OK Dopers: Xmas gifts for a nerdy, smart college freshman.

It’s in the title, people. She’s away at college. I’ve got some things but wouldn’t mind suggestions for more for one-time Baby Kate and now College Kate.

Sharp kid. IB diploma, already a research assistant for a prof and working on being a co-author of a paper during her first year of higher ed. Oh? I’m bragging? Yes. Yes, I am.

Interests: movies, anime, manga, social justice, D&D, tabletop games and so forth.

Things I have already acquired:

A build-your-own Ukelele
An art set
Warm socks (she went north for college)

She also likes baking and cosplay.

Go! Help!


A Starbucks gift card.

Does she have an amazon.com wish list?

Easy-to-use backup device(s) for her laptop/tablet, if she doesn’t keep everything in the cloud. The more material for school and recreation she collects on her device, the more inconvenient it’s going to be if the device gets stolen or lost or breaks down.

If she doesn’t have access to kitchen equipment where she lives, there’s not much point in getting her baking stuff. If she does, and routinely bakes in her residence or has said she’d like to, then good versions of the important expensive ingredients are really nice to have. Vanilla extract or beans, baker’s chocolate or cocoa, specialty flours, whatever. A good set of canisters is also nice for a baker.

If she makes her own cosplay outfits then the sky’s the limit in terms of what she’ll enjoy having from the sewing/crafts department. Gift cards to JoAnn Fabrics or Michael’s store chains, if she has any within reach, will be a great boon. (Skip the Hobby Lobby equivalents since she’s into social justice.)

Let’s see. Movies - is she going to college somewhere where there are lots of old movies shown by various local theaters or by college groups? How about buying her a book called something like The 100 Movies Every Film Buff Should See? There are a number of such books.

Cosplay - rolls of cloth and a sewing machine?

Likes movies and D+D, huh?

Here you are!

glee? I hate you. I already hated you, but now I hate you more. And I want THIS!

College student?


Money. All they want is money.

No, I have a firm ‘no cash gifts’ policy. So something useful and quirky is where I’m hoping to go.

I got her a complete set of Vampire Hunter D manga on the recco of her BFF - who loves to conspire - and some of the ‘Shown Original Size’ stickers from XKCD.