What To Get High School Seniors For Graduation

What To Get High School Seniors For Graduation

They'll be thankful for their clear bag on game day or a k cup for their 8 a.m. or nice smelling shampoo for their first date, their pack of high lighters on exam day, their shower shoes when they get stuck in Creswell, their lucky bracelet on bid day.


Neighborhoods are decorated in high school graduation signs, your street is impossible to drive down with high school drivers parked down the curb for their friends' graduation parties. Caterers are busy, cards start selling out, and everything has a graduation cap on it. I remember it well- it was a time of relief- to be finished with high school and begin this next chapter of my life. I decorated the clubhouse with pictures of myself and UGA colors next to high school awards. I explained my intended major 387 times an hour. I probably spent too much time looking at dorm decor on Pinterest.

This is the season of never having to pay for food. Grad party season means getting Moes at 1:00 p.m., ice cream sundaes at 2:00 p.m., build your own burger bar at 3:00 p.m., popcorn station at 4:00 p.m. and pizza at 5:00 p.m. Though I considered myself pretty far removed from Etowah and much of my graduating class from dual enrolling full time for a year, I received about 30 graduation party invitations, and unfortunately for me, gift giving is my love language. I'm writing this- a year removed from high school grad- to give advice on what I received/ wish I received at graduation from my friends and family.

Get Something.

Even if it's a key chain with their college or a pack of k-cups- at least make an effort. I really appreciated my friends who managed a few dollars on a gift for me to take something to college. A little really does go a long way and shows that you made an effort and aren't just there for the free food.

Small and inexpensive is underrated.

Most people bring Keruigs to college. Gifting a small pack of K cups is so thoughtful because these can add up when you're grocery shopping with 10,000 other people at Target on move-in day. The same goes for disposable cups because doing dishes in a community bathroom is not the best and being able to take a coffee to class without worrying about a dish to wash later is a wonderful thing.

A shower caddy. All college freshmen will most likely be sharing a bathroom with others. Having a basic shower caddy to carry to and from is such a necessity. Filling it with shampoo and shower essentials is an easy way to be thoughtful on a budget. Even tying a dollar store loofa onto a shower caddy makes for a great gift. When you're poor in college you would rather spend 410 on a meal with your friends instead of having to make a 30 minute trip to Walmart for shampoo and conditioner.

On the same note, towels and a towel wrap are a great gift. Everyone is going to need them, and already having a velcro towel to wrap around you while you wrap one around your hair to go down the hall is such a convenience and saves everyone the awkward first week of trying to keep up a regular towel or having to wear your clothes to the bathroom and carry a stack back. Shower shoes are also a must. Old Navy flip flops tied to a towel or shower gel is such a great gift.

A hanging jewelry organizer or anything that helps to minimize space in a dorm room the size of a coat closet is amazing.

When your bed is lofted, phone chargers are a pain. Gifting the longest charger you can find makes you a hero. I got a 10-foot charging cable to go with a 6-foot outlet plugin. No matter where I am in my room, my phone can charge and it's an amazing luxury.

I got a bunk buddy to have a small shelf connect to my lofted bed and its incredible. I can do work or watch a movie in bed and have a safe place to put my laptop. I have a place to put my phone at night so I can use it for an alarm in the morning. I have a place to put my retainer where I won't forget to put it in at night. I can put a tissue box here when I'm sick or have the book I need to read sit on it.

Gift Cards. THE CHICKFILA ON CAMPUS WON'T ACCEPT THEM. Think about small places related to the college that will accept gift cards. At UGA, Raising Canes may or may not become my new address and you can gift their gift cards online. At Kennesaw, Tropical Smoothie Cafe is incredible and Tin Lizzies is a nice place to get away from the dining hall. Places close to campus are wonderful, unlike the on-campus restaurants and coffee shops.

Though few people actually work on homework at their desk, school supplies are the best gift. Having a nice pack of pens, highlighters, stick notes, laptop sleeve, etc is so important and makes shopping so much easier because the little things are already taken care of.

