The bane of the college student. A period of highs and lows. The era of ramen noodles, being broke, parties, flings, booze and other forms of fun. But also lots of time spent in class, reading textbooks, days on end doing research online, studying for exams and working part-time jobs or participating in college-work study.

College can be a hectic time which is why useful gifts for college students make for thoughtful gifts. To help you pick out a practical gift for undergrads for the holidays, we created this list of 23 gift ideas. We bet there’s at least a few items that will make your college student’s newfound independent life a lot more convenient and pleasurable.

USB Rechargeable Battery


“I’ll see you in ten minutes, outside…” Nothing. Of course your phone battery has gone dead.

Slim enough to slip into a spare pocket, this rechargeable battery will be your go-to device whenever you’re away from a power socket – giving you up to three full charges.

Don’t worry about having to find your friend “outside” anymore.

Get it here.


Tactical Messenger Bag



Fancy a bit of urban exploring after class? Go full tacti-cool with this multifunctional messenger bag.

Generous with the storage, you’ll have plenty of room to bring your essential urbex gear to college, making sure you never miss out. Just leave the balaclava at home.

Grab this sturdy bag here.





Cable is rubbish. Why bother dealing with terrible late-night television when you could just turn your TV into a giant monitor and binge watch your favourite show. Able to stream from a variety of providers (HBO, Netflix, etc.), break out the beers and popcorn and spend an hour or six with your mates.

More info and purchase.


Perfect Tea Maker


Tea – an entire empire was built on it. Coffee is fine for a hung-over 8am lecture, or some last minute revision, but it has nothing on a good, well brewed cup of loose leaf tea. Throw away your strainer and timer – the Teavana Tea Maker has it covered.

More info and buying.


Rich Dad Poor Dad


Ain’t nobody gonna hold you back from a cold beer, except being broke. Being poor is part of the “college experience”, but you shouldn’t have to buy from the bargain bin after you leave college.

Robert Kiyosaki dispels the myth about needing a high income to invest, and helps you get your money working for you.

Available here.

Bluetooth Speaker


What could be better: you’re sitting on the quad on a sunny day, exams are done, you have a cold beer in hand and you’re blasting out the music. How antisocial – it’s tinny sounding.

A good pair of portable Bluetooth speakers will sort that right out, everybody will be commenting on the quality of the bass. More info and purchase.


Auto-start Coffee Maker


Sometimes you just need a cup or three of great coffee to get you going in the morning.

Load it up before you go out for a “few” drinks the night before, and set the timer to go off when you get up. Sorted, the perfect way to wake up.

Well, a close second to breakfast in bed with Emma Watson. More info here.


Stainless Steel Water Bottle



Killing dolphins. That’s basically what you’re doing each time you chuck out a plastic water bottle.

That may be a slight over exaggeration, but all that waste is terrible for the environment.

BPA free and super durable, you won’t get the funny taste you associate with cheap plastic bottles – and it can resist knocks from rectangular devices with rounded corners…

Grab one here.


Business Card Holder



Networking is apparently one of the most important aspects of college. It all sounds so formal and stuffy though, I prefer calling it “making friends”.

But how are you going to make friends without giving them your business card?

Don’t worry about finding a tastefully thick card with subtle off-white coloring and a watermark, they’ll to be too busy ogling your holder. Get it here.


Breakfast Sandwich Maker


Name one thing that isn’t amazing in a toasted breakfast sandwich? What’s that? Nope, you can’t –everything is better between two slices of bread. Don’t bother buying something overpriced and greasy from a fast-food joint, when you can make it yourself at home (or go for something healthy if you’re feeling guilty). More info and buying.


Bedside Storage


The floor looks like a pretty good place to keep your stuff, amiright? No, I’m not right. Your roommate hates your mess, your mom hates your mess and I hate your mess.

Attach this container straight onto your bedframe. Keeping your essentials bed-side, off the ground and out of the way. Available here.


77 Things to do in College




You’ve just arrived at college, you’ve met your new roomie aaaaand there’s nothing to do. Not to worry.

