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Subversive Gifts for New College Students?

Cliff posted more than 11 years ago | from the tools-for-use-outside-of-the-box dept.

Education 1191

openyourmind asks: "A friend's daughter is going to college, and I want to send her a package to help her in school. What kinds of things did you wish you had, but couldn't get, in college? I have already included a lockpick set, a UVmarking pen, and an LED flashlight in her care package. What else? Legal items only, please."

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1191 comments

That's 2!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3604072)

Suck it, CLIT!

Re:That's 2!! (-1)

L0rdkariya (562469) | more than 11 years ago | (#3604107)

My bad, I was reading Penny-Arcade. Anyway, your post is claimed for the CLIT. Nice try though.

Camera (5, Funny)

TellarHK (159748) | more than 11 years ago | (#3604081)

One of those micro-sized Pen-cams or something along those lines. Just perfect for breaking into the professors offices and snapping shots of tests.

Re:Camera (5, Funny)

darkonc (47285) | more than 11 years ago | (#3604248)

Just perfect for breaking into the professors offices and snapping shots of tests.

Yeah.. It'd go real nice with the lockpick set.
Not that I want to be nitpicky, or anything, but aren't burglery tools considered illegal in most jurisdictions? Perhaps they're only to help her 'make backups of her dorm room contents'?

Condoms (4, Funny)

Bozovision (107228) | more than 11 years ago | (#3604083)

Definitely.

Re:Condoms (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3604196)

you couldn't afford condoms when you were in college?

Re:Condoms (1)

Havokmon (89874) | more than 11 years ago | (#3604260)

Semisid is more expensive than condoms. (it's a spermicial 'pill' that you insert...you get the idea)

Obviously, you don't get what you pay for.

Re:Condoms (1)

Bearpaw (13080) | more than 11 years ago | (#3604219)

... and dental dams and some good safer sex pamphlets. And maybe a gift certificate to Blowfish [blowfish.com] .

(Um. Might be awkward, though, if she's a friend's daughter.)

Re:Condoms (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3604249)

4 *informative*??

Ummm, insightful maybe, funny maybe, or perhaps even you could see it as flamebait or troll. But it's not particularly informative, unles you're not very familiar with what a condom is...

The biggest problem with moderation is the moderators. But wait, the moderators are us....

Hrmmmm, this one is a doozy...

How about... (3, Insightful)

Binestar (28861) | more than 11 years ago | (#3604086)

You can always give her a can of Mace and a stun gun, depending on which college she is going to of course.

Re:How about... (0, Flamebait)

linzeal (197905) | more than 11 years ago | (#3604223)

Get her a real weapon like a gun and a year's worth of training lessons.

Lockpick? That's not legal everywhere (3, Informative)

Software (179033) | more than 11 years ago | (#3604089)

It's classified as a "burglar tool", IIRC

Re:Lockpick? That's not legal everywhere (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3604148)

For that matter, other things have variable legality, too. For example, mace/pepper spray is against the law in Washington, D.C. (as are handguns.)

DC is obviously much safer because of it! *cough*

lockpick set? (1)

Oo.et.oO (6530) | more than 11 years ago | (#3604093)

AFAIK they are illegal.

but, as always, IANAL

Re:lockpick set? (1)

NickRob (575331) | more than 11 years ago | (#3604158)

Actually they're not. In many states, such as Texas, it's legal to own, posess and use lockpicks... it's just not legal to use them on a door to another person's house.

If they were illegal, there would be no locksmiths.

Re:lockpick set? (5, Informative)

Phoenix (2762) | more than 11 years ago | (#3604176)

Actually they are not illegal to own...I got a set when I took that DIY locksmithing course.

I make a butt load of money at the beach. Paid for a merchant's license, posted my cell phone number and I get 4 calls a day from morons who lock thier keys in the car at the beach...and since the beach is a barrier island that it 40 minutes from the nearest locksmith, I can charge half of thier price and I get them on thier way in 20 minutes or less.

Hell, go to lockpicks.com and you can get whatever you need.

It's legal, but they usually add to the crime if you commit a crime with those devices.

The real question is...what can she get for you? (3, Funny)

Hee Hee Hee (310695) | more than 11 years ago | (#3604098)

Some of the most interesting items I've found have been on and around college campuses. Ask her to send YOU some stuff, once she gets settled in there.

