You are here

December SPSPotlight: Grad Hack

Grad Hack: Gifts for Your Grad Students

Family, friends, and loved ones of social psychology graduate students: have you been struggling with gift ideas this holiday season? Want to know the things we wish for, but never tell you? This list is for you! Here are some specially-selected gift ideas for the grad student in your life.

  1. Students love coffee, so how about a gift card to Starbucks? Or go bigger – a nice package of coffee beans. Well, maybe a bulk package from Costco, or a sack – a sack is good. A subscription to a coffee-of-the-month club?  You know what, just buy them a coffee farm, roasting equipment, and an IV.

  2. A painting of a beautiful landscape, so they can hang it up and pretend that there’s a window in their windowless office.

  3. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: this book is the perfect size to prop up a laptop while watching Netflix in bed instead of working!

  4. Boxes of tissues, for handling feedback from Reviewer #2.

  5. Books with tips for the academic job market – chances are, they haven’t heard this advice repeatedly before. Bonus points if the books are decades old, because this “vintage” or “retro” advice is particularly useful in today’s job market. You also get the chance to follow up and ask whether they’ve found a job yet each time you see them – they love that topic! And be sure to suggest that they send their resumé to an R1 or Ivy League University!

  6. An addition to Microsoft Word's spell checker that recognizes words like intersubjectivity, recency, intercorrelated, nonsensory, interventive, multicollinear, metamotivational…

  7. The Handbook of Social Psychology, so they can be reminded of all the great research in the field, while never actually getting around to reading it. At least it will look nice on their shelf.

  8. A comfy desk chair, since they will be spending most of their student life behind their desk. Plus, if you get one that tilts back far enough, it doubles as a cot for those late nights at the office!

  9. A subscription to a major psychology journal – that way, they’ll know immediately when they get scooped on their years-long research project.

  10. Finally, there’s always cash – after all, they’re headed to San Diego soon, and school funding doesn’t pay for drinks!