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10 great gifts for college students

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5. Massage mat
Who wouldn't love to come home every day to a relaxing massage? After crossing campus in the cold, college kids will relish the chance to warm up and relieve tension with massage mats, such as the Ten-Motor Full Body Massage Mat by Homedics. This model features 10 settings to soothe the body and can be used while laying down or sitting up. This particular mat also provides gentle heat to eliminate winter chills and can be found at Bed Bath & Beyond or bedbathandbeyond.com for only $40.

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6. CD/DVD repair kit
Even in the age of MP3s most college students still have a few CDs laying around, along with an ever-increasing number of DVDs and video game discs. A dorm environment can be hazardous to these items, though, and a single scratch can ruin a favorite track or cause a movie to freeze and skip. Kits are available to clean and fix scratches, lengthening the life of discs. The Motorized CD/ DVD Repair kit will automatically load, repair and eject discs and is only $39 at Brookstone or brookstone.com.

7. Shoulder bags
With the exception of a cup of coffee, messenger bags are probably the most universal items on college campuses. The size and style of each bag should depend on its owner, but online stores such as ebags.com are sure to provide something for every taste. Another dependable resource is American Eagle Outfitters or ae.com; the Bookworm or Classmate styles for girls and the Cadet for guys are casual, comfortable styles suitable for use on or off campus and range in price from $25 to $40.

8. Webcam
Looking for a better way to communicate during the school year? Webcams can add a more personal dimension to long-distance conversations by bringing the face of a loved one right to your home computer screen. Many high-quality models, such as the Microsoft LifeCam, which captures still images or video at up to 30 frames per second, are available for around $50. Check out Best Buy for this and other models.

9. Hand-held Sudoku
The popular and challenging number game Sudoku is now available in a portable hand-held version, licensed by The New York Times and found exclusively at Brookstone or brookstone.com. Featuring 750 different puzzles grouped by difficulty and a timer to test players' speed, this gift is only $20 and will ensure that its owner is thinking -- even between classes.

10. Cordless mouse
Sitting at a desk all day can get old fast, especially if students are navigating their screens with only the touchpad on their laptops. With a wireless mouse, such as the V450 Cordless Laser Notebook Mouse from Logitech, students can surf the Web or change their music selections from anywhere in their rooms -- even in bed. Several models are available from Best Buy from $35 and up, but the design and performance of the Logitech models (including phenomenal battery life) make them a particularly good buy.

Casey Nitsch is a student at American University in Washington, D.C.

Bankrate.com's corrections policy-- Posted: Dec. 6, 2006
 
 
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