Re:The real question is...what can she get for you (-1)

l33t j03 (222209) | more than 11 years ago | (#3604166)

You act as though UPS will allow you to ship the drunken daughter of a Wisconsin dairy farmer, rebelling against her pseudo-authoritarian parents by getting her ear pierced multiple times and wearing a Mayhem T shirt.

Thats really the only interesting sort of thing to be found around most college campuses.

Legal Items only? (4, Insightful)

ralico (446325) | more than 11 years ago | (#3604099)

That takes all the fun out of it!

Seriously, if you are looking to get her something that she can't afford on her own, may I suggest a pda? I sure wish I had one, esp to remind me of my projects and homework due.

If going to school in San Diego (1)

sageFool (36961) | more than 11 years ago | (#3604103)

...a card with emergency numbers to call when you get into trouble south of the border. Which, of course, you will. Remember to stay away from the donkeys.

wrist bands (4, Funny)

Deanasc (201050) | more than 11 years ago | (#3604104)

A case of those wrist bands they let you wear to show you're over 21 to drink at the bar. Every color and striping.

Re:wrist bands (0)

Tom Finch (581983) | more than 11 years ago | (#3604205)

What's with the decimal? Use hexadecimal, as decimal posts get moderated down quickly. Use something like 11h for seventeen.

Re:wrist bands (2, Insightful)

purpledinoz (573045) | more than 11 years ago | (#3604218)

Wristbands, This is definitely a must! And a some solvent to wash away the marks they put on your hands with a big black marker.

Legal ? (1)

rodel (581217) | more than 11 years ago | (#3604106)

What state are you/they in where lock picks are legal? In most states (certainly in mine) they qualify as burglary tools and unless you can demonstrate a need (ie. being a locksmith) just possesion is a crime.

Condoms. (2, Redundant)

Dr. Zowie (109983) | more than 11 years ago | (#3604109)

Well, so they're available virtually everywhere anyway in college, but STDs are still rampant on many college campuses. Even if you foolishly believe she'll stay celibate, it's better for her to have 'em on-hand and give 'em away than to not have 'em around if something, er, pops up.

well... (3, Funny)

beleg777 (551987) | more than 11 years ago | (#3604112)

Back in college I always wanted a girlfriend. since you're talking about a girl that probably doesn't apply, but anyway.

Lockpicks (2)

NickRob (575331) | more than 11 years ago | (#3604114)

I hope you gave her a set of normal picks. Those ones that you get spam for won't work. Oh... instructions would be good

Also, I found the best thing I had was a TV tuner. That way I could watch the cable provided by dorms and places, but not have to move a TV. I could also watch TV and chat and stuff. It was really nice.

I've also heard it's great to have a really good, thick dictionary, butI've just used dictionary.com. (it's not perfect, but it gets the job done)

Something Useful.. (1)

lionchild (581331) | more than 11 years ago | (#3604116)

A simple PDA of some sort, even if it's just an low-level electronic assignment book. I see more and more colleges offereing infromation and study tools for class-specific things on PDA formats. Could be a useful tool for the serious student.

Beer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3604120)

She's going to need Corona, limes, a box of condoms and birth control.

Subversive Gifts? (3, Insightful)

quantaman (517394) | more than 11 years ago | (#3604121)

Uhhh... I'm not trying to jump to conclusions or anything but, exactly what are you trying to subvert your freind's daughter into doing? Then again maybe we don't want to know all the details after all...

Simple (2)

molrak (541582) | more than 11 years ago | (#3604122)

Blank CDs... Thousands of them. A burner would probably be a good idea too, as well as a computer I suppose. Those college networks have everything on them.

Food (3, Insightful)

CoffeeDad (317394) | more than 11 years ago | (#3604126)

It may sound silly, but... seriously, food. Snack items and coupons for cheap or free dinners are good, but simple things you wouldn't think about like salt, pepper, spices, etc. - anything to make that brick of noodles she'll be living on more closely resemble something edible!

- my $0.02

Demotivators, baby. (3, Funny)

2Flower (216318) | more than 11 years ago | (#3604130)

You can't go wrong with Demotivators [despair.com] in calendar or poster form. Heck, every one even lists 'disaffected students' as an ideal target audience!

Okay, so they're not illegal, but they'll give your bright-eyed student a glimpse at the future of things to come after they start actively using your other gifts...

The main thing I would wish ... (4, Funny)

warmcat (3545) | more than 11 years ago | (#3604132)

... is that my Father had better choice in his friends, so that I would not be the target of this attempt at being turned into a Dark Angel ripoff by someone old enough to know better than to use younger folks for their vicarious thrills.

