20 Gifts You Actually Need This Year If You’re In College

If you’re in college, chances are good that you always feel like you’re in need of something. What the things you need actually are may vary based on the day–better grades! More responsive professors! A shower that’s actually clean!–but there’s something about the act of being in college that tends to leave one feeling…exposed to the elements.

Now, there are a ton of cool products that you probably (definitely) need to keep you feeling safe and secure next semester. You could buy them yourself, but why not see if you can get other people to buy them for you? Your friends and family are going to get you stuff for the holidays anyway, so it might as well be stuff that you actually need. So, check out these gifts that you’re definitely going to need this year if you’re a college student:

1. A lightbulb desk lamp:

Not to be, like, too on-the-nose here or anything, but this will is much more aesthetically pleasing than the fluorescent lighting that’s probably in your dorm. Plus, the lighbulb imagery might be jsut what you need to help you get through any all-night essay-writing binges you may undertake next semester.

Footed Ceramic Desk Lamp, $29, Urban Outfitters


2. “Chill Pill” enamel pin:


College is stressful! Pin this to your jacket or backpack to remind yourself to, you know. Chill.

Chill Pill Pin, $10, Bando


3. A new backpack:


Speaking of backpacks, you need a new one, right? I love this colorful paper crane bag that’ll help you lug your books around campus in style and stand out amongst a sea of Jansports and Herschels.

Paper Crane Canvas Bookbag, $54, Nylon Shop


4. Whimsical notebooks:


If your professors don’t let you take notes on your laptop, you’re going to need some notebooks for class. This “Decomposition Book,” which is made of all-recycled materials, is…everything, isn’t it?

Decomposition Book, $7, Dream In Plastic


5. “Dorm Sweet Dorm” poster:

Your dorm may not be sweet, but this poster is!

Dorm Sweet Dorm poster, $10, Etsy


6. Leggings to wear to class and the gym:


You might have already noticed this, but almost nobody wears real pants in college. To fit in, stay comfortable, and not feel like a total schmuck, invest in a cute pair of leggings. This pair from Sweaty Betty is reversible, so you can wear them two days in a row and nobody will even know.

Chandrasana Reversible Leggings, $115, Sweaty Betty


7. Cute inspirational tees:


You’ll also need some cute, low-maintenance tops to pair with your leggings (or whatever your choice of pant may be). Wear this one from ACTive Kind to encourage yourself and those around you to keep going.

Mind/Matter Tee, $9.97, Bon Ton


8. A cute thermal mug:


This mug provides a perfect pop of color and pep that’ll help propel you through a winter on campus, doesn’t it? You can use it to bring coffee, tea, hot chocolate, or anything else you’ll need to keep warm to class.

Here Comes The Fun Thermal Mug, $14, Bando


9. A cool beverage tumbler:


Of course, when the weather heats up, you’re going to want to have a container that keeps your drinks cool. This one does a lot for me, personally.

Sip Sip Tumbler With Straw, $14, Bