21 Back-To-School Gifts College Students Actually Want

21 Back-To-School Gifts College Students Actually Want

Even if they're not poor, they're kind of tight on cash.

As back-to-school season approaches, you may have shopping for a particular college student on your mind. In case you want to get them a parting gift, whether for their freshman or senior year, here are a few ideas every college student would love to receive.

1. Fast food gift cards

Chipotle, Wendy's, you know, the college kid's natural diet.

2. Pens

We always have them, but we're also always losing them.

3. Scratch Off Tickets

I could think of a million cheesy things to add in a post it note with these.

4. Texts

A simple “hope your semester is starting off well" text warms a student's heart.

5. A printer cartridge

Expensive, but a blessing they will appreciate for the whole first half of the semester.

6. Grocery store gift cards

Someone has to buy groceries sometime to feed the whole apartment.

7. Inspiration

A quick text or quote from some college educated successful person would help.

8. Extra cardboard boxes

Even though they just moved home a month ago, somehow all the boxes from that move have disappeared.

9. A clothing store gift card

No guilt buying a new outfit if the only place you can spend the twenty dollars is Forever 21.

10. Duct tape

Anything can be fixed by duct tape.

11. A good old-fashioned card

Getting mail is a whole new level of excitement for college students.

12. Target gift card

Everyone loves Target, right?

13. School bookstore bucks

They can get that super expensive school sweater for half off and it seems reasonable.

14. Regular bookstore gift cards

After dropping 200+ dollars on school books our pockets are feeling turned out for buying the book we really want.

15. Printed photos

Even if it's just one picture from your trip to the fair with them, it'll probably go on the cork board.

16. Pocket money

Just thirty bucks and the stipulation that the money be used for something fun.

17. Sit-down restaurant gift cards

Olive Garden financial aid, here we come.

18. Office supplies of any kind

They're needed and appreciated. Even just a package of sticky notes.

19. Prayers

Even though we love school, we're going to miss our families and we're going to hate our homework.

20. School supplies

That extra spiral notebook you have stuffed in the dusty junk drawer? Rip out the one page you wrote on and it's one less notebook they have to buy.

21. Love and good vibes

Just send it out there, through a text or tweet or Facebook comment or phone call. It's always appreciated.

Cover Image Credit: meiiii1114 / Instagram

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If South Carolina Colleges Were Characters From 'The Office'

Who's Jim and who's Meredith?

"The Office" is one of the best shows on the face of the planet. Don't believe me, you obviously haven't watched it. It has a character for everything, including all of the South Carolina colleges.

The Citadel

This one is probably the easiest. Creed Bratton. Hands down. Military all day every day. No one knows what really goes on behind closed doors, except the people there. Just like Creed's mind.

Coastal Carolina University

Consistently voted one of the top party schools in the nation. #It'snotcollegeit'sCoastal.

Winthrop University

Winthrop is the place for future teachers. We all know that Meredith is the mother/teacher figure in the office, which is kind of scary in and of itself.

Columbia College

Erin just seems like the type of person who would go to an all-female college.

Bob Jones University

At what other school do you see people wearing things that could be from the American Girl large colonial dolls Spring line?

Wofford College

The pearls, Greek Life, and Southern fashion are so real.

Furman University

Let's be real. Pam is a bit of a nerd. But at the end of the day, she does know how to get down. I mean she WAS on the party planning committee. And who doesn't want that Ring By Spring?

College of Charleston

Nard Dog is definitely in an a capella group in Charleston, taking in the city and the history while dressing like a frat star.

Medical University of South Carolina

Andy isn't alone in Charleston. Dwight is down there becoming a doctor. Yes, someone who can save lives and is able to do surgery. Although, who else would you expect to be a doctor?

University of South Carolina

There would be no South Carolina without the University of South Carolina. There would be no office without Michael Scott. The later seasons prove it. They're large and in charge.

Clemson University

While Michael thinks that he runs the office, it's no secret that Jim is the mastermind behind the operation. The office would fall apart without him. I'll just let that sit.

Cover Image Credit: YouTube

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Your Brain Is More Than A Bag of Chemicals

In David Anderson's 2013 Ted Talk, the Caltech professor discusses the downfalls of mental healthcare in our society, opening a discussion to wider societal issues.


David Anderson, in his Ted Talk "Your Brain is Not a Bag of Chemicals" dives into the world of treatment for psychiatric illnesses, of scientific research, and of fruit flies. His goal, to explain the flaws in current treatments of mental illnesses and present how this downfalls could be resolved is clear throughout the talk. Through presenting his research, and speaking of novel contributions such as the actual discovery of emotion in fruit flies, Anderson displays the flaws in mental healthcare and demands more of the scientific world to resolve these downfalls.

As Anderson explains, the traditional view of mental illnesses is that they are a chemical imbalance in the brain. He states, "As if the brain were some kind of bag of chemical soup filled with dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine." He explains the difference for typical treatments of physical ailments versus psychological ailments. As he describes it, physical ailments presented to a physician will lead to blood tests, biological assays, and various other factors to gather information about what is going on in the body so that a treatment plan can be well-suited to that issue. However, for psychological problems, the patient is often handed a questionnaire to assess the issues. These questionnaires, as he suggests, are insufficient in understanding the complexities that surround mental illnesses.

Of medication prescribed for mental illnesses, Anderson states, "These drugs have so many side effects because using them to treat a complex psychiatric disorder is a bit like trying to change your engine oil by opening a can and pouring it all over the engine block. Some of it will dribble into the right place, but a lot of it will do more harm than good." Anderson uses the example of dopamine and the model organism of fruit flies to explain this concept. He explains how in certain illnesses, such as ADHD, there is not a complete understanding of why there are features of learning disabilities and hyperactivity. Without this understanding, the treatment of just increasing the amount of dopamine in one's system is lacking.

Anderson suggests that pharmaceutical companies and scientists should do more research to not only discover the disturbances of neural pathways, which tend to be the real cause of mental illnesses, but to also develop new medications that attempt to resolve these specific pathways and specific receptors, rather than simply increasing the amount of a certain neurochemical. These new medications could and do revolutionize the way that mental illnesses are treated, and the efficacy in their treatment.

As a society, there is a general view of mental illnesses that varies greatly from the view of physical illnesses. Anderson, without directly discussing it, acknowledges this exact problem. He discusses the differences in treatments, but also the lack of resources that are put in to truly understand how to better treat mental illnesses as disturbances in neurophysiological components. Without, as a society, acknowledging and respecting mental illnesses for what they are, we are short-changing the 25% of the world who is directly impacted by these illnesses, and the countless loved ones who stand by those impacted. A shift needs to occur, and the research and ideas that Anderson presents are a wonderful scientific starting point for these shifts. However, if we as a society do not support the principles behind this science, do not support the concept that mental illness is much more than just being a little emotionally reactive, we are doing a disservice to the majority of the population.

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