59 Gifts College Students *Actually* Want This Semester
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College is all about living your best life on a budget — which means the university student in your life probably has their fingers crossed for some amazing presents every time a birthday or holiday comes around. Consider this list a Gifts for College Students 101 course because below, we’re getting you up to speed on what gifts campus co-eds *actually* want this semester.
Shower caddies and bed risers are must-haves for every college student, but they probably already picked up these essentials at the start of the school year. Instead, choose a present that suits their interests, while still being useful. For the person into dorm room decor, a fresh new set of quirky towels and the coziest faux fur blanket will be a total hit. The tech-obsessed teen in your life would love a mini projector to make their place the ultimate hangout spot. Or, consider gifting them a cookbook full of easy and fast recipes or a box of snacks for when they don’t feel like cooking during finals week. You could even surprise them with a mini coffee maker that’ll help them save money and stay caffeinated during early morning classes and late-night study sessions.
Whether they’re a soon-to-be freshman or a senior embarking on their last semester, college students deserve a gift that makes their lives easier (and less stressful). Below, find our curated guide of the best gifts for college students.
Backpack Laundry Bag
While everyone is lugging their broken laundry baskets down five flights of stairs, you’ll be drippin’ on all of ’em with this handy laundry bag.
Portable 3-in-1 Charging Station for Apple Products
Charge up their phone, watch, and earbuds (so, basically their entire life) with this all-in-one charging booth.
At-Home Tool Kit
Before you try to tackle that IKEA dresser, get yourself a cute mini tool kit. It even folds away neatly after the job, so it’s not taking up too much of that precious closet space.
Snacks Box Variety Pack Care Package
Even if you have no clue what they’re into, we can guarantee any college student will love this. (And if you wanted to send us one, we wouldn’t be mad).
Custom Book Embosser
Any bookish college student will be obsessed with this custom embosser that'll mark all of their favorite books.
Mega Jumbling Tower Majorelle
Write a different dare on each block and this gift becomes the ultimate party game.
Adults' Mountain Pile Fleece Gloves
College students might scoff at the idea of hats and gloves... until they’re trekking across campus to their 8 A.M. Biology class in the freezing cold. These shearling-lined babies will totally save the day.
Stay On Track Planner
The cutest desk pad for them to keep track of homework assignments, exams, deadlines, and events.
Wonder Blading Peel & Reveal Lip Stain Kit
Perfect a smooch-worthy pout with this peel-off lip stain that TikTok is obsessed with. The natural stain will last for hours.
Scratch Off Map of The World
Them: When I lived in Barcelona...
Give *that* person this scratch off world map, so they can brag to everyone that they studied abroad.
LUMA 350 Smart Projector
Even the tiniest dorm room instantly becomes a party space with this sick projector, which is compatible with a smartphone, computer, gaming console, PC, and more.
Faux Mongolian Body Pillow Cover
Another gift that’s very important for studying (or watching Hulu) in bed.
32 oz Wide Mouth
A sturdy water bottle is a necessary hardware for every student (no official VSCO girl status required).
Custom iPhone Case
Your phone deserves a cute upgrade, and these impact-protected cases can be customized however your heart desires.
Stars Pattern Laptop Sleeve
Keep that laptop protected and lookin’ cute, just like it did the first day you got it.
Almost Adulting: All You Need to Know to Get It Together (Sort Of)
If you haven’t already seen it first-hand, you’ll soon discover that ~adulting~ is pretty hard. This book makes the growing pains a tad smoother to navigate, adding in some LOLs along the way.
Sophie Faux Fur Throw Blanket
*Everyone* wants to rip open their gift and find a big pile of fluff inside. This blanket looks ideal for midday naps between classes, and comes in a variety of cute colors.
MYAir™ Personal Air Purifier Purple
Clear out all the resulting funk from dorm life (aka stress BO, dirty laundry, pet dander, etc.) with this surprisingly chic air purifier.
Hair Heroes Gift Set
Consider this a full hair makeover to go. With a detangling brush, hair mask, and microfiber wrap, it’s like a trip to the salon from your dorm bathroom.
College Cooking for One: 75 Easy, Perfectly Portioned Recipes for Student Life
Cooking on your own can be a challenge between assignments, extracurriculars, and classes. This cookbook makes creating a meal more manageable and less intimidating.
Obviously, you need some fancy noise-canceling headphones to study better. 😉 But seriously, these babies have amazing sound — plus, you can engrave them for free.
Sleepy Shower Bomb
We can guarantee you that “a little relaxation” is number one on the wishlist of every college student. All they have to do is run one of these lavender and ylang-ylang shower bombs under the water for instant calm.
Chatham Beach Cruiser Bike
It looks cute and doesn’t require monthly insurance payments. Need we say more?
Question: How are you gonna tell the time when your phone is at the bottom of your backpack? Answer: This sleek baby blue watch. Such a slay.
K-Mini Single-Serve K-Cup Pod Coffee Maker
You’ll thank us for this when you make it to your 8 a.m. Plus, this mini brewer comes in a dusty rose hue that will look adorable in your dorm room.
Co-Mingle Body Scrub
Communal bathroom situations typically mean shorter, less indulgent showers. Luckily, Lush has made this three-in-one product that exfoliates, cleanses, and moisturizes your body.
