Skip to Content Request Info

6 Things on Every College Student’s Holiday Wishlist

6 Things on Every College Student’s Holiday Wishlist

If you’re shopping for a college student this Christmas season, especially an adult student who is leveraging the benefit of earning an online degree, you may be struggling with holiday gift ideas. If you are a student yourself, you may be asking, “What should I put on my college wish list?” Well, we’re here to make your last-minute holiday shopping a bit easier. We came up with 6 categories of best gifts for students with great ideas in each. Good luck picking just one!

1. Make-Life-Easier Gifts

  • Meal Box Subscription – Meal planning and shopping can use up a ton of time when you’re on a tight class schedule. Sending a pre-prepped meal from a meal box company once a week for a month will be an “Ahhh” moment every time it arrives.
  • Food During Finals – This is one of the most stressful times of the term. At least one week every term is finals week. Why not get gift cards for a food delivery service or take-out restaurants to make things easier – and tastier – for your adult learner?
  • Housecleaning – Especially for the working adult student, housecleaning often gets pushed to the back of the “to do” list. Hiring a cleaning service for a one-time deep clean or weekly regular clean will take a load off of their shoulders. Maybe check with your student in advance to ensure this would be a welcome gift.
  • Car Tune-up or Oil Change – It may seem like a simple thing but taking the car in for its regular oil change or tune-up can seem overwhelming when you have more important things to do. College students may not even know this is on their holiday list, but if you take care of it for them, you’re sure to get on their “Nice” list.

2. Cool Tech Gifts

  • Smartphone Photo Printer – Okay, this is mostly just because it’s cool, but how many of us never print out the great digital pictures we take on our phones? Whether to put memories from home on a bulletin board in their dorm room or keep photos of their family on a desk at work, this edge-to-edge portable photo printing device makes it a whole lot easier by syncing directly with a student’s phone.
  • Bluetooth Speaker – These vary in size from fit-in-your-pocket speakers to tubular desktop versions. They make it easy to listen to favorite tunes or audio books, or sync with friends’ devices for sharing jams.
  • Bluetooth or Noise-cancelling Headphones – Most students covet these if they don’t have them. Some study better listening to their latest playlist, while others want to tune everything out. Either way, there are a wide range of prices for these two holiday gift ideas.
  • Portable Phone Charging Station or Power Bank – We’ve never met a student who didn’t get frustrated when their phone died in the middle of a text or conversation. This gift fixes that problem, whether you choose a 10,000, 20,000 or 50,000 mAh charger. You can also go for a solar charger or rechargeable USB battery pack for all of their devices.  
  • More Tech Ideas – Students can always use extra storage in the form of thumb drives or an external hard drive for backing up their files. Other great ideas include tablets, extra-long charging cables, and activity trackers.

3. Creature Comfort Gifts

  • Coffee – These can be gift cards to the local coffee shop, a monthly shipment of their favorite coffee beans, a single serve coffee pot with coffee pods, or a great hot tumbler for carrying to class or the office.
  • Cozy-Ups – Students love to get comfortable for those late-night study sessions with soft PJs, warm slippers, snuggly blankets, or comfy sweatpants. 
  • Entertainment – College is stressful and sometimes students just need to kick back and forget about school for a while. Movie tickets; subscriptions to a streaming channel like Netflix; a trip to the bowling alley, ice skating or TopGolf – anything to help them veg out will elicit a big smile.
  • Reading – It’s hard for students to find time to read for pleasure. That can be painful for the ones addicted to books. Getting them an audio book subscription can help feed their need to read while driving, exercising, or transitioning to classes.
  • Relaxation – Help your college student de-stress and pamper herself with gift cards for a massage, manicure, pedicure, or even a trip to the chiropractor. A box filled with specialty lotions, bath bombs, soaps, essential oils and other luxuries is always a hit, and you can’t go wrong with shaving and grooming tools or subscriptions. On the other hand, if your student has a hobby, any gift that helps them practice it would feel especially thoughtful.

4. School/Career Advancement Gifts

  • School Costs - There are many benefits of earning an online degree, but there are also many expenses. That’s why nothing says, “I believe in you!” like helping pay for books, fees, tuition, or a word processing software subscription. Adult students will be over the moon that you’ve eased their financial burden of earning a degree.
  • Survival Bag – School comes with the need for a lot of little things: phone chargers, notebooks, highlighters, coffee, sticky notes, pens and pencils, planners . . . coffee. Put together a survival bag for your student and keep it supplied. Make it even more special by using a bag from their school or alma mater’s bookstore.
  • Planner or pad portfolio – Your college student will feel more professional, and perhaps more committed, with a nice planner to keep them organized or a monogramed pad portfolio to take on their first interviews.
  • School Gear – School gear is a gift that will keep them connected to their school now and in the future. Most universities have online bookstores where you can purchase sweatshirts, jackets, book bags, and specialty items.  
  • Subscription to Professional Association or Magazine – If you know your student’s major or career goals, find subscriptions that will help them grow in their field or connect with other professionals who can help with career advancement.

5. Relationship-Building Gifts

  • Games – In our world of digital connections, bring back the in-person fun with some good old-fashioned board games. Puzzles are also a good group activity. There are even some that commemorate the craziness of 2020 – you might want to frame those!
  • Community Activities – If your community is known for any special events or activities, get gift cards for the student or family to attend. Or keep it simple with a gift card to a bowling alley, amusement park, arcade, or zoo. Just be sure your gift is large enough for at least two – it’s relationship building, remember?
  • Babysitting and Dinner – Is your student married with kids? Why not offer to babysit so they can have a date night on you?

6. Giving Back Gifts

  • Charity Donation – Most of us have good intentions of giving back, but while in school, college students are often overwhelmed financially and by the demands on their time. They may be touched by a gift made in their name to a charity they feel connected to. For example, if they are a veteran or have experienced cancer or diabetes in their family, donations to relevant organizations would be especially meaningful. You could seek out charrities that provide Christmas dinner for a local family in need. There are also many global organizations that you can contribute to financially by “adopting” a child in need, helping small villages, or filling shoeboxes with gifts for children. The options here are abundant. For example, if they are a veteran or have experienced cancer or diabetes in their family, donations to relevant organizations would be especially meaningful. Other ideas include “adopting” a child or giving chickens to a village through a global organization, filling a shoebox of gifts for children, or adopting a local family to provide Christmas dinner. The options here are abundant.

We hope this holiday list of best gifts for students will help you with your shopping just in time for Christmas. Even if your adult learner asks, “What should I put on my college wish list?”, you’ll be ready to give lots of great ideas. On Christmas morning, they will be extremely grateful that you remembered them and took the time to get a gift that meets their unique educational needs. Happy giving, and MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Posted: 12/22/2020 by OU Online
Back to top