Re:The main thing I would wish ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3604221)

Well said. Mods, please mod parent up.

Re:The main thing I would wish ... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3604261)

No shit.

I mean, if she wanted a lockpick set, she could order one. They're not illegal, there's nothing stopping her from getting one. What the hell is she going to do with it, anyway, break in to other people's rooms? There's easier ways to do that, using social engineering, which will also teach her skills that she can use in the business world.

From the horses mouth... (3, Funny)

Entropy_ah (19070) | more than 11 years ago | (#3604134)

As a student currenty in his third year of college, I have one suggestion....
MONEY!!!!

How 'bout something she'll use? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3604135)

A bong, a case of Pabst, and a bus pass.

Recording (2, Insightful)

handsomepete (561396) | more than 11 years ago | (#3604143)

I know it's cliched, but I would've liked to have had one of those handheld tape recorders for lectures. I had no problems listening in high school, but college somehow weakend that ability in me. Being able to take notes after class is a good thing.

Re:Recording (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3604245)

Apparently, college didn't do much for your spelling and grammar, either.....

Sharpies...for breaking copy protection... (0, Redundant)

FirstNoel (113932) | more than 11 years ago | (#3604144)

oh wait...you said you wanted legal items only...

Sean D.

This is the big one: (2)

cardshark2001 (444650) | more than 11 years ago | (#3604147)

A bunch of HP printer cartridges. Those damn things were exPENsive! I couldn't afford them as a student.

well now... (3, Insightful)

SGDarkKnight (253157) | more than 11 years ago | (#3604151)

mac and cheese... lots of it... 3 years worth is usually good... and gone within the first few months...

Re:well now... (2, Insightful)

Cheeko (165493) | more than 11 years ago | (#3604239)

A bottle opener (one of the good metal ones), a lighter and a case of Ramen, should be handy as well.

Are you sure you meant "legal"? (2, Insightful)

Anomolous Cow Herd (457746) | more than 11 years ago | (#3604157)

A lockpicking set? Good God, man, read up on the law before you do shit like that! The people who carry those (locksmiths) have to be specially licensed to do so. Otherwise, it's quite easy to get arrested for carrying what could only be tools for breaking and entering. There is nearly no "dual use" with such devices: if something is locked, it was probably meant to stay that way unless you have the key.

What are you planning on your friend's daughter doing, anyway? The included LED light sounds like you're hoping for a career in burglery. What in the world would you be doing with these at college? I went through 4 years of undergrad and 5 more years to get my PhD in CS, but I never found myself having to break into other people's property.

Besides, the gun nuts (no offense intended) at this site will tell you that one of the best ways to get shot and killed is to break and enter on an armed person's premesis.

Lockpick? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3604162)

Better check the laws of the state she's in. In some states, mere possession of burglary tools is a crime, in others it's only a crime to possess them if you're caught trespassing.

IIRC in Washington DC it's neither illegal to possess lock picks or to use them. Keeps the government agents and congressional aides out of jail I guess.

Beer-making kit (1)

HtR (240250) | more than 11 years ago | (#3604164)

If I would have had that, I would have had more money and better parties.

It's Really Quite Simple (2)

ScumBiker (64143) | more than 11 years ago | (#3604170)

Cash. The best gift ever. It's all I really wanted when I went. I'm giving my half sister cash for her going away to college gift. I sure as hell ain't gonna give her condoms.

How about (1)

rgraham (199829) | more than 11 years ago | (#3604171)

a paint ball gun so you can be like Anthony Edwards in the movie Gotcha! [fast-rewind.com]

Course be sure to turn down the pressure on that thing else you might poke somebody's eye out!

Condoms! (0, Redundant)

Simulant (528590) | more than 11 years ago | (#3604172)

Why is it not surprising nobody has mentioned this yet?

Re:Condoms! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3604258)

Why is it not surpising that you're a dumbass?

Porno (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3604173)

Flat out porno.

Home-brewing Kit (1)

FirstNoel (113932) | more than 11 years ago | (#3604178)

They won't let you bring in alcohol without signing it in for the record. Make your own!!! Nobody is the wiser...

Sean D.