For kids going out, walking to class, driving around, etc, keeping up with a purse or wallet is an absolute pain. Within the first week of school, everyone I know got phone wallets to attach to their case to hold their student Id, regular id, AAA card, and whatever else. Not having to dig through a backpack for your school id to get into your dorm or being able to easily buy a coffee on the way to class or having a AAA card on you when you're on the side of the road with a flat tire in someone else's car is life changing.

I didn't realize how expense laundry was until college. For Christmas this year, I asked for dryer sheets and detergent. Not having to spend $10-$15 to wash your clothes is wonderful. I barely have time to be on laundry-house arrest as is to make sure no one steals my stuff much less drive to Kroger to get detergent when I've already gone too long with barely any close in my closet.

No one dresses up in college for class. Having a nice, comfortable sweatshirt or another few pairs of running shorts or a nice water bottle is nice to have. JCG in Athens has cute trendy spirit wear for cheap. Most schools will have some sort of cozy shirts or crew neck available that will be heavily worn.

A sentimental piece of jewelry to wear around campus or during recruitment helps keep home close.

Most stadiums have a clear bag policy nowadays. Even though I rarely brought things into the stadium, a nice clear bag or backpack is such an essential to carry an extra jacket during November games or deodorant and a hairbrush during August opening games.

This is such a special time for seniors and their families, and this summer is tough. Parents have to learn how to let go and students have to figure out how to live on their own- how to do laundry before you're out of clothes, how to budget money, how to make your own schedule, how to cook basic food, how to balance creamer and coffee without the help of a barista. This time is tough and every little bit helps. Hug a senior. Buy the college freshman Starbucks they can't afford. Help them put the little touches on their life next year. They'll be thankful for their clear bag on game day or k cup for their 8 a.m. or nice smelling shampoo for their first date, their pack of high lighters on exam day, their shower shoes when they get stuck in Creswell, their lucky bracelet on bid day. I never knew I would take not having to drive or pay to get toothpaste for granted until I did.

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Summer In College Is For More Than Just Working

No, you're never to hold to have fun in the summer.


There should never be an age where you stop having fun in the summer. The weather is nice, there are always things to do, and everyone is just naturally happier. So, regardless of whether you're 7 or 21, I'm talking to you.

During the year it can be hard to find a routine unless you are a very put together person. Sadly, I am not. Even when I tell myself I'm going to eat healthily, work out, and stop procrastinating, I usually don't follow through with that. At school, I find myself in somewhat of a constant catch-up mode. When I feel like I'm ahead on my homework or studying, that usually means I'm behind on being healthy in other aspects of my life. That is why I love summer. It's a chance to reset the clock for a second and catch your breath.

I get that having an internship or working is important for your post-graduation life, but having fun is important for your college years too. When you get a job in the real world, summer is going to look a lot different for you. That is why it's best to take advantage of the time now. This doesn't mean turning down that work experience, it means doing things other than just working.

First things first is finding a hobby you enjoy that you don't do at school. Pick it up for a little over the summer. Why not? For me, this is yoga. For whatever reason, I find myself too nervous to attend yoga classes at school. I have absolutely no reason to be anxious about doing something I like, but I am so I take the time to attend a few classes a week in the summer.

Secondly, try reading. Before you make that look of disgust on your face, think about the last time you read a book of your choosing. If it was recently, then kudos to you for managing your time well enough to do that. If you are not that person, then hello! I am talking to you. I am not a fan of reading because I usually associate it with homework. However, I find that when I have the time to browse the book section of a store for a few seconds, I find multiple books that jump out at me. During the summer I take the opportunity to read a little here and there. The nice part of leisure reading over school reading is that there's no deadline. You can read what you want when you want to.

Finally, learn something new. Again I usually associate learning with things that I am required to learn for my major. Learning something new that interests you is a different kind of rush. When I'm bored in class, I make bucket lists of little things I want to learn about. They can be big or small. One time I wanted to learn how to knit. Don't ask me why my 19-year-old self thought it would be sweet to sit on my porch in the summer knitting, but I did, and I'm kind of sad I didn't pursue that interest. When might I ever have time to learn how to knit again?

