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Subversive Gifts for New College Students? 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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Subversive Gifts for New College Students?

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  • Camera (Score:5, Funny)

    by TellarHK ( 159748 ) <tellarhk AT hotmail DOT com> on Wednesday May 29, 2002 @03:40PM (#3604081) Homepage Journal
    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 (Score:5, Funny)

      by darkonc ( 47285 ) <stephen_samuel@bcgr e e n . com> on Wednesday May 29, 2002 @03:50PM (#3604248) Homepage Journal
      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 (Score:4, Funny)

    by Bozovision ( 107228 ) on Wednesday May 29, 2002 @03:40PM (#3604083) Homepage
    • Re:Condoms (Score:4, Funny)

      by global_diffusion ( 540737 ) on Wednesday May 29, 2002 @04:16PM (#3604559) Homepage
      condoms are free at colleges. I recommend a vibrator. Like a Hello Kitty Vibrator [sxxxy.org].
      • Re:Vibrators (Score:3, Informative)

        by MartinB ( 51897 )
        Aye, but not if she's going to be in Texas, where Vibrators are banned [villagevoice.com].
        • Re:Vibrators (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Bonker ( 243350 )
          Uhmm... Sorry. Despite the fact that sex toys and sodomy (and by the strictest definition -- anything other than hetero, vaginal sex) are on the books as illegal in TX, dildos are still sold quite openly in the right stores.

          I've been to Forbidden Fruit in Austin. Lived next to it for almost a year since it's across the street from the UT student commons, as a matter of fact. Just said no when my buddies tried to convince me to get a body piercing there. Ahem...

          AT ANY RATE... They did indeed openly sell a wide array of sex-related merchandise... Including leather ball-sacs, cock-rings, love-beads, and yes, vibrators and dildos. Mind you, this was in '93, and I don't live in Austin any more. Any Austinites care to confirm or dispell my dated data?
      • Re:Condoms (Score:5, Funny)

        by akruppa ( 300316 ) on Wednesday May 29, 2002 @07:33PM (#3605996) Homepage
        > condoms are free at colleges. I recommend a vibrator. Like a Hello Kitty Vibrator

        Didn't you read the article heading? It says "from the tools-for-use-outside-of-the-box dept."

    • Re:Condoms (Score:3, Insightful)

      and band aids. i would have never thought to get myself band aids, but the first time i cut myself on something in my computer and was bleeding all over the place i was very happy that mommy had.
    • Re:Condoms (Score:5, Funny)

      by Moonshadow ( 84117 ) on Wednesday May 29, 2002 @05:16PM (#3605127)
      What kinds of things did you wish you had, but couldn't get, in college?


  • Keg tapper (Score:3, Funny)

    by billmaly ( 212308 ) <(bill.maly) (at) (mcleodusa.net)> on Wednesday May 29, 2002 @03:40PM (#3604084)
    And a fake ID. Nuff said.
  • How about... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Binestar ( 28861 ) on Wednesday May 29, 2002 @03:40PM (#3604086) Homepage
    You can always give her a can of Mace and a stun gun, depending on which college she is going to of course.
  • by Software ( 179033 ) on Wednesday May 29, 2002 @03:40PM (#3604089) Homepage Journal
    It's classified as a "burglar tool", IIRC
  • by Hee Hee Hee ( 310695 ) on Wednesday May 29, 2002 @03:41PM (#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.
  • Legal Items only? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ralico ( 446325 ) on Wednesday May 29, 2002 @03:41PM (#3604099) Homepage Journal
    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.
    • I second the PDA vote. I honestly believe my GPA would have been a few points higher if I had had one in university. It doesn't have to be expensive, you can pick up a used Palm III or Handspring Visor (or Agenda VR3) off eBay for a song.
  • wrist bands (Score:4, Funny)

    by Deanasc ( 201050 ) on Wednesday May 29, 2002 @03:42PM (#3604104) Homepage Journal
    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.
  • well... (Score:3, Funny)

    by beleg777 ( 551987 ) on Wednesday May 29, 2002 @03:42PM (#3604112)
    Back in college I always wanted a girlfriend. since you're talking about a girl that probably doesn't apply, but anyway.
  • Subversive Gifts? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by quantaman ( 517394 ) on Wednesday May 29, 2002 @03:42PM (#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...
  • Food (Score:3, Insightful)

    by CoffeeDad ( 317394 ) on Wednesday May 29, 2002 @03:43PM (#3604126) Journal
    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
  • by 2Flower ( 216318 ) on Wednesday May 29, 2002 @03:43PM (#3604130) Homepage

    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...

  • by warmcat ( 3545 ) on Wednesday May 29, 2002 @03:43PM (#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.
    • Amen, brother. Am I missing something? Why is this high-tech care package such a necessity? Maybe I'm showing my age but I remember college as being a place where I worked hard at school, hung out with friends, and drank a lot of beer. PDAs and other electronic gismos were simply not required.

