Gifts for college students can be tricky. Most college kids can be a little finicky with what they like, and with what they don’t. Are you looking for some ideas on what to give a student starting or returning to college? Or, maybe for a Christmas gift for your favorite student? This list provides great gift ideas fitting for any college student.
These gifts would be perfect for graduation celebrations, birthdays, or other occasions. The list includes unique and creative gifts that will be used and loved by students attending universities. For some of these listings, Greeting Card Poet receives a small affiliate commission which helps offset some of the costs of creating content for this site.
13 Best Gifts For College Students
1.) Trendy and durable backpack
Greenland Zip Large.
Every college student needs a reliable backpack that has enough room to store all of their textbooks and notebooks. This backpack is the Greenland Zip Large from FjallRaven, a Swedish company known for its quality and durability. It’s an extra plus that these backpacks look cool in every color.
2.) A solid pair of headphones
SoundPEATS Magnetic Wireless Earbuds are our value pick.
Headphones are a staple for college. Students will use these earbuds to listen to pump-up music before an exam, drown out outside sounds while studying, or talking to their parents on their way to class. It’s important that these headphones are comfortable and will last the year. The wireless features prevent a lot of those snags that come with a hard connection.
3.) Inflatable Banana Couch
WEKAPO Inflatable Lounger.
This inflatable lounger chair is so fun and comfortable! This couch contained in a bag simply needs air and BOOM it’s a multipurpose couch. It’s perfect for lounging in the courtyard, a makeshift futon in the dorm, and floating in the water (it’s waterproof!). It’s sure to be a conversation piece for those awkward silence moments of freshman year.
4.) Game Bib Overalls to show off School Spirit
These showy overalls sell for $49.95 at gamebibs.com
Game Bibs are awesome attire to show off school spirit! A college student with game bibs will be the best dressed at football games, homecoming activity, or let’s be honest at any school event. Bib overalls are sold in so many colors, you will be sure to find any college colors. Hey, if you’re not going to show your school spirit during college, when are you?
5.) Stylish bike helmet
Nutcase Watermelon Bike Helmet.
Bikes are great for college students wanting to get around campus faster while being active, eco-friendly, and inexpensive. Yet, it’s important that students are safe and wearing a helmet. This Nutcase helmet provides the protection you need while riding in style. It’s sure to turn a few heads.
6.) Reusable Insulated Tumbler
YETI Rambler 30 oz Stainless Steel Vacuum Insulated Tumbler w/MagSlider Lid
The Yeti mug is essential for all of the cups of coffee consumed throughout the school year waking up early for class or pulling all-nighters. This Yeti mug is great because it is insulated keeping coffee hot and water ice cold. Staying hydrated and awake is crucial for college students.
7.) Spikeball game
This lively game features two teams competing with each other spiking the ball against the ground net. This game is an excellent way to make new friends, stay active, and have fun. Popularized in Chicago, you can see it being played on Lake Michigan beaches throughout summer and fall.
8.) Sonos Speaker
A speaker is great for college students to blare music and have a dance party after a long week of class. The Sonos Speaker is smart because it connects wirelessly and is built with Amazon Alexa. Ask Alexa to play music, set alarms, or check the weather.
9.) Photo Clip Firefly String Lights
Just $20 at Urban Outfitters.
Strings of fairy lights are perfect decorations for dorms and apartments, especially when you can hang pictures of friends and family on the lights. These lights make a room more homey and cozy.
10.) College lanyard
Nike college lanyard for $8.
Vera Bradley lanyard for $38.
Lanyards are so useful in college. Students can attach their keys, student IDs, and some cash (if they have any). These lanyards are practical and can be so cute! Lanyards designs can include college colors, floral designs, bright colors, and more.
11.) Love Your Melon Hat
Walking to classes in the winter can get really cold. It’s important to stay bundled up with these cozy Love Your Melon Hats. Available in many styles and colors for both women and men. These hats are special because your purchase provides a hat to a kid with cancer. These hats are super comfortable and slightly oversized – so they fit nearly everyone.
12.) Portable battery charger
The portable battery charger will ensure that a student’s phone will always be charged. A portable charger is useful in class while doing a school app, directions to a new restaurant, or playing music with friends.
13.) James Bond-like Pen
These Parker Jotter pens in stainless steel look exactly like what 007 would use on a mission. And, while they don’t emit any toxic gas, they do write quite well. And that still comes in handy occasionally. Look stylish when you pull out a pen during your first job interview. As with many of these gifts for college students, this gift might be paired nicely with another. For example, include the backpack shown above and include this pen, some pencils, and other supplies.
— Liz Olson
Liz is a writer living in Minneapolis.
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