Emphasis on could be, because from the sounds of it, this is a very minor percentage.
Apparently there are now gift registries for college and university students. Yes, college – a time where any gift, monetary or otherwise, should be appreciated.
I get that post-secondary education is expensive. I’ve been there. It’s typically the first time you’re venturing out into the world on your own, and it’s costly when you add up the amount spent on a new laptop, text books, kitchen appliances, possibly a vehicle and gas, and definitely tuition and living expenses. Unlike preparing for a wedding or the arrival of a baby, students have very little income and usually very little saved up prior to college as they’ve sometimes only worked a summer job paying minimum wage. So it makes sense that if friends and relatives want to lend a hand in furnishing the dorm room it’s a welcomed offer. But I think a full-out registry is a bit extreme.
What ever happened to the days where college students got by just fine with a beat up old desk and a second-hand George Foreman grill? In my college years, I survived on two of everything – two forks, two plates, two pots (one big, one small). Everything was either a spare found in the kitchen at home or picked up at a local thrift shop. I made it a game to see just how cheaply I could live on my own. It’s all part of the ghetto college experience, and it’s fun. Who hasn’t heard the story of how their dad furnished his entire dorm room with milk crates, from the nightstand all the way down to the coffee table? And who among us didn’t think that sounded like one of the awesomest challenges ever?
College students are the world’s most creative recyclers. I once found a pretty comfy-looking desk chair on a curb in Toronto. The only thing wrong with it was that it was missing one wheel. A friend and I then carried it a few blocks until we came upon a second discarded desk chair, in worse condition, but with the wheel that first chair needed. The discovery made my day, and didn’t cost me a penny.
College is a time to scrimp and save, and it teaches us a lot. It teaches us that, no matter how nice it is to have brand-new things, we have to work hard to earn them. And you definitely appreciate them more that way, although you can be very thankful when you do have a family willing to help you out a little.
If grandma offers to pitch in for the cost of something, let her know what you absolutely need.
No one should realistically expect their relatives to drop $120 so they can have a Tassimo coffee maker or $100 so they can enjoy their own freshly-made waffles (which were both apparently on some students’ gift registries). Those are things that are much better appreciated down the road when you realize how much living outside of your parents’ house actually costs… and also safer in a mature adults house than a college dorm room quite possibly full of drunken idiots most Saturday nights.