      I have already included a lockpick set, a UVmarking pen, and an LED flashlight in her care package.

      I'm sorry: what classes are these items going to help her with?

      Hey, I've got a radical idea for you! Why don't you skip the care package altogether? Let Linda or Betty or whatever her name is figure out for herself what she needs instead of loading her up with pointless trinkets. And then let her figure out how to get the needed items (ask you, buy it herself, construct a makeshift workaround, etc.) Sure, it's not as fancy to do it that way but it gives her a chance to identify a problem, develop a solution and then do whatever needs to be done. That is what growing up is all about, right? If you pack her care package with every damn thing she could ever need, what Life Lession is that helping her figure out?


      • The UV pen is to mark everything that you own without visabily marking it up. Makes for easier itentification of stuff when it gets swiped. Also can be used to mark your hand to get into bars, clubs, etc.

        I would assume that the flashlight is just for safety while she is out at night.

        I have no idea what the lock picks are for. I know what they are used for...but not for this setting.
  • by Entropy_ah ( 19070 ) on Wednesday May 29, 2002 @03:43PM (#3604134) Homepage Journal
    As a student currenty in his third year of college, I have one suggestion....
  • well now... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by SGDarkKnight ( 253157 ) on Wednesday May 29, 2002 @03:44PM (#3604151)
    mac and cheese... lots of it... 3 years worth is usually good... and gone within the first few months...
  • by Grip3n ( 470031 ) on Wednesday May 29, 2002 @03:46PM (#3604177) Homepage
  • by unicron ( 20286 ) <unicron@LIONthcnet.net minus cat> on Wednesday May 29, 2002 @03:47PM (#3604188) Homepage
    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."
    • Dude. Don't worry. It can still work out for you.

      I was in same boat - go to school as engineer, fail because it's so fucking hard, and i had so much freedom to... not go...

      I look back now and realize several things:

      1.) the time i spent hanging out with the girl, ensuring that the girl stayed with me, i should have spent studying, and as a result, i would have done better, stayed in school, and still been with her. I realize now, had I not failed out, we'd still be together. (read on)

      2.) The time that i took off of school, i thought at first was permanant. I was workin 40 a week for the man [bestbuy.com] and i hated my life. I finally realized that in order to do something i was going to have to go to college. So i went back.

      3.) Also in the time i took off, i realized something: I would rather do something that i love with my life than something that everyone thinks i should do because i'm "the computer nerd". I switched from engineering to history, and i'm going to be a high school history teacher. For right now i'm a network admin, but it's not what i want to do for the rest of my life.

      4.) If i hadn't failed out, i would have never lost the girl and found THE GIRL. THE GIRL (for she deserves all caps status) is awesome. She likes beer, sex, football, computer games, and dinner. She's 6 feet tall, so i don't have to bend over to kiss her. She's pretty much perfect, and she loves me. Don't count on the fact that you missed THE GIRL, you could have only missed the girl.

      It still can work out.


  • by mosch ( 204 ) on Wednesday May 29, 2002 @03:47PM (#3604193) Homepage
    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... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by daoine ( 123140 ) <moruadh1013@yah[ ]com ['oo.' in gap]> on Wednesday May 29, 2002 @03:47PM (#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.
    -A beer..err...soda cozy
    -Quarters, quarters, and more quarters
    • by TGK ( 262438 ) on Wednesday May 29, 2002 @04:41PM (#3604790) Homepage Journal
      Wana go hardcore? A shrinkwraper. Most college bookstores won't take books back at full price once the shrinkwrap is off. If you have a shrinkwraper you can re-wrap them and typicaly save $75+ on your returned books.

      That... and you can sell shrinkwraping service.

    • Nylon Ties.

      Don't want to start a fastener flame war here (have we ever had one of those, might me interesting), but the things are even mo' better than duct tape or crazyglue.

      A good selection of sizes will keep wires neat, keep things (bumpers, headlights, engine parts) from falling off cars (no really, my sister has used the things for some time on her bumper...), etc.
  • by Twister002 ( 537605 ) on Wednesday May 29, 2002 @03:47PM (#3604201) Homepage
    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".
  • by reschly ( 565800 ) on Wednesday May 29, 2002 @03:48PM (#3604211) Homepage Journal
    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.
  • A few suggestions (Score:5, Insightful)

    by pclinger ( 114364 ) on Wednesday May 29, 2002 @03:49PM (#3604225) Homepage Journal
    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.
    • by GigsVT ( 208848 ) on Wednesday May 29, 2002 @04:10PM (#3604491) Journal
      Also handy, and often forgotten is a shower basket and sandals to wear in the shower specifically. No one thinks about the public showers until they need to take the first one.

      A dirt devil stick vacuum is also an item that will make you popular in the dorms.