Re:Home-brewing Kit (0)

Budgreen (561093) | more than 11 years ago | (#3604240)

don't buy that beer in a bag stuff! yeah, sounds cheap to begin with and turns out to be.. buy a quality setup and you will be drunk as lonmg as you can afford to be :)

Gift Ideas (2, Insightful)

gururise (263174) | more than 11 years ago | (#3604179)

A Lockpick set is probably illegal (depending upon which state she attends college in). In California, for instance, it is illegal for any person to posses a lockpick set without being a licensed locksmith.

Other great ideas would be a Sharp Zaurus SL-5500 [myzaurus.com] with an 802.11b card and the kismet wireless sniffing software [killefiz.de] . Great for wardriving, or just walking around the dorms, sniffing for open networks.

The other thing you should consider is, are these the values you want to instill in a new college student? Sure hacking, and messing around can be fun, but in today's society, there is a fine line between having fun and breaking the law!

Gururise

Given the widespread Left Wing vibe... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3604180)

Giving the girl a copy of Ayn Rand's novels "The Fountainhead" and "Atlas Shrugged" sounds pretty fuckin' subversive to me.

My phone number (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3604183)

If you want my number to give her (and you do!), just reply back! Hot college chicks rule!

What I wish I had taken (4, Insightful)

unicron (20286) | more than 11 years ago | (#3604188)

After one year in college, my stupid ass got the boot. I had to leave my girl, and I wish someone would've sit me down and said "You will never meet another one like this again. She's beautiful, intelligent, wonderfully cynical, interesting, fun, and for some reason she's in love with your stupid ass. So don't fuck it up. Go to class, study, pay attention. I know that this freedom is going to be knew to you, but you have to remain a bigger person and control it. Just because you can skip class and not get busted by anyone doesn't mean you should. Watch the partying. Tomorrow is going to come no matter what, do you want to be well rested and still have your money or hung over and broke? Pick your friends carefully. Choose those that know how to have a good time but know when it's time to sit up and hit the books. And always remember: Theatre Majors are the epitome of laziness."

Huh? (2)

blankmange (571591) | more than 11 years ago | (#3604190)

What kind of a friend is this? Where is she going to college? As noted here in previous posts, in most states a lockpick set is illegal if found on your person. You listed a couple of other items, but didn't really say what she would need them for -- when I went to college, I needed a decent PC and printer, an internet connection and a place to live - everything else was gravy.....

Anybody else think this is screwy?

subversive items? (4, Funny)

mosch (204) | more than 11 years ago | (#3604193)

To help her financially, I suggest giving her the glassware and precursors required to synthesize MDMA.

To help her socially, I suggest a bong, the barware neccessary for mixing drinks a bit better than most college kids do, and a decent stereo.

To help her medically, I suggest condoms and umm... more condoms.

Thinking back... (5, Insightful)

daoine (123140) | more than 11 years ago | (#3604200)

..I wished I had brought

-A decent pocket knife
-Duct Tape
-A decent baby-sized tool box -- with a good hammer, screwdrivers (flat & philips head), pliers, and all the other little goodies.
-Earplugs
-A beer..err...soda cozy
-Quarters, quarters, and more quarters

Lockpicks and an LED flashlight? (3, Funny)

Twister002 (537605) | more than 11 years ago | (#3604201)

What is she studying? Prof. Badinovs "How to be a nogoodnik" at Whatsamatta U?

What would you need lockpicks at college for?

Now an iPod, she could get free software from the computer center at least.

Heck, get her a tape recorder so she can tape lectures or a small video camera.

Or if she has trouble paying tuition, get her a web cam and a guide to "Whoring yourself on the internet".

Re:Lockpicks and an LED flashlight? (0, Troll)

unicron (20286) | more than 11 years ago | (#3604238)

No shit, man. "Hey Bill, Christmas is right around the corner, let me get a username and password for that site your sister works at!"

"Go fuck yourself!"

Bottle Opener (0)

dedair (238106) | more than 11 years ago | (#3604203)

The one thing that kept me popular in college was an endless supply of bottle openers (don't ask how).

Depends on her major and college (4, Informative)

reschly (565800) | more than 11 years ago | (#3604211)

My first semester freshman engineering class was all about Matlab, so buying a copy of that (or whatever software package they teach in her studies) would be useful. Of cousre, that's only a good idea if they aren't allowed to buy software at a discounted price [purdue.edu] . If she's in an apartment, you can always use more dishes/cookware. Food is also good. Or Tae-bo tapes, or running shoes, something along that line. Many students don't get any exercise, so get something to push her away from the frosh 15 (I lost 3 pounds freshman year :-P). I've found that a bike to ride to class is very useful (I go to a large university, mind you [purdue.edu] ). A $100 wal-mart bike would do for that (get a lock, too). Ok, all I can think of.

shot glass (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3604212)

shot glass... very very important, it has many uses, can be used to drink rum AND vodka

stuff (1)

Casca (4032) | more than 11 years ago | (#3604213)

Engraver, they're like $5 from radio shack

A small lockbox with holes drilled in the bottom that she can then mount to the bottom of her closet to put her valuables in. It saved my butt.

