To help, we have a few gift ideas for new college students getting ready for life on or off campus.

Gifts that keep them prepared

  • Jumper cables
  • Portable phone charger/power bank
  • Residential items—small vacuum, first aid kit, small toolbox
  • Winter weather vehicle staples—small shovel, ice scraper, etc.

Gifts that offer comfort

  • New bedding (if living on campus, we recommend extra-long twin or twin with deep pockets bedding)
  • Small or clip-on dimmable lamp
  • Sentimental things—notes of encouragement, a homemade blanket, a special scrapbook

Gifts that encourage learning

  • Laptop (Our systems support Mac and PC. Tablets and Chromebooks are not recommended. You do not need to purchase the Microsoft Office Suite. Your student will be able to download the suite of programs after they activate their NWU accounts.)
  • Comfortable headphones
  • Prairie Wolves Bookstore gift card
  • Blue light-blocking glasses

Gifts that encourage exploration

  • Sturdy luggage—students will be traveling again, soon!
  • Gift cards to Lincoln restaurants and experiences
  • Gas gift cards

Gifts that just make life a little easier

  • Roll or two of quarters and some postage stamps
  • Stapler—even with technology, they’re still needed
  • Grounded, three-pronged surge protector
  • At least one “nice” professional outfit for interviews and presentations

Just as important: some gifts you should NOT buy

  • Personal microwaves—they aren’t allowed in NWU’s residence halls
  • Lofts—NWU allows one specific kind of loft in residence halls, which can be rented
  • We recommend you wait to buy a small refrigerator if your student will have a roommate; only one fridge is allowed per room
Brandi Sestak


Brandi Sestak is assistant dean for student success and residential education.