The AU Students’ Gift Guide

Once again, December has crept up on us without notice. Finding the perfect gift to give us as “adult students” can be a challenge for our loved ones. We want to receive something a bit special and creative, yet practical to help us on our learning journey. So here are some gift ideas that you can use to put together your own wish list (or you can just print this out and leave it in a conspicuous spot for people to find).

The gift of tech is an easy win. It’s a useful tool to help with studying, and it can be a showstopper of a present, but it can also be a tricky gift to purchase unless It’s exactly the right item. AU students qualify for an education discount through the Apple store, so a new MacBook or iPad might be the perfect present that will last for several years. Another gift idea is an e-reader for those AU e-texts, not to mention a portable way to read for pleasure. A pair of noise-cancelling headphones, or a scanner pen that transfers and saves handwritten or typed text into a document on a computer might also be the perfect study accessory.

This isn’t an overly personal gift, but using software to assist with study management can make tasks so much easier. Programs such as Dropbox Pro, Scribd, Scrivener, 1Password, or a subscription to Amazon Prime or NextIssue (just to name a few of the great resources available) will be welcomed and leave you wondering how you managed without them.

A Good Chair
Spending long hours hunched over a computer or cracking those books can lead to back and shoulder problems due to poor posture. While a chair might not seem like a very original present?and a professional-grade ergonomic office chair is not cheap?it is a purchase that will prove its value in the long run compared to the cost of treating future health issues. Another alternative for those who enjoy studying outside of the house is an ergonomic backpack or laptop bag. Just carrying it around is guaranteed to make a person feel smarter!

An Experience
What have you always wanted to try but haven’t, because you are always trying to get that essay submitted or finish “just one more course?” Receiving a gift certificate for an experience might be the push you need to take a study break for at least a few hours. Whether It’s white-water rafting, a theatre or symphony performance, a weekend stay at a fancy hotel, a spa treatment, or a subscription to a treat-of-the- month club, this gift might be the boost you need to give yourself a breather.

A Coupon Book
This gift might come across as twee and uninspiring, but finding some free time is a big deal for AU students because of the constant battle to balance work, family commitments, and the challenges that come with distance education (AU student Moms find getting free time especially difficult). Making a coupon book good for afternoons of watching the kids, a long bubble bath, a promise to clean the house or X-number of hours of uninterrupted study time just might be the perfect gift and is a customized way for a family member to show their support. Making it look professional and printing the coupons out at a copy shop gives this gift more “street cred.”

Stocking Stuffers
Beyond the usual books, socks and coffee shop gift cards, here are some other creative ideas for smaller gifts:
– An item from the AU online shop
– A posh ballpoint pen
– Relaxing essential oils or good quality natural body products
– A custom stamps for home library books
– A Moleskine journal or Filofax day planner
– A clip on book light
– Lots of pens, pencils and highlighters in an attractive container

Carla would love to receive any of these gifts from her husband, but admits that, like many AU student moms, she would really love just taking a good nap.