This book has 77 (if you hadn’t already guessed) things to do in college: changing you from pre-college rubbish, stupid, boring you – into post-college better, smarter and more interesting you.

Get it here.




Manifesto Poster



Motivation: a close cousin to willpower, it can get you through anything. Whether it’s coursework, your finals or a particularly nasty initiation (but that might also be peer-pressure), it will move you to great things.

This manifesto will inspire you to give it your best every day. Look it up here.


Multi Charging Station


“Well I need my phone, Kindle and iPad charged for school tomorrow”. Don’t fret, you aren’t about to lose your roommate in a fight over USB chargers.

With five ports, you can charge any combination of USB-charged devices at their fastest possible speed. So join the other 6+ million people powered by Anker.

More info and purchase.


College Safety 101





There are some bad people in the world. Safety expert, speaker and author Kathleen Baty is here to help you with them: offering a comprehensive guide to personal safety whilst at college.

Covering a whole variety of situations, Baty has packed in checklists, anecdotes, safety secrets and a host of invaluable resources.

Grab one here.


Scratch Map


American’s have a bad rap when it comes to geographical knowledge, but there’s no need to enrol in Geography (Schmeography) 101 just yet. With the help of a trusty coin – who wants that weird metallic stuff under their nails – you can track your travels with a giant-map-scratch-card. Traveling is growing. It makes you a more conscious person.

Get one at uncommongoods.



Desk Caddy


Urban Outfitters – purveyors of all things fashionable – have taken on the task of turning your table into the most fashionable desk in the dorm, with the help of Peg & Awl. This desk caddy, handcrafted from reclaimed, antique pine floor joists, could be the answer. If you’re feeling particularly hipster, you can place it next to your jam jar glasses and use it to hold the cutlery.

More info and buying at Etsy.



Healthy College Cookbook



There are three things wrong with food from college cafés: it’s expensive, it’s dreary and it makes you fat.

Absolutely packed with ideas, the Healthy College Cookbook offers budget recipes to time-pressed students.

You can even cook them in you dorm room if necessary.

This must-have for college students by Rachel Holcomb is available here.

Rapid Ramen Cooker


Ramen. The college staple. How many Eureka Moments came about over a bowl of ramen, I wonder. Create the next big thing, over some perfectly cooked noodles, with the rapid cooker.

Chuck in the ingredients, heat it in the microwave for a few minutes, and get thinking. The world isn’t going to change itself.

More info and purchase.


Travel Mug


There’s only one thing better than a hot drink in class, and that’s a hot drink in class you haven’t been over-charged for.

Bring your beverage of choice with you, wherever you go. It keeps hot things hot, and cold things cold; just remember not to stick your gelato into your coffee.

The mug even has a non-stick coating, making it easy to clean if you ever “accidently” leave soup in there (read: couldn’t be bothered to wash it up, then forgot about it).

Get it here.


Blender Mixer


Malnutrition, rickets and gout – a poor diet is causing the return of these Victorian ailments. Balance out your partying by spending more time outside, trying to live a healthier lifestyle and making sure you’re eating your five a day.

If you keep forgetting, or can’t find time to cook, try turning some fruit and veg into a tasty smoothie. It will even blend and crush ice, so you can bring it back to the old school and make slushy’s all summer long.

More info here.


1001 Things Every College Student Needs to Know




You don’t know lots of things. But you probably didn’t think that Harry H. Harrison Jr. could point out 1001 things you didn’t know about college.

In his typically witty fashion, Harrison Jr.’s shares his wealth of practical advice with you – on a need-to-know basis, of course.

Get it here.

The Naked Roommate




When isn’t casual nudity hilarious?

When it’s lying on your bed, in all its fat, sweaty, smelly glory. Is that a hair on my pillow?

The New York Times’ bestseller is in its 5th edition – providing a behind-the-scenes look at everything a freshmen should know.

Packed with real-life advice, it contains hilarious and outrageous stories from students all over the US.

Available here.


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