Gifts and Ideas for Returning Mid-Life Student
Returning to school for anyone can always stressful, at any age. For someone like myself it was something I dreaded every semester, but it did get easier with time. I would think about what supplies where needs, parking permits, books, making new friends, dealing with new professors, and getting back into my study habits. With each new semester would come with a new challenge or new situation that would not be foreseen. After many conversations with many of my fellow middle-age students in conjunction with my personal experiences, I have formulated a list of items that will definitely helpful and appreciated to make life easier for any mid-lifer returning to school. These items can be either given to, or even asked for by middle-life college students that may not be thought of when returning to school. Some do apply to any college student that may be new to the college scene.
Baby Sitting Service:
The number one topic of any middle-life student that is always talked about is their children. Offering to watch someone’s child(ren) so they can go to class is a very serious commitment. Most returning middle-life students have class time coverage for their children. What I am suggesting is to watch their children so they can either study for an important test or even have a fun night out as a break from school. Any child watching would be greatly appreciated for any reason.
Gas Gift Cards/Bus Pass:
Paying for someone’s transportation to school is one less thing for a returning student to worry about. This was one of my personal favorites. I would get gas gift cards for my birthday or Christmas and would put them in my school backpack for the weeks when I was short on cash and my gas tank would be close to empty.
One of my good friends (single mom) would take 2 classes a semester. Her employer was reimbursing her paying for her to go to school, but still was on a really strict budget. Her mother would pay for her parking pass each semester so her daughter would be safe and wouldn’t have to spend a lot of time looking for street parking which was scarce. Most days my friend was short on time coming from work so this was an enormous help the her.
Coffee Gift Cards:
Most college campuses have a some sort of a coffee shop on campus. Middle-State U had a Starbucks, and some colleges will have a Dunkin Donuts on site or even may have a regional coffee shop. Look to see what coffee shops/chains are on campus and give the student in your life gift cards. These are great for these weeks when funds may be low. I’m one of the few dozen people in this world that doesn’t drill coffee or tea, but these shops mostly have other beverages as well and cool items to eat.
Movie Cards or Passes:
Every student needs a break or needs to have some fun every now and then. These are always appreciated. I would used these for a ‘date night’ for my wife and I.
Tickets to a home sports game:
This may not apply to every school (or student), but for those who have a competitive sports teams, this is a great way for the sports fan to have some fun while support their school.
Who doesn’t like cash, enough said.
Gift Cards – Restaurant:
Being able to enjoy a meal during some off time at your favorite restaurant is great, having someone else pay for it is even better.
Gift Cards – Clothing:
OK, this may be for mostly the ladies, but I like shopping for my own clothes sometimes. One year, I received gift cards for Dick’s Sporting Goods and was able to buy some great comfortable sneakers. My feet felt great that semester with all the walking completed on campus.
Adding Funds to Campus E Card:
What is an E Card? Most colleges and universities will use their official student ID card as a declining balance debit card. Basically it’s a way for students to be allowed to make cash-free purchases all over campus, as well as select off-campus locations. How it works is that family and friends can add cash to the account online from home into the students account. Then the student can use it where ever the card is accepted on campus. Locations usually are the school bookstore, most food entities, and the campus coffee shop. Middle-State U’s E Card was accepted at those locations plus almost all the street food trucks and even some off-campus shops and restaurants as well.
There are more ideas but these are the ones that would be most appreciated to the mid-life returning student from my experiences. Thanks again for checking in.