College Bound – Trunk Parties
According to the National Center for Education Statistics 20.2 million students are expected to attend American colleges and universities in 2016. A growing trend for helping college freshmen acquire all of the items they need for campus living includes throwing Trunk Parties.
The trunk party provides an opportunity for guests to fill a trunk or two with items that a student can use when they move away from home. In addition to filing up the trunk, guests can also give gift cards so that students can select what they want. Lastly, trunk parties provide a final opportunity for family members and friends to congratulate the graduate and provide words of wisdom.
Trunk Party Themes
College or University – use colors and mascot decorations
Trunk – use old trunks of various sizes to decorate
State/City themes such as: cowboy/cowgirl for Texas, Georgia Peach for Georgia, Big Apple for New York, Lobster for Maine, Tea party for Boston, Cheese for Wisconsin, Golden Gate Bridge for San Francisco, etc..
Decorating Colors use the college bound students favorite colors for decorating their dorm room or apartment. For example have a black and white or Blue and Green party. Ask guest to use colors as decorating theme to purchase gifts.
Suggested Gifts for a Trunk Party
Inventive Storage Spaces
Under the bed storage offers up enormous amounts of storage space. Pre-made rolling storage boxes complete with lids can be purchased to are designed to fit underneath beds.
Other under- utilized college dorm room storage areas include behind the door and above the closet.
Under the desk there is usually room enough to stack 4-5 shoeboxes or place a shallow set of shelves. Shelving is also easily added on the top of the closet if this space is left vacant.
Both the closet door and the main door to the room can be fitted with hooks or over the door storage bags. These are great places to put coats, a robe for the bathroom and hanging shoe racks.
Bathroom Caddy – during rushed mornings the caddy saves a ton of time. In addition, because the caddy usually holds the same items it is really easy to determine when it is time to purchase new soap or shampoo.
Bathrobe – a plush terry robe is always appreciated.
Grab and Go Study Bags
Study bags are a great way to save time and stay organized. Backpacks are the easiest for traveling long distances on foot. Having both a small one and a larger one is ideal.
Organize and Store Food
Food storage containers ( include the food). A large tea tray or a shallow bucket makes taking utensils down the hall for clean up a breeze. Dorm size refrigerator, Coffee Pot (Keurig), small microwave, hot plate, Bullet Blender for smoothies.
Small broom and dust bin, disinfectant, hand vacuum, think small due to limited storage space.
Sheets, blankets, comforter, towels, mirror (back the door or wall)
Pens, pencils, notebooks, whiteboard or bulletin board, printer paper. Cash to help pay for books.
A pen scanner can copy and store images and text, making it perfect for the college student on your gift list. In the past, this would only be possible through a large scanner, but now it can fit in the palm of your hand. Such scanners are portable, often storing up to 100 pages of information. For example, it can allow students doing research in libraries to copy their research without the need to check out the book or copy individual pages via Xerox machines. Pen scanners connect directly to a computer to easily transfer files quickly. Pen scanners are useful and thoughtful, quickly becoming an essential part of a student’s toolkit.
Noise Cancelling Headphones
Noise cancelling headphones can help students study by removing ambient noise and distraction when working, allowing them to listen to music, recorded lectures, radio programs, or enjoy the silence while working on their homework, essays, or research papers. High quality headphones may not be the flashiest of gifts, but they are often prized by college students.
Video Game Systems
Video games are a cornerstone of the college experience. College students often socialize with one another over the many hours of game play, meeting in one dorm room or another, huddling around the screen, controllers in hand. Several choices of system are available, each with its own unique set of games and services. The most recent of these systems, is the Wii U. Other options include the Playstation and the XBox, both of which have large libraries of games. Though video games are often considered a distraction, they can provide a great break away from a long study session and allow for interaction with fellow students.
Ms. Jensen is a leading advocate for families and children and was the founder and president of ACES, The Association for Children for Enforcement of Support.
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