      Another good thing to have is DoS tools to use on the asshole next door when he plays his lame-ass MP3s on his "look at me I'm so fucking hip" subwoofer system.
    • by tedtimmons ( 97599 ) on Wednesday May 29, 2002 @04:28PM (#3604683) Homepage
      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

      Yeah, because it's so annoying to be behind a college student who is buying $50 in groceries with quarters.


  • Well, duh! (Score:5, Funny)

    by catseye ( 96076 ) on Wednesday May 29, 2002 @03:49PM (#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...

  • by Sean Clifford ( 322444 ) on Wednesday May 29, 2002 @03:52PM (#3604288) Journal
    First, get a copy of Howard Zinn [howardzinn.org]'s A People's History of the United States [barnesandnoble.com]. It comes with a nifty CD even. Best history book I've ever read. Also consider some Noam Chomsky and Bertrand Russell.

    And how 'bout an anonymizer account, encryption software, and a *nix based notebook for listening to listening to Democracy Now [democracynow.org] and staying in touch with friends and family without prying government eyes...

  • by Neck_of_the_Woods ( 305788 ) on Wednesday May 29, 2002 @03:53PM (#3604298) Journal

    Caller ID cell phone.

    Get out of Jail Free Card. Serious, call and I come and get you no questions asked kind of thing. Giving them the card from a Monopoly game would be nice touch if it had a promise behind it.

    Phone Mic for recording conversations.

    Snort for the college network.

    For god sakes a wireless switch to be the love of everyone in your dorm.

    Paintball gun, so much fun just right at your fingertips.

    Noise reduction headphones.

    Eye Drops.

    Espresso Machine.

    Eclipse Light.

    Butane Torch.

    Web Cam, for almost anything.


    Duct Tape(not to be confused with condoms).

    MP3 player.

    Sony Playstation2/xbox/gamecube.


    Shot Glass.


    A really nice tool kit.

    If there is any room left pack it with Tampons, toliet paper, paper towels, and paper plates. You have no idea what kind of money you can get for these in a dorm on a weekend at around 1am.

  • by CaffeineAddict2001 ( 518485 ) on Wednesday May 29, 2002 @03:57PM (#3604360)
    Breast Implants. If used skillfully they can break into any room.
  • A few Good Things (Score:5, Informative)

    by crimoid ( 27373 ) on Wednesday May 29, 2002 @03:58PM (#3604371)
    CD-ROM burner - backups, projects, mp3...
    Blank CDs
    Digital-Audio recorder (w/ at least 90 min of record time)
    Small digital camera
    Nice headphones (compact yet good quality)
    A PDA
    Rechargeable batteries
    Leatherman tool
    An Almanac, Dictionary & Thesaurus

    • Leatherman tool

      I'll second that. The single most useful tool I had in college (besides laptop). I still have mine and the knife on it is still extremely sharp. The can opener on it came in very useful in college, and the screwdriver is exactly the right size for the screws you'll find on PCs. It's also made out of steel, so the phillips screwdriver head didn't get stripped after lots of use.

      Also, someone else already mentioned that lock picking tools might be illegal in her state. If you check the MIT Guide to Lock Picking [lysator.liu.se], you'll see they mention that these are definitely illegal in MA, ME, NH and NY, so be careful. Also you might want to give her a piece of advice: fake IDs are illegal and have extremely stiff penalties. In addition, fake IDs aren't very useful in college, as even the most introverted, asocial geek can easily find some older colleague to buy the requisite vodka.

  • Needed Things... (Score:3, Informative)

    by VivianC ( 206472 ) <internet_update@ ... inus threevowels> on Wednesday May 29, 2002 @04:01PM (#3604398) Homepage Journal
    • Power Strips: You can never have enough outlets
    • Rolling Papers: They are legal, one hitters and bongs are not.
    • A Bond Card: So no one has to drive and bail her out when her boyfriend does something stupid
    • A mini fridge: for leftovers
    • Pepper spray: Campus can be scary.
    • "One hitters" and "bongs" are perfectly legal in most jurisdictions, provided they have no illegal residue on them. Rolling papers are no good, as they leave the residue on the fingers, and who can throw away a good roach, anyway? Best bet? Glass bong and an autoclave. Or heroin.

  • by gosand ( 234100 ) on Wednesday May 29, 2002 @04:04PM (#3604438)
    I didn't have jack when I went to college. I spent $2200 of MY OWN MONEY on a PC, which was a 386DX-33. It wasn't for surfing the net, the net didn't exist yet. (unless you count FTP and Gopher). It was to compile programs so I didn't have to trek to the lab at 3am. I had a couple of friends who ran a BBS, but that was about it. Not to sound like an old fart, but I did it on my own. I worked my way through school, didn't sit on my ass and play on the internet all day, or go to raves, or spend hours in front of a game console. My parents didn't pay my way through school, and I am glad for it. They didn't give me a credit card to run up, I got my own - and I paid off the bills every month. I didn't have a pager, a cell-phone, or a PDA. And don't tell me that those things are necessary nowadays - they aren't. Stop friggin coddling kids, and let them do things on their own. Maybe then we wouldn't have so many whiney brats who expect the world to owe them, because they are used to getting everything they want. And this isn't because I am jealous, it will be better for them in the long run if they do it themselves. They will learn how to actually appreciate something, and the value of self-reliance.