These might sound like quirky things to do, but you're young. Make a bucket list and try to cross one thing off each weekend. If you're like me, then you're a little scared of growing up. Scared you won't be able to accomplish all the things you want to. But, the fact of the matter is no one is going to make you accomplish them but you. So, take some initiative and do them. Summer is for more than just working; it's time to live a little and reset the clock.

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6 Ways I Was Able To Achieve Straight A's At The University Of Georgia This Semester

It honestly took me entirely too long to figure out how to do well in my classes.


It is super common for students to come to the University of Georgia and have a horrible first year academically, because of the rigor and new stresses. High school doesn't prepare you for it, and it can often times make you feel really crappy about yourself. It is common for straight A students to come to UGA and start making C's. The reasons vary from studying habits to a new environment, but either way, it is the worst feeling in the world to be top of your class, and get to college and start falling behind. I haven't really made bad grades in college, but I came to UGA with a 4.2 GPA and I can assure you that was NOT the case after my first semester.

1. I stopped relying solely on my memory and used my resources.

I have always been the type of person to have a planner, but it even takes a lot to remember to look at the planner. Therefore, it was time to take things to the next level. I reminded myself of deadlines, events, and assignments in various ways to make sure I didn't slip up. This included google calendar, putting up a whiteboard in my room, notecards with important dates, etc. I have major anxiety about forgetting things, so to solve that, I just literally wrote them everywhere I possibly could.

2. I figured out why I was in college and what my purpose was.

It's hard to do something every day that you aren't even sure about. When I started to make lower grades, it was easy for me to think I was at the wrong place or doing the wrong thing. I had to really make confirm that college was for me and what I really wanted for myself. I did this by studying abroad and getting to know some of my professors. I learned that I really loved to learn and wanted to continue living in a scholarly world. All and all, I figured out that I really belonged here and I could do it.

3. I changed my major.

It was super hard for me to do this because I am the type of person that creates a plan and sticks to it. Changing my major meant that the plan was changing too, and that was one of the hardest decisions I've made. But once I changed my major to something that better fit me and what I wanted to do in the future (changed it from Risk Management and Insurance to Consumer Journalism), I was more confident and eager to make better grades.

4. I realized that everyone is in the same boat.

UGA admissions state that in 2018, the high school core GPA Overall Average of All Admitted First-Year Students was a 4.07. That means just about everyone coming in pretty much got all A's, dual enrolled, and/or took AP classes. But I can assure you, there aren't many people who continue to get those kinds of grades. And that's okay. College is much harder and it takes time to adjust. I had to realize I wasn't the only one.

5. I put school before EVERYTHING.

I missed events for my clubs, time with my friends, and I honestly probably watched Netflix a total of 10 times maximum. I decided if I was going to be in college, then it would be my first and only priority. It's easy to say that, but it's hard to miss fun things when this is supposed to be the "best four years of your life." But you kind of just have to come to terms with the fact that there will always be more chances to do those things, but if you make a bad grade it isn't necessarily going to go away.

6. When I could, I started saying YES.

It was easy for me to constantly feel like I had no time to do any more clubs or activities, but it was possible with balance and strategic planning. The more things I was involved in like UGA HEROs, Young Democrats, or even Odyssey Online, the more excited I was about what I was doing with my life. I even became a notetaker for two of my classes so I was forced to take good notes and go to class. I also studied abroad when I felt like I had absolutely no time and it turned out to be an experience that I will never forget. I said yes to things I was genuinely passionate about and things that would help me further develop skills for my future career(s).

Ultimately, to make the grades I wanted, I had to reevaluate everything I was doing and put the work in. It is all about your mindset and how far you are willing to push yourself. It's about things like being willing to do the extra credit, going to the office hours, staying in when everyone else is going out, giving yourself adequate time to study, and being surrounded by people who have similar goals. I also REALLY wanted my Zell Miller Scholarship back and I made it a goal to get there. Set goals and make them happen. If you are wanting to get better grades, my advice would be to emirs yourself completely into school. It doesn't sound super fun or cool, but it is only a few years and the return will be totally worth it. If you are studying something that you are passionate about, it shouldn't be hard to direct that energy into your schoolwork.

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