The holidays are approaching and chances are you have at least one person you want to buy a gift for. Whether that person is a sibling, cousin, friend or significant other, you may be wondering what gift they would actually enjoy. While the thought counts more than the actual gift, it’s even better when you know the person will truly love and use what you give them. Even if you do not have a college student to give a gift to, perhaps this list can provide ideas for your next shopping spree for yourself. If you want to avoid buying basic jewelry or fuzzy socks and give a unique gift instead, read below for some great gift ideas for college students.

Succulents and plants

Nothing makes a room better than tons of plants. They make any dorm or apartment more lively and are also therapeutic to care for. Cacti and succulents are great for people who will forget to water the plants, but some other cheap indoor plant options that are also quite easy to take care of include the monstera plant, devil’s ivy, spider plant and snake plant.

Waterproof Bluetooth speaker

Everyone loves to sing in the shower, so why not enhance the shower-concert experience by gifting a speaker specifically made for showers? These are waterproof speakers that stick to your shower wall so that the music is louder and you can easily change the volume or skip songs without having to touch your phone and risk getting it wet.


This is another great gift option for college kids who love to decorate their dorm or apartment. Redbubble and Etsy have tons of posters and bundles to choose from. However, a tip for buying inexpensive posters is to order off of FedEx. All you have to do is go to the FedEx website, click “Upload a Print-Ready File” under the “Design & Print” tab, click “Marketing Materials,” click “Flyers,” upload a file, change the size to your preferred poster size, change the paper to Professional White Papers and click “Gloss Text.” The poster will cost less than $2 and you can even save money on shipping by picking it up at a FedEx office near you. Since you can upload any photo, you can personalize the posters you give, making this a great and inexpensive gift!

Anything coffee-related

This may not be a unique gift, but hear me out. A Starbucks or Dunkin’ gift card will always be appreciated and used by almost any college student. If you want to make it more special, throw in a reusable coffee cup with the gift card. It can have a fun design and their coffee runs will be more environmentally friendly! If a gift card is not up your alley, a French press along with some coffee beans is a great gift idea for coffee-lovers. They can learn to make arguably better-tasting and more environmentally friendly coffee than with the K-Cup coffee pods.

Insulated water bottles

If you walk around a college campus, you are bound to see at least one person holding a fancy metal water bottle. Almost every college student has some sort of reusable water bottle, so an easy gift is to upgrade their water bottle to one that keeps their water cold and fresh all day long. If you want to make it less boring, get it in their favorite color, but this is a gift they will use practically every day, making it a great and useful gift option.

Time capsule

This is a great gift that is free, but requires a little more effort! Print some photos of the two of you together, write a note to your future selves and create a list of your favorite memories, songs, movies and other things at the moment. You can put these all in an old shoebox, and together you both can bury it or hide it somewhere to reopen in a few years. This gift is honestly fun for any age, but is special for college kids considering life will be quite different after graduating, making a time capsule a nostalgic blast from the past when it is eventually opened.

Spiral candles

Christmas-scented candles from Bath & Body Works are long overdone, but the new trendy, creatively shaped and colored candles are great for someone who always has candles lit in their room. You can buy these online, or easily make them yourself by buying candlesticks and twisting them after running the candles under hot water.

Disposable camera

Although they seem impractical considering we have cell phones with cameras now, it really is exciting to take pictures on a disposable camera while hanging out with friends. The printed pictures will make for a great keepsake of college memories.

Blue-light-blocking glasses

Every college student is stuck taking virtual classes, forcing them to stare at a screen for far longer than normal. Overusing technology can really damage your eyes, but wearing blue-light-blocking glasses can help.

Weighted Blanket

Weighted blankets help reduce stress and anxiety, allowing for a better night’s sleep. Everyone who has used a weighted blanket can attest to their extreme coziness. These can be quite pricey, but there are cheaper options out there and they are just as comfortable.

The Comfy

This may be the best gift for any college student, because who wouldn’t like a gigantic hoodie that is made with blanket material? Considering the brutally cold winters in Binghamton, The Comfy hoodie is the perfect warm gift to give.

Happy shopping and happy holidays!