    BUT... if you really want to help her, get her some food. Good food. I lived on Ramen noodles, Little Debbie snack cakes, frozen pizzas, and Keystone Light. When you are living on the cheap, that is all you can afford. Give her a good, healthy, care-package of solid nutritious food-stuff. Don't give her food money, cause kids will spend it on crap they don't need and skimp on the food.

    • by seldolivaw ( 179178 ) <me@NoSpAM.seldo.com> on Wednesday May 29, 2002 @06:22PM (#3605559) Homepage
      So things were tougher in your day. Things nearly always were. But that's the kind of logic that would have us all living in caves and avoiding fire because raw meat was good enough for our grand-daddies. I'm at university, and you know what? My PDA is really useful, so screw you. It's not necessary, but neither was your 386. It just makes life easier, and probably better. By taking care of the simple things for her, she'll be able to concentrate on her *real* goals: aceing her degree, but more importantly running up huge debts, going to raves, and spending hours wasting time with her friends. Because university (or college) is what turns you into the person you will be for the rest of your life, and if you have to spend it busting your ass just to afford food, then it turns you into what, apparently, you are: a hard-ass with no sense of fun. I'd rather be the mollycoddled, whiny brat, if it's all the same to you.

      And in case you're wondering, I don't scrounge off my parents. I paid for my £2000 computer myself, with money I earned working 9-5, and the same goes for most of the rest of the stuff that I own.
    • by jeko ( 179919 ) on Wednesday May 29, 2002 @11:41PM (#3607122)
      Let's see, two grand for a 386 puts you in college in the mid-80's. I'm going to try to put this as gently as I can, in the hopes that you might listen to it and spare some kids some grief.

      I too paid for my own college. I could not afford a computer of any kind. I graduated in 1989, paid for entirely on my own dime. I too resented the frat rats who were handed everything while I worked two, and at one point, three jobs.

      Now, you need to understand, that sometimes the world can change. Brace yourself, get a stiff drink, and try to cope with the fact that while lower-end wages have fallen, tuitions have multiplied.

      After taking a few more courses in 1995, I realized that there is no way in hell I would have my degree if I had tried to go to school just six years after I graduated. Tuition had doubled, and for the tech-related courses, tripled. In economic terms, you had it easy.

      Looking back, the kids who truly got the most out of school were the ones who didn't have to spend 50 hours a week working like I did. My kids will go to college with all the trimmings, fully funded, and I will be proud that I could give them something I didn't have.

      You aren't "helping your kids grow." What you're really doing is taking your bitterness out on them.
  • by DeadBugs ( 546475 ) on Wednesday May 29, 2002 @04:06PM (#3604453) Homepage
    How about a pack of Chaser [doublechaser.com] pills to prevent hangovers?
  • by LittleGuy ( 267282 ) on Wednesday May 29, 2002 @04:06PM (#3604455)
    From AAA Plus Member Benefits [aaa.com], which includes Emergency Roadside Assistance:

    Plus Extended Towing up to 100 Miles: When your vehicle cannot be started or driven safely, free towing is provided up to 100 miles from the point where your vehicle is disabled to the destination of your choice. This extended benefit includes one tow per disablement using appropriate equipment to safely transport your vehicle.

    Plus Lock & Key Services: This service provides up to $100 in parts and labor coverage for lock and key service needed to gain access to your vehicle and make it operable.

    Plus Free Fuel Delivery: A sufficient amount of fuel will be delivered free of charge to enable you to reach the nearest open service station.

    Plus Alternative Service Reimbursement: Extends your benefits to include full reimbursement for covered services based on the prevailing commercial rate for the region where the vehicle was disabled, if AAA services was requested by unavailable. Lock and key services will be reimbursed up to $100. To apply for reimbursement, submit an itemized receipt for service to the Member Relations Dept., 2040 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103 within 30 days.

    Plus Legal Defense Reimbursement: If you are charged with a motor vehicle violation which you believe is unjust and require an attorney, AAA Plus will reimburse you for your attorney's fees in accordance with the following schedule:

    Manslaughter by Automobile
    Representation in Primary Court $800
    Representation in any Higher Court (an additional) $1,200
    Maximum Benefit $2,000

    Assault & Battery by Automobile
    Representation in Primary Court $200
    Representation in any Higher Court (an additional) $300
    Maximum Benefit $500

    Moving Traffic Violation
    Representation in Primary Court $100
    Representation in any Higher Court (an additional) $150
    Maximum Benefit $250

    Plus Free International Guides: AAA Plus Members can obtain our renowned international guidebooks and maps absolutely free. Certain restrictions may apply.

