2021 College Holiday Gift Guide
Do you ever get stressed when searching for a perfect holiday gift your college student that they will actually want? In truth, they’re not as tough to shop for as you might think. From money and gift cards to practical gadgets, your student may forgo the sentimental in favor of the practical.
We actually asked our Universities.com student audience what they want for Christmas this year, and here are the top results.
The phrase “cash is king” still applies to your beloved college student. What does your college student want? Well, it’s probably not surprising that your student could always use extra cash. In addition to allowing them the freedom to do with it what they will, college students are notoriously strapped for cash. Whether they treat themselves to a nice meal, buy new clothes, or simply spend it during their day-to-day life, you can’t go wrong with cash.
A practical gift for the student on the go, portable chargers keep learners connected even when traditional charging options aren’t available. The Miady dual USB portable chargers boast fast charging compatible with nearly all smartphones, and this option’s sleek design is backed by an 18-month product guarantee.
Weighted blankets are a popular option for individuals who struggle sleeping or those who just want to enhance their sleep experience. Rather than relying on synthetic sleep remedies, sleep blankets can help college students get to sleep faster while improving their quality of sleep. And who needs sleep more than college students pulling all-nighters.
4. Air Pods
We polled between Beats and Air Pods, and Apple Air Pods took the trophy. These wireless earbuds are good for on-the-go-to students whether they’re cramming for exams, working out, or listening to their favorite podcast walking to class. Earbuds are like sunglasses to college students—they may not need them at the moment, but they inevitably will burn out and need replacing.
Journaling, planning, and goal setting are so 2022. It may not seem like the most exhilarating holiday gift, but it’s practical and inexpensive. You can find a variety of sleek annual planners that come in different sizes and colors. Whether your student needs help organizing their class schedule, homework, or setting new goals, a planner will help them out!
6. Hydro Flask
Yet another popular item for college students, a Hydro Flask offers an environmentally friendly way to encourage hydration. Hydro Flasks are insulated, dishwasher safe, and boast a powder coating that prevents sweating from cold beverages. These metal bottles are sleekly designed to fit in car cup holders and keep your drink hot or cold for hours.
Even though younger students may be unfamiliar with George Foreman, the legendary boxer, they’ve certainly spotted one in dorm rooms. The George Foreman removable plate grill and panini press offer students a chance to prepare simple meals without a full meal plan or access to a kitchen. These grills are easy to clean and boast a non-stick coating.
Dorm room and apartment décor can make a student’s space feel personal and more like a sanctuary. And whether that means plants, beautifully framed artwork and photos, or lamps and string lights, your student will jump at the opportunity to outfit their abode in style.
On-campus dining can get monotonous, and students on a meal plan may feel like spending additional money on food is a luxury. With food gift cards from grocery stores, their favorite restaurants, or a food delivery service, they’ll have the chance to purchase the snacks and everyday items that can fuel their studies when that cafeteria starts looking a little stale.
10. School Swag
School swag isn’t necessarily cheap, even with student discounts. As a result, purchasing that nice hoodie, hat, or sweatpants acts, like this Alabama fleece, is a great gift so your student can show off their school pride. Additionally, a gift card to their school’s store can make the gift-giving even easier.
11. Mini Projector
Technological advancements have made mini projectors a reasonably inexpensive, practical, and unique gift for students. Rather than crowding around a laptop or television, your student can utilize a projector when binge-watching shows, screening films, and even gaming.
12. Portable Speaker
It seems that the days of room-crowding speaker systems are over. The popular JBL Flip 4 waterproof speaker is a sleek portable option that boasts crystal clear acoustics with a substantially low end. This project easily charges via USB and comes in various colors and designs.
13. Netflix Subscription
If your student doesn’t have it already, a Netflix subscription is a relatively inexpensive gift that will get used constantly. From documentaries to true crime TV shows, Netflix’s deep catalog of content will surely keep your student entertained.
14. Instant Pot
While pressure cooker technology and crockpots are far from new, the Instant Pot offers versatile cooking options that are especially handy for students in dorms and apartments. This Instant Pot boasts nine cooking settings, including pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, food warmer, and yogurt maker.
