July 17, 2019 | 92° F

The different gifts you can get on campus


Holiday shopping is in full swing, online sales are soaring, young kids are on their best behavior, empty-nested moms are emptying their wallets and college kids are hurting badly. Why? We don’t like holiday shopping. Other people shopping for you? Yeah, sign me up and by the way, I need a new pair of Toms. Thinking of dozens of thoughtful, unique gifts for our loved ones has become nearly impossible, and especially challenging while away at school.

It is easy to shop for your loved ones as a freshman. All you need to do is buy Rutgers apparel for every single relative and friend you can think of — problem solved. What about year two, three or even four? Your mother can hardly stand even glancing in the direction of yet another “Rutgers Mom” T-shirt. What about those of us who don’t even have cars on campus?

Take a deep breath. We’ve got you. This is shocking, but Barnes & Noble is not the only store close to campus that will bring smiles to your loved ones' faces this holiday season. Inside Beat went shop-hopping through New Brunswick and flagged the hottest sales on the coolest gifts. Even the most hard-to-shop-for members of your crew will be impressed.

For your overly sentimental mom, grandmother or great aunt who still have your third-grade class pictures on the fridge, get large-framed prints from George Street Camera. Enlarged, framed family photos from the good ole’ days will be sure to bring a tear to every relative’s eye and make for an sensible, long-lasting gift. Not only does this spot have student discounts, but they run from $7 per print to $30 for larger prints.

For your little sister in the midst of her Tumblr-induced hipster phase, get vinyl records from Spina Records. Vinyl at Spina typically goes for about $20 each, with styles ranging from contemporary, 1920s jazz, the Beatles and more. There’s truly something for everyone in an awesome hole-in-the-wall shop, so it’ll be super easy to please your lil’ sis with one of those vintage-style items. Even if she doesn’t have a record player, it’s an awesome collector’s item to show off to her friends. It will look cool right next to her tapestry and polaroid pictures as a bedroom decoration.

For your workaholic relatives who desperately need a chill pill, get Massage Envy Spa treatments. Dads, this one’s definitely for you, but the ladies work super hard too. We’ll just toss this up for anyone who works themselves into a seemingly irrevocable oblivion week by week. Help them remember that they need some “me” time with this spa’s amazing packages, with massages starting at $69 an hour waiting to be gifted. They have 1,000 clinics throughout 49 states, so regardless of where you’re from, it’s always a mere stone’s throw from home. Head over to the RWJ Fitness Center to book one of these quick trips for a loved one to visit.

For your fashionista BFF who swears she’s a Jenner, go to Finale. This is the New Brunswick hot spot for all things fashion. From sunglasses to purses to pumps, Finale has dozens of dazzling accessories at unbelievable prices that are perfect for gifting. Be sure to stop here for your roomie or sorority sisters with impeccable fashion sense to help enhance their wardrobe.

For your S/O’s family that you don’t want to splurge on an overpriced Edible Arrangement, go to Thomas Sweet. I think we’re all pretty tired of paying $40 for 12 measly pieces of fruit. Gift baskets and assortments from Thomas Sweet are the perfect solution, and your boyfriend’s mom will love the idea of getting high-end sweets from a popular local place like this. Holiday gift baskets start at around $25, with assortments running at a more affordable rate of $10 each. This puts them in every college student's holiday budget.

Danielle Naer

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