    Plus Crime Prevention Reward Plus Free International Guides: AAA Plus offers a reward up to $2,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone who steals your vehicle.

    Plus Auto Travel Accident Reimbursement Service: If the vehicle you are driving is disabled in a traffic accident 100 or more miles from home, you will receive up to $700 for car rental, commercial transportation, meals and lodging expense occurring within 72 hours of your accident or within the time it takes for you to return home or to arrive at your final destination, whichever is less.

    Plus Extended Extrication Service: This services extends Basic benefits to include a second truck and operator for one hour at the scene of disablement.


    I believe AAA also sells an emergency cellphone which can contact police/911/AAA.
  • ummm (Score:3, Redundant)

    by austad ( 22163 ) on Wednesday May 29, 2002 @04:07PM (#3604461) Homepage
    Legal items only, please

    Actually, if you've already included a lockpick set, that may not be legal. In most states, it's illegal to own a lockpick set unless you have a locksmith license. In minnesota, this is definitely the case.
    • Re:ummm (Score:3, Informative)

      by Nyarly ( 104096 )
      IANAL, but my understanding is that while lockpicks are not technically illegal without a locksmithing license, they do make it very easy to toss "intent to break and enter" or some such (possibly even burglary) onto any arrest if you're carrying lockpicks at the time.
  • Marketing Troll? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Mignon ( 34109 ) <satan@programmer.net> on Wednesday May 29, 2002 @04:07PM (#3604466)
    What are the chances this Ask Slashdot is from a marketing troll at ThinkGeek, for example?
  • items (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mr_burns ( 13129 ) on Wednesday May 29, 2002 @04:11PM (#3604510)
    clear chap stick. You can swipe it over the black lines on the left of a scantron to get it to not grade it...not mark any wrong. If the teacher's weary, she'll get 100% because the teacher didn't see any marked wrong.

    Lock box that can screw into a desk drawer. good for keeping the roomie out of your...stuff

    Resolve carpet cleaner. Clean up that barf or bongwater before the RA finds out

    Spray Bottle and rubbing alcohol. gets any nature of odor out of the air...quickly

    "Do Not Disturb" sign. use your imagination

    microcassette recorder. good for lectures, bugging and recording any nature of other thing

  • by Anarchofascist ( 4820 ) on Wednesday May 29, 2002 @04:12PM (#3604522) Homepage Journal
    There's nothing like a laser pointer for adding that little touch of frustration to tired and emotional lecturers.

    However, USE SPARINGLY and only when you cannot be spotted. A little subliminal flash across the board when he/she is writing, and he or she will not know whether to get angry or dismis it as an acid flashback.
  • KeyGhost (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ColGraff ( 454761 ) <maron1.mindspring@com> on Wednesday May 29, 2002 @04:16PM (#3604568) Homepage Journal
    Keyghost (www.keyghost.com) keystroke logger. I'm buying one before I leave for college - never know when it'll come in handy.
  • by realgone ( 147744 ) on Wednesday May 29, 2002 @04:21PM (#3604605)
    that can handle those odd-shaped screws/nuts/bolts/etc. Back in my first year of higher ed -- Stevens Institute of Technology, god how I don't miss it -- swiping the licence plates from the college president's car was *the* campus sport. Each time a set of plates disappeared, they'd use more exotic fasteners. And every time, they'd be swiped again. Heck, one guy I knew must have had a good half dozen of the poor guy's plates in his room.

    Oh, and those tools are good for... erm... "borrowing" all sorts of other things, too. Truly,the gift that keeps on giving. =)

  • The Fun Essentials (Score:4, Informative)

    by AppyPappy ( 64817 ) on Wednesday May 29, 2002 @04:23PM (#3604627)
    1. quarters - Lots of them
    2. digicam - Maybe she can post pics of her friends in the showers, naked and passed out. And sell them. To get more quarters.
    3. Long cables for network/USB.
    5. Storage boxes

    Forget condoms. They are all over the campus. With your luck, the one you give her would break.
  • Stash Box/Safe? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by e2d2 ( 115622 ) on Wednesday May 29, 2002 @04:28PM (#3604682)
    Every college kid should have a good assortment of stash boxes. I have one in my vehicle, put in by a local custom car shop, and a few in my house that I built myself. They are great for hiding stuff that you might want to keep out of normal view A decent safe never hurt but given the tight spaces that usually confines college kids I'd suggest a small fire box with a simple key or number lock.

    here's a cheapie stash example:
    http://www.pentagondefense.com/booksafe1 .html

    ~trust no one, always roll your own tin foil hats
  • by Trinity-Infinity ( 91335 ) on Wednesday May 29, 2002 @04:31PM (#3604707) Homepage
    When I started college, the following items (in no particular order), would have been quite helpful
    • a pen with a built in light. Target sells these, and they're awesome! Most of my lecture halls were of course, very dark, making note taking a chore. The pen w/the light made me the envy of my classmates...
    • a gift certificates to any online or B&M store, target, amazon, walmart, there was always something I needed, and always looked in those places to get it first.
    • small electronic games, like "lights out", helped pass the time and were fun to share with friends!
  • by edibleplastic ( 98111 ) on Wednesday May 29, 2002 @04:32PM (#3604715)
    what else were you planning on giving her... rope, and the Worst Case Scenario handbooks? Give her things that she will really make use of and appreciate.