For many students, coffee is essential. It’s study fuel. So, what’s more practical and essential than a mini Keurig coffee maker? Less than 5 inches wide, this tiny coffee maker brews 6-12 ounces at a time in just minutes, making it especially useful for students rushing to class.
For the student staring at various screens for hours on end, blue light glasses can help mitigate strain on the eyes. You can find multi-packs of stylish anti-blue ray computer glasses. Along with a retro design, these glasses block the majority of blue rays and are an excellent gift for students who spend 4-8 hours per day in front of digital screens.
Purchasing an Amazon Prime subscription for the student in your life can offer them great deals that come with convenient shipping options, including same-day, one-day, and two-day deliveries. Especially useful for students without access to a car, everything from books to groceries can get delivered to their door. Additionally, students also have access to a Prime account at a significantly reduced rate.
Whether for a dorm room or student apartment, nothing gives a room a fresh feel quite like new bedding. Fresh sheets, new pillows, or a new duvet to redecorate,. Freshening up the bed can lead to better sleep, and therefore better grades! Could your college student’s bedroom use an upgrade?
19. Laptop Lap Desk
When sitting at a desk becomes taxing, a laptop lap desk can transform a student’s bed or couch into a relaxing workspace. A portable laptop desk offers a non-slip design and room for a mouse and a laptop.
20. Power Strip
While a power strip may not win the most interesting gift of the year award, practical gifts certainly have their place. This popular power strip offers multiple outlets and USB ports, allowing your student to charge devices while providing electricity for everything from TVs to refrigerators. This popular item also provides surge protection to keep all their devices safe.
21. Mini Fridge
A mini-fridge is a dorm room essential. Not only do these pint-sized refrigerators keep various items cold for your student, but it affords them the freedom to eat outside of the confines of campus dining. We recommend both refrigerator and freezer sections, and the small size lets it fit comfortably anywhere in a dorm room.
22. Reusable Straws
Along with the rise of reusable water bottles, reusable straws offer another environmentally friendly beverage accessory. And why not look stylish when trying to save the planet?
For the student needing continuous access to top-performing Wi-Fi, a Wi-Fi range extender is yet another practical and relatively inexpensive gift. These help eliminate dead zones while boosts Wi-Fi around the home. Improved Wi-Fi speed can enhance gaming experiences and smart TV performance, too.
Even though the days of disposable cameras are effectively over, that doesn’t mean that tangible photos must be a thing of the past. Wireless mobile photo mini printers allow your college student to print photos at their convenience through a platform that’s compatible with smartphones and tablets.
Essential oil diffusers can make even the stuffiest dorm room smell like home. Rosemary helps boost concentration while citrus freshens up and awakens the senses. Let your student boost their moods and decorate their room with a stylish essential oil diffuser.
26. Sound Machine
Getting a quality night’s rest is essential, especially when your college student is navigating stressful times during a semester. A portable white noise machine can enhance sleep experiences, and this option offers 24 soothing sounds, including white noise, nature sounds, and heartbeats.
The restaurant industry is still reeling from COVID-related issues, and purchasing gift cards from your student’s local favorites is a great gift idea that benefits restaurants, too. On-campus dining options can get old, so your college student would gleefully take advantage of a restaurant gift card. And what college student doesn’t love pizza?
Let’s be honest, college can be a stressful time, especially when final exams are around the corner. After months of classes and countless hours studying for exams, a massage is a great way to coax frayed nerves into a state of relaxation. This is also an excellent option for student-athletes. And if their campus doesn’t have a local spa, you can also try a massage gun for a self-relaxation technique.
Just because a laundry hamper is a vessel for dirty clothes doesn’t mean it must be an eyesore. Like these options, a collapsible freestanding hamper can be both practical and tasteful in its design. Additionally, a new laundry hamper is a great way for your student to tote the other gifts they’ve received back to school.
For many students, wanderlust is a real impulse that only has one cure: travel. And whether your student is studying abroad, away for a vacation, or coming home to visit, durable luggage is an essential part of traveling smart.