Faux-Fur Speaker Lapdesk
This lap desk is ideal for when you need to finish an assignment but just don't want to get out of bed. Stay there — use this (it even comes with a Bluetooth speaker and storage!)
Instax Mini 11 Instant Camera
A Polaroid camera is an amazing (and fun) way to document all of the memories your make in college. And don’t forget to buy them some extra film!
MWL Cloudlift Ankle Sneaker Socks
Communal washers and dryers = socks going missing, to never be seen again. Replenish the sock stock with a couple pairs of these cuties, which are some of the comfiest around.
The Lavender Silk Sleep Mask
Sleep just once with a silk, padded eye mask and we swear it will change your life. Finally sleeping through your roommate’s 3 a.m. food trips FTW.
Checkmate Academic Year Planner
Jot down every assignment, exam, and date night into this creative planner that actually makes organizing fun.
Heartbeat Makeup Vanity Mirror
Dorm rooms aren’t exactly known for their optimal lighting but don’t worry. This LED light mirror will save you from poorly-blended contour.
For those whose dorms don’t allow candles, we recommend this diffuser to add a homey, relaxing scent to your space. Switch out the oils to create your ideal ~vibe~.
Fluff Yeah Slipper
Need a slipper for wearing around your dorm and a shoe for running errands? With Ugg’s Fluff Yeah shoe, you get the best of both worlds. Plus, this Barbiecore pair is Sydney Sweeney-approved.
Snake Plant Laurentii
The aspiring plant parent will love this new addition that doesn’t take up too much space and doesn’t need much water or light. They’re just way too busy to remember it needs care every day.
Stoneware Spoon & Mug Set
Every time your loved one uses this mug during their late-night study sessions, they’ll think of you. And isn’t that what the true purpose of a gift is? Plus, this ceramic option is dishwasher and microwave-safe, and comes with a spoon for easy stirring.
Frizz Smacker Watermelon-Infused Flyaway Serum
Girls on the go don’t have time to fix every little stray hair back at their dorm, which is why this teeny flyaway serum is the perfect product to throw in your backpack. Smooth frizz back with the mascara-like applicator and you’ll look fly as ever.
#BookTok babes deserve to read their romance, sci-fi, and mystery novels on a bigger screen than their phone, FYI.
A Nintendo Switch is just the device they need to wind down and take a quick study break.
Cold Brew Starter Pack
If college students got school supply lists, “all the caffeine” would be the number one item. Go for this cute little cold brew set, courtesy of YouTube sensation Emma Chamberlain.
True Glow Moisturizing Mist Facial Sauna System
This handy facial humidifier will keep your skin refreshed and hydrated — even after a long night.
Soft Pretzel Making Mix
Anything to save a little $$$... and who doesn’t love a salty soft pretzel?
Forever Eye Mask
We stan waste-free skincare! Just add your favorite cream or serum to these reusable eye patches to nix those finals week under-eye bags.
Delina Body Oil
College students are notoriously budget-conscious, meaning they’ll die of excitement when they see you got them the TikTok viral Delina perfume in body oil form.
Arctic Sea Beanie
Their morning commute requires a 35-minute walk across campus in 35-degree weather. Any and all knitwear is appreciated.
Sweet Ash Scented Candle
Let’s face it — most college kids’ apartments don’t smell the greatest, with dirty dishes and laundry piling up. This creamy wood and vanilla scent will kill all types of odors right away.
6" Wildflowers Embroidery Kit
This is a soothing hobby that ends in a trendy piece of home decor. It’s like two gifts in one, really.
Emma Cosmetic Organizer
Gift them the compact acrylic skincare and makeup organizer of their dreams, made famous by beauty influencers across TikTok.
Flower Pom Pillow Cover
Upgrade your throw pillows from freshman year with this upcycled headstock yarm cover. The pom-pom detail is totally adorable — *adds to cart.*
Tayto Potato Wireless Mouse
Some computer programs used for assignments just aren’t compatible with a built-in, laptop mousepad. That’s why you’ll be needing this *adorable* wireless mouse.
BAGGU Horizontal Duck Bag
Books, laundry, groceries – you’ll be using this do-it-all tote daily. Plus, the bag is made of recycled material and features an interior zip pocket that is big enough to hold your 15-inch MacBook.
Go Steady 3.0 Mat Carrier
No one wants to fight their yoga mat from unrolling as they walk across to the gym. This multi-pocketed bag will fix all of your workout commute woes.
Acne Hero Routine Kit
Midterms stress and sleeping in your makeup after a night out can really mess with your skin, so you’ll need this kit to revive that glow.
Sticker Phone Pocket
Every college student needs an adorable, handy phone wallet to keep their ID and cards all in one place.
Basically, just buy them the necessities so they don’t have to spend money on it themselves. A fluffy, printed bath towel falls right into that category.
City Adventurer Large Duffle Bag
Bring all of your dirty laundry home (sorry, fam 😬) in this thoughtfully designed weekender travel bag.
Rapid Firming™ Lift Duo
Is a skincare-obsessed student at the top of your holiday shopping list? This Neutrogena duo nourishes and delivers a firm, dewy glow.
Veja Rio Branco Sneakers
Walking to campus just got a whooole lot comfier – and more stylish, too.
We can never have too many sweatshirts, and this versatile option from Alo Yoga will keep you cozy in class all year long.
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