    Probably the best thing that you can give her is a good pillow and a foam eggcrate for the mattress. Dorm beds are killer (more plastic than bed) and it can be very hard to fall asleep with them. This is something that will help her *every* single night, as opposed to a lock-pick set which might help once a year, if that. (once she has it, will she even figure out how to use it?)

    Also, if you must give her a gadget or something, give her something like a lava lamp -- another cool thing that she can appreciate on a regular basis.
  • What fun (Score:5, Informative)

    by slaker ( 53818 ) on Wednesday May 29, 2002 @04:35PM (#3604737)
    My uncle is the Director of Public Health for a county in Illinois that shall remain nameless. When *I* went away to school I got gross of gross-size boxes of condoms. 20,000-something of them.
    Mostly they got used as water balloons and sold at usurious prices to dorm-mates with an unexpected opportunity.

    When a friend had to move away from her boyfriend to start Pharmacy school, I got her a small assortment of vibrators (waterproof, gel, plug-in), some "Astro Glide" and a pre-paid phone card. I've been thanked profusely by both parties for that one.

    Web Camera. I had one when I was at school. Once I actually got an SO, it suddenly had a million household uses.

    Telescope. For the voyeur in all of us. :)

    Subscription to dirty magazine. OK, even if you aren't into that sort of thing, this stuff makes good barter material (nothing like a fratboy too embarassed to buy his own) and, if you're willing to share your bounty, will probably make you a few friends.

    Lamination machine. Million household uses for an enterprising college student. Patricularly when paired with an Alaskan or Puerto Rican drivers license.

    Anything that makes people think you have a bizarre lifestyle. Nothing like being able to pull on a pair of skintight latex chaps, a 24" dildo and exclaiming to your annoying roommate that you're ready for a quiet evening at home. Note that holy books from weirdo relgions probably work just as well, if you can keep up the right sort of patter.

    Damn. I'll probably think of more goodies later.
    Geez. Guess I'm some kind of pervert. Oh well. At least I'm not an anonymous coward.
    • Re:What fun (Score:5, Funny)

      by slaker ( 53818 ) on Wednesday May 29, 2002 @05:57PM (#3605431)
      OK, so I'm lame enough to reply to myself. Sue me.

      Shotgun-style microphone. See telescope, above. This one is actually probably more fun, since fewer people know what the hell they are.

      Stethyscope I use one in my apartment to this day to decide if my neighbors are fighting/beating their kids or if it's just a TV that's turned up really loud.

      Potato gun. We used to pack one full of undies and shoot it out the dormitory window.

      Tools! Particularly a decent drill or cordless screwdriver. I once stole the door from a couple of guys in my dorm who were annoying me. Of course, the utility of a $7 toolset from Walgreens merits its inclusion anyway.

      Stereo from hell. I listen to classical music. So did everyone else on my floor and the floors around mine, thanks to me. I used to turn the volume up on my stereo to about halfway so I didn't have to interrupt my favorite symphony just to go to the bathroom (70 feet and probably 40 cinderblock walls away). Think about the opening of "The Big U" for a hint of what I mean. Once I beat anyone else who thought their music should be inflicted on everyone else into submission, I turned mine down too.

      Vacuum pump. Another great trick. Make a slight negative pressure inside someone's closed room and watch them get knocked off their feet opening their door. Or break a window, if you aren't careful (I went to an engineering school. Can you tell?)

      Quarter-on-a-string or four. To keep from having to actually pay for laundry machines. Laundromats might care. Dorms don't.

      Powerful magnet. Wow are these fun.

      Overhead projector. Your very own Batsignal.

      Racketballs or other suitably bouncy objects. Great fun in the hall.

      Block-and-tackle/pulley system. Great for getting contraband into dorms. Where I went to school, the guys on the highest floor of my dorm used one to hoist up alcohol (which was banned in dorms). Also great for moving day.

      Button-maker/Tshirt printer. Sounds lame, but actually a decent source of income and not without spurious subversive uses, either.

      Instant or digital camera. Roommate in a compromising position? Immortalize him forever!

