College students are usually pretty tough to shop for. They have a selective sense of style, they're too old for the toys you used to buy them when they were younger, but they're still young enough that you want to get them something for Christmas. As my mom always says, sometimes it's just easier to give cash (which is always appreciated and much needed!). However, if you're like me and like to go outside the box to try to find the perfect gift, here's a few things your college student is definitely going to appreciate this holiday season.
1. A reusable water bottle
When you have to choose between carrying a case of water up 3 flights of stairs to your dorm room or being a little dehydrated, you usually end up spending a lot of time without water. Reusable water bottles are super popular among college students, whether it's a nice aluminum one or a bottle that has school spirit.
2. A planner
As the new year rolls around, your student is probably on the search for a new planner to take them through 2020. A planner is a huge help when writing down assignments and keeping track of things. I personally use this Vera Bradley one, but you can get them for a good price on Amazon too.
3. A phone charger
College is the abyss of phone chargers. You leave them in a friends room, in the dining hall, or they honestly just disappear into thin air. You can get one from the Apple store if you want the original, but this 10 foot one will definitely get extra use.
5. Blue light glasses
New studies have show that the blue light emanating from our screens can do some serious damage to our sleep schedule, so pick up a pair of these cool glasses to protect their eyes and make them look extra studious around their residence hall.
College students do a lot of walking, so a nice pair of sneakers can always come in handy. Pick up a pair of running sneakers from Nike or Under Armour, or a more stylish pair of sneakers from Adidas or Converse.
7. An umbrella
It rains on college campuses too, and oftentimes college students forget to bring little things along to college like an umbrella! Pick up this cute Totes one for the girl on your list or a classic black umbrella for your college boy.
8. School supplies
College students might not get the cute list of school supplies that their teachers used to give you in elementary school, but they still go through a LOT of pens, pencils, highlighters, and notebooks (probably more than they did when they were a kid!). Save them a trip to Staples and pick up a few of these things for them.
I don't know whether it's the communal laundry room or the fact that Mom isn't there to match your socks anymore, but college students lose more socks than anyone else. Get your girl a cute pair of fuzzy socks or some athletic socks for your boy.
10. A backpack
Students bring their backpack EVERYWHERE, and at this point it's probably gotten pretty worn out. Look into a Jansport or a North Face for your typical college student, a Vera Bradley for a more fashionable student, or business backpack for your more sophisticated student.
11. Cold weather gear
Those long walks across campus can get quite chilly if your student is on the East Coast, so make sure they're nice and cozy with a hat, gloves, and scarf. Check out Love Your Melon hats for girls (and they put their proceeds go towards a good cause!) or this North Face hat for boys.
12. A Keurig
This mini Keurig will fit perfectly in their dorm and spare them a few extra minutes of sleep while still getting their morning coffee! You can buy k-cups in their favorite flavor too- or hot chocolate if you wanted to keep them in the Christmas spirit!
Your student doesn't have much money to begin with, and they probably don't have a lot of time to hit the pharmacy and grab some of the essentials. Gift them with a pack of toothbrushes or a bottle of their favorite shampoo and they'll be totally grateful- you can even through in a refreshing face mask or bottle of lotion in their favorite scent that they wouldn't normally buy themselves.
14. A t-shirt from their school
College students love apparel from their school, no matter how much they already have! Check out a website like Fanatics or search your student's bookstore for lots of different options!
15. A pair of sunglasses
Your student might go to a school on the sunny West coast, or maybe they just hate when the sun gets in their eyes while they're walking to class. Either way, a pair of Ray Bans or Oakley sunglasses will definitely help them look and feel like a rockstar.
16. An experience together
You miss your student like crazy while they're away at college, but remember that they miss you too! Buy them tickets to a basketball game, Broadway play, or concert that you think you'd both enjoy and spend some quality time together!
17. A coffee cup
College students drink a LOT of coffee, so picking them up a durable travel cup or a holiday-themed mug for their room can help them spare a day of dishes and make them think of you when they use it!
18. Hair accessories
This really only applies to girls (unless your boy has long, unmanageable hair!), but a new hair brush or pack of hair ties can really come in handy for those messy hair days. Scrunchies are super big right now too- bonus points if you throw in a pack of those!
19. A bathrobe
Most college students (especially underclassmen) have to walk through a hallway filled with their peers to get to the shower, so a cozy bath robe (or a more manly wrap for the boys) will definitely help them feel confident and comfortable while they do.
21. Clip on light
Sometimes it can be nice to cozy up in bed and do work- but your roommates might want to get some shut eye if you're curling up with your books later at night. A clip light gives just enough light to see what you're doing without preventing anyone else from getting their 8 hours.
22. A fitness watch
It can be hard to push yourself to get to the gym when you have a million other commitments, but a watch that tracks your student's workouts just might do it. Check out the newest Apple Watch or FitBit and your student (and their workout regimine) will thank you!
23. Artwork for their room
College dorms can often feel really far from home, but a photo tile with some of your favorite photos together or a sign with a saying that reminds you of them can go a long way to make them feel a little more like they're at home.
24. A phone case
Phones can get pretty beat up while you're away at college, so a protective Otterbox case or a pretty new floral case can make one of their most used items look a little newer. Bonus points if you throw in a screen protector or a card holder with the case! (Heads up: make sure you know what kind of phone they have and double check that you have the right one before you buy anything!)
25. Christmas decorations
Every college student wants to make their dorm feel a little more like home-and what better way to do that than with Christmas decorations during the holidays! It might be a little late for this year, but pick up a mini Christmas tree or some twinkle lights to bring them some extra Christmas cheer in the new year!