The Daily Northwestern

A college student’s guide to finding the perfect gifts

Meera Patel, Reporter

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Gifts are symbols. They embody the feelings that you have towards a person, whether those are good, bad or mixed. It’s no wonder there’s so much pressure to find the perfect holiday gift; how do you convey your emotions toward a person in a single object?

Not to worry. Here’s a rundown of what to purchase for the important people in a college student’s life.

1. Roommates

You live with these people. If they don’t like your present, they’ll probably throw all your belongings out your window, so no pressure. Essentially, you need to sum up all the pep talks, passive aggressive sticky notes, sexiles given and received and the elaborate schemes you carried out to get people out of your room when it was time to sleep, into one present. The solution? An extremely ugly, thick sweater. It will keep them warm for all the great times, and will look terrible for all the bad times. They’ll love it.

2. Significant other

Whether you’re in this for the long haul or just for fun, you have to get a significant other something that represents your relationship. If it’s casual, go with jewelry. If you’re in a serious relationship, get your special someone a Slinky. The Slinky is a great decision, since it can be used as stress relief, a time waster, or if you’re really into it, work out equipment. If a “serious talk” ever comes up, be sure to remind bring up the Slinky you got for Christmas — it’ll be a good distraction.

3. Parent

Your parents deserve special gifts. They raised you, after all. Your birthday is coming up sometime in the next year, so remind them of the most important day of their lives. Invest in a cake platter of some sort. If you’re low on funds, a plate from your dish cabinet back home will suffice. They’ll be overcome with excitement for the upcoming birthday and will start planning an elaborate party for you right away.

4. Siblings

Ah, your siblings. The people you fight with every time you meet, yet still have to spend holidays with. Whether you’re on good terms or bad terms with your siblings, get them a wallet. This reminds them to save up for when they have to pay you to tell people that you are, in fact, related.

5. Best friend

Instead of getting cliche matching “best friends” necklaces, try getting matching spatulas. Staying best friends takes hard work, and now you have intimidating tools you can use to face the world. Make sure they’re pink.

6. Arch nemesis

You openly despise this person. Success for this person means nights of your wallowing in self-pity, while success for you means… Well, you’re not really sure what your enemies do if you one-up them. But still, since this is a competition after all, give him or her a Paula Deen cookbook, but replace its cover with one from a Gwyneth Paltrow cookbook. This way, your arch nemesis will think he or she is eating healthy, but is in fact putting three sticks of butter in every dish. Sit back, and enjoy the results.

7. Teaching assistant you’re not-so-secretly in love with

Every time you go into office hours, you lose the ability to speak coherent sentences and knock over objects left and right. Despite this, there is an easy way to get your TA to fall in love with you: Send him or her cupcakes, each with a letter of your name on the top. The recipient definitely won’t try to eat them and instead will take the hint and unscramble the letters to figure out who the sender is. Once your TA figures it out, he or she will immediately email you asking you to come in for “extra tutoring,” and you’ll be all set.

Phew, that’s one thing off your to-do list. Now all that’s left is ordering all these socially acceptable presents. Be sure to get the reactions on tape when your recipients open them.

Email: meera@u.northwestern.edu

Twitter: @SoShaloni

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