      No sense of shame. This makes dealing with drunks and morons particularly amusing.
  • by sprintkayak ( 582245 ) on Wednesday May 29, 2002 @04:36PM (#3604750)
    Great for dorm life. Perfect for late night meal after the caffeteria is closed.
    Knocks out the fat!
  • by akiaki007 ( 148804 ) <aa316NO@SPAMnyu.edu> on Wednesday May 29, 2002 @04:45PM (#3604832)
    1. Leatherman - or at least a flat head, philips head, square head (to take the damn hutches off the desks) and a hammer.
    2. very long phone, cable and ethernet cords.
    3. Duct tape
    4. Phone Card (if she doesn't have cell with long distance. Sprint is great for that)
    5. Quarters...they are VERY valuable
    6. Sticky Tack - that blue stuff to hang things up with
    7. If you're near by, drop off a case of beer.
    8. Subscription to Rolling Stone
    9. Film for the camera
    10. Money in general is always good to have
    11. No need for condoms. The RA has them for free :)
  • by a3d0a3m ( 306585 ) on Wednesday May 29, 2002 @05:13PM (#3605099) Homepage
    As a first year college student, living off-campus with some friends, here is my suggestions.
    First, make sure you have maintenance tools, like a hammer, screwdriver, nails, good scissors, and maybe a utility knife.
    You will need stuff to get the bills done with: envelopes and stamps and a little hanging file thing to keep track of stuff you get. Trust me, you should save at least 3 months of crap, like reciepts and contracts so that you can return something if you never use it or get out of something that you don't need [like a water-cooler rental agreement].
    Laundry supplies: quarters, soap, and most importantly a good hiding spot for your quarters to prevent your quarters from wandering off on your roommate's wash day.
    You need cleaning supplies, an extra shower curtrain or two, a mop, sponges for the dishes, some of those 1000 flushes things and that 'clean shower' spray-- basically anything that makes it easier on you when you need to clean up.
    Then, get a good book shelf and desk. Maybe you don't study at a desk at home, but when you get to college you're gunna have a lot more papers to deal with, a lot more stuff to file and organize and it really helps to have a central place rather than under the bed to put everything. Also, you will amass a nice collection of books, because the bookstore never seems to want to give you more than $10 for that intro to psych. book and it would be a shame to sell it back and it will be useful someday right?
    Not a material item, but something very important to consider: If you are picking a roommate from your home town, you should ask yourself "what does their room look like"? Does it look about as clean as yours? Do they do any chores at their house? Because more often than not, if their room is a shitpile at their parent's house, it will be twice a shitpile at their new dorm/apartment, so you should be prepared --unless you also like to live in less than sparkling conditions.
    The single most important thing is earplugs. Enough for you and your roomate. Some people don't fall asleep too easily, and this really helps.

  • by _ph1ux_ ( 216706 ) on Wednesday May 29, 2002 @05:22PM (#3605176)
    "What kinds of things did you wish you had, but couldn't get, in college"

  • by Art Tatum ( 6890 ) on Wednesday May 29, 2002 @05:33PM (#3605255)
    Why not give her me? I'm single and I'm cuddly.
  • by cybermage ( 112274 ) on Wednesday May 29, 2002 @05:54PM (#3605411) Homepage Journal
    Not that she won't have enough to read already, but send her a copy of Our Bodies, Ourselves [ourbodiesourselves.org]. Part sex education, part woman education. All women should read this book. Heck, all men should read this book.

    If you want subversive, this is it, by the way. Women get the short end of the stick in both sex ed and medical attention. This book fills in the gaps. Think of it as an owners manual for womanhood.
  • by scotpurl ( 28825 ) on Wednesday May 29, 2002 @06:15PM (#3605521)
    While many girls appreciate these gifts, it's derned close to that "my husband bought me a romantic clothes washer for our anniversary," or even, "my boyfriend changed the oil in my car for Valentine's day," or also, "My neighbor bought me a waffle iron for Christmas."

    While we dudes appreciate a fine tool, it's not Chick stuff. The clothes washer and the waffle iron come with the implication, "MAKE USE OF THAT FINE APPLIANCE FOR ME RIGHT NOW YOU LAZY WOMAN. I HAVE A GAME TO WATCH. ONLY SUMMON ME IF THERE IS A FIRE OR SEX."

    The lock pick set will be forgotten in the back of a drawer. The fine flashlight will be stolen at the first Rave.

    Give the girl cash. Best gift. Accepted in 200+ countries and on 7 continents. No ID needed. Don't leave home without it.
  • by SchrodingersKatt ( 514249 ) on Wednesday May 29, 2002 @06:59PM (#3605781) Homepage
    There are a few things that I have noticed missing. Being a subversive female at a major engineering school in the Midwest I have a few ideas.

    1) LUBE ... I don't know a girl who doesn't have a bottle.

    2) Purple Hair Dye - I live by it.

    3) Piercing supplies - Daddy will love it that new ring!

    4) A pack of twenty lighters, and a couple of ash trays.

    5) A bunch of gift cards and phone cards. Cash just gets deposited; gift cards hang around until they are needed.

    6) If it is possible find a way to pre-pay for her to go on a trip with a friend. Nothing makes Dad and Mom happier than to find out that you took off to the other coast for a weekend.