A number of someone to call when she gets homesick and freaked out.

Several $20 bills in seperate envelopes, for when she runs out of $$$ and needs a drink.

Big Bong!! (0)

Nanite (220404) | more than 11 years ago | (#3604216)

Every college student needs one. The bigger they are, the more stoners she'll impress. And remember, if you call them 'water pipes' they're perfectly legal!

A Fridge! (1)

delphi125 (544730) | more than 11 years ago | (#3604224)

Am I allowed to say something I did have? Mmmmm - beer good! Oh wait, she in USA, oops, erm.... MMMMMM - Milk good!

A few suggestions (5, Insightful)

pclinger (114364) | more than 11 years ago | (#3604225)

I assume this person has a computer and that they are now moving away to college (that's what it sounds like). As a college student myself, these are some things which always come in handy:

1) Quarters
Think laundry. You always need quarters. Just send a couple rolls and it should last a while. Make sure you tell her what it is for so she doesn't just go spend it

2) Tools
Such as a hammer, screw drivers, etc. If you live in the dorms, no one has these types of things and they are hard to come by. Anyone who has tools is instantly popular.

3) Network Card?
If this person has used dialup all their life and never had/needed a network card, they will need one now to get online while at campus.

There is a lot more, you will find many more suggestions from other posters.

I've got three suggestions for you... (1)

NOT-2-QUICK (114909) | more than 11 years ago | (#3604234)

1. Condoms
2. More condoms
3. Did I mention rubbers?

Prophylactics are a great gift for any college kid - male or female! They show that you are cool and hip to their scene, that you acknowledge that they are now an adult and able to make their own choices, they send a good message (practice safe sex), and you can never, ever have too many of them...

Definitely a win-win situation, if you ask me! I would just make sure that whatever card you send with this care package is no suggestive in the least... :-)

Not subversive, but... (2, Insightful)

eison (56778) | more than 11 years ago | (#3604236)

It's not a matter of 'can't get', it's a matter of 'can't afford' or 'can't get to the store' or 'didn't think to buy'. Ignoring traditional gender roles, what would be really useful for college:
4-in-1 Screwdriver. Hammer. Simple voltmeter. Drill. Electrical tape.
Towel (a really really nice fluffy new one, the kind your parents would have a heart attack if you used to wash the car or clean up a spill since it wasn't an old beat up towel. Write on it with permanent marker, something like "use for stuff your parents would cringe at you using a nice towel for" or something like that).

Well, duh! (5, Funny)

catseye (96076) | more than 11 years ago | (#3604237)

Give her what every shy, young, sweet, innocent, 18-year-old female college freshman needs:

a webcam!

At least, that's what I think they all need...

Protection (2, Insightful)

drdidg (456501) | more than 11 years ago | (#3604241)

And by this I mean like mace or a little key ring sized pepper spray. Have to protect your body right?

mini-refrigerator (1)

wizkid (13692) | more than 11 years ago | (#3604242)


A mini-refrigerator for the beer, and a microwave for the popcorn.

Should I mention the roach clip? Oh that's right, legal stuff...scratch the roach clip :)

Depends on how much you like your friend (1, Funny)

Mononoke (88668) | more than 11 years ago | (#3604243)

Handy tools:
  • The fattest Swiss Army Knife you can find
  • A set of TORX drivers
  • Latex gloves
  • Camo makeup kit
  • Duck tape
  • Roll of twine

Or, the alternative:

  • See-thru lingerie
  • Body paints
  • Kama Sutra manual
  • condoms

Or, better yet, for all of us to enjoy:

  • Webcam

(Hmm, I suppose the duct tape could be useful in all of those scenarios.)

Lockpicks and other stuff. (1)

Trolocsis (319617) | more than 11 years ago | (#3604247)

It depends which state you are in if lockpicks are legal... But sending any lockpicks in the mail to a non-locksmith is a federal crime.

Lets see... Send some of the best coffee beans on the earth... I always had bad coffee.
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