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Headphones, dorm decor, and more – ANITH
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Headphones, dorm decor, and more

Headphones, dorm decor, and more

If you haven’t yet realized by the 15 grad party invites hanging on your fridge, it’s high school graduation season. Grads everywhere are expecting to be congratulated for making it through four years of waking up at 6 am, just to go to school to learn trigonometry that they will never use again ever. 

There’s a ton of boring stuff that they’ll need but definitely won’t be excited to get (under the bed storage is just not as exciting as it used to be) and then there’s the stuff that they want.

You know, the VR gaming gear, the nice TV, the cool decorations — everything that will make them the cool kid in the dorm. If you’re trying to be the cool friend or family member who doesn’t gift a vacuum, this is the wishlist you’ll want to use.

(Don’t worry, not everything is some big $300 thing. We know a lot of people are shopping for multiple graduates and can’t be giving everyone a new gaming console like Oprah can.)

Here are our picks for best grad gifts — high school edition:

VR gaming gear is the *it* thing to have this year, and is guaranteed to make your graduate the coolest one in the dorm. And we’re not suggesting just any VR headset — we’re suggesting the almost-always-sold-out-because-it’s-so-cool Oculus Go. It’s the ultimate user-friendly headset that doesn’t require any confusing setup or connection to a phone, but has some seriously high-quality graphics that make you feel like the virtual reality is your reality. Mashable’s tech team is even obsessed (and can’t believe that it’s this good and this affordable). 

Get it before it sells out again for just $199 here.

Or they can throw it all the way back with a Super NES Classic (college students love this retro shit). Now that they’re old and adulting, this taste of nostalgia will be a breath of fresh air for them, and will be the thing that everyone on their floor will want to play. It has the original feel of that dinosaur ’90s console (except more conveniently sized) and is pre-loaded with 21 classic Nintendo games: Super Mario World, Donkey Kong Country, and Kirby Super Star, to name a few. 

These things are constantly sold out — so if you get your hands on one for them, they’ll love you forever. Find it for $92.37 here.

They’ll need a TV to go with their gaming stuff obviously, and you might as well make it a smart TV. The Amazon’s Choice 49-inch TCL 49S405 4K Ultra HD Smart TV is a dream for any college student, (especially when they probably assumed they’d just be watching Netflix on their tiny laptop screen). All of their streaming apps, connection to gaming stuff, and channels will be right there, which saves them from buying a ton of extra gear and cords. They’ll be able to use this TV for years to come in their next few apartments, which is always nice to know when gifting something pricey.

Regularly $479, you can snag this TCL TV on sale for just $329 here.

The first year of college is like, the most photographable time period ever. Students are making new friends, doing a ton of new things, and will want to document it all (and do it for the ‘gram). The Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 is the perfect little camera to give them an immediate physical photo to display, and everyone is gonna want to be in it. The Mini 9 is the most recent of the Instax Mini family, and has fun new features like determining the best brightness setting.

Choose from five adorable colors and get one for $69.99 here. They’ll probably run out of film within the first week, so it would also be wise to gift them a backup pack.

String lights with photo clips are basically a requirement in college dorms, especially for a student who has an instant camera. Since they probably won’t be able to put holes in the wall for a picture frame, these are super simple as they can be hung up with command hooks. (You could even add a picture of you to make sure they don’t forget to call you.) 

Get them for $12.99 here.

The Amazon Echo.

The Amazon Echo.

The Amazon Echo Spot.

The Amazon Echo Spot.

Can you imagine how cool they’ll look being able to order a pizza for the group or an Uber to the party just by asking Alexa? Oh, and this smart digital assistant can also help them like, study and whatever. One device even acts as a portable Bluetooth speaker, which is another college necessity. Parents will be happy to know about the Drop-in feature (a video call on the Amazon Echo Show) — which basically allows you to “drop in” on someone without them having to answer. They’ll never be able to ignore your call again.

Check out the Amazon Echo family here, with prices starting at just $49.99 for the Echo Dot. (To see the difference between all of the devices before you make your purchase, see our handy guide here.)

Do we even need to explain this one? This rapid ramen cooker makes the broke college student’s meal even easier than usual since it’s reusable and the water filling line is clearly marked. They also have really good reviews, with people saying you literally can’t go wrong with having a few of these handy (especially on days where you haven’t done dishes in a while). 

Choose from 12 colors and get them for $8.99 each here.

Sitting by the wall to charge because your cord doesn’t stretch far enough is so high school. If the grad you’re gifting to has an iPhone 8, iPhone X, Samsung Galaxy S6 or later model, Galaxy Note 8, or any other Qi-certified phones, this classic wireless charger from Samsung is about to have them looking real fancy. All they have to do is set their phone on top and bam: Their phone will start charging (they can still use it, of course) and the LED halo light will indicate the charging percentage. 

Get it for $23.90 here.

Whether they need peace and quiet for working or just to get some sleep, a quality pair of noise cancelling headphones is a must for eliminating distractions (and just for walking to class, honestly). The Amazon’s Choice Bose QuietComfort 35 Noise cancelling Bluetooth headphones have comfy plush ear cushions and can last almost an entire day before needing to be charged. With 4.5 out of 5 stars and over 4,000 customer reviews, they’re pretty much guaranteed to be reliable.

The Bose 35s regularly go for $349, but we’ve seen them on sale for as low as $329. Choose from sleek black or silver here.

While you may not be able to predict and gift everything that they’ll need in the future, you can give the gift of free 2-day shipping with Amazon Prime, which is the next best thing and the most convenient thing ever. You know how annoying it is to pay for shipping, and they’ll be way more likely to order the necessities (you know, new underwear or deodorant) instead of going without them if they know free shipping is an option.They’ll also have access to other sweet perks like Amazon Video and Amazon Music Unlimited. 

Give three months for $39 or a whole year for $119 — learn more about your options here.

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Anith Gopal
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