    7) Hang over pills.

    8) Find a way to pay for birth control pills.

    9) The ACLU makes these little cards that explain what your rights are under different situations (e.g. you have a party, cops knock on your door, minior in possesion, etc).

    10) Mace (I know this has been said)

    11) Be her saftey net... call before her parent's supprise visit.

  • by Svartalf ( 2997 ) on Wednesday May 29, 2002 @07:00PM (#3605786) Homepage
    ...don't forget the UV LED flashlight [keep-it-kool.com] as well. They're real and they're out there. Spencer's has been carrying the single LED units for something like $8US in most locations. (They'll be behind the counter in most cases.). The light emitted is faintly violet and will strongly light up fluoresent materials up close. The link is to an agressive model with 3 LEDs, intended for professional use by jewelers and forensic scientists.
  • Leatherman (Score:3, Insightful)

    by type40 ( 310531 ) on Wednesday May 29, 2002 @07:36PM (#3606022)
    When I first moved out into my own place I got a next day air package from my exhippie uncle. It had a Leatherman Wave (with the leather belt pouch) inside with hand written post-it saying, "This is your life line, don't lose it." I'll be damed if he wasn't right. So far its fixed cars (import and domistic) computers (mac and pc), Stereos (one Aiwa and a one old ass RCA Victrola) and opened more beers than some bar tenders.

    PS. You don't need a lock pick set for B&A, That leatherman worked just fine for breaking into that fire station (long, very kinky story).
  • by graybeard ( 114823 ) on Wednesday May 29, 2002 @08:09PM (#3606201)
    1) juggling balls -- learning to juggle is a great way to get the blood moving when you need a break from the books. The beanbag style can double as hacky sacks.

    2) frisbee -- sometimes by accident (wink, wink) they get thrown toward cute guys.

    3) ukulele -- easy to play, and making your own music is so much better than listening to the same-old same-old on the radio.
  • by pz ( 113803 ) on Wednesday May 29, 2002 @08:21PM (#3606250) Journal
    Going off to college means, for many, real independence for the first time. So the first things you should think about including are in support of that, or, in related fashion, in support of what happens when that breaks down. Like a pre-paid phone card with a gazillion minutes on it. And, perhaps more importantly, your phone number enscribed on that phone card so that she can call an adult who is not her parent for non-judgmental advice, followed by the words "call any time of day or night." And when she does call at 3am, make sure you wake up, listen, and provide the support she needs.

    As oft-mentioned in other replies, condoms. GOOD ones. And then, bone up on emergency anti-pregnancy procedures for that 3am call asking, "ohmigod Uncle Bob -- the condom broke, what do I do?"

    An open account with a local taxi service so that she never, ever, ever has to worry about getting a ride home. The means to limit abuses of this are up to you.

    Alcohol. The best place to learn about drinking is in the private, protected confines of your own dorm room. (Note, there are serious legality issues here which vary from state to state. Don't do something stupid and blame it on me.)

    Anti-hangover remedies. My favorite is Berocca [berocca.co.uk]. Send a case. Ibuprofen. Send lots.

    HIV home test kits (which are really home-sampling kits which you then send to a central lab for analysis). Not cheap, but she should have any guy she's thinking of having sex with tested.

    *Assuming* she knows how to use basic handtools, a small toolbox with decent quality hammer, screwdrivers, and pliers is great. If she doesn't know how to use these tools, it is still a good idea, but not nearly as important. From your suggestion of lockpicks and flashlight, one might surmise she is perhaps mechanically inclined. If so, add small pocket knife, magnifying loupe, a pocket-sized set of jewlers tools. At the other end of the physical scale, a crowbar and a 3-lb sledge. A good digital multimeter (eg, Fluke 77-III or equivalent).

    The person who recommended flip-flops and a shower basket was right on the money. Add some decent (and decent-sized) soap and a couple of small travel-sized bottles of her favorite shampoo and conditioner (or other toiletries).

    Now, to be really *subversive*, send a set of infrared goggles, available at surplus houses everywhere. Add in works by Kant, Ionesco, Wittgenstein, Chekov and Orwell. A couple of remote listening devices. Books on how to swear in a dozen languages. Assuming she's going to college in the US, plane tickets to Europe (put those gazillion FF miles to work!). Safety pins (the most universally useful items, after knives). Fake wedding rings. Falsies (see the posting about breast implants and their universal utility). Wigs of different color or style from her normal hair. A get-out-of-jail-free card (see the phone card with your number on it, above).

    But the most subversive thing you could possibly give is: encouragement.
  • Easy! (Score:3, Funny)

    by spongebob ( 227503 ) on Wednesday May 29, 2002 @08:37PM (#3606322)
    A Get out of Jail free card!

    I wish I had one of those...

Don't get suckered in by the comments -- they can be terribly misleading. Debug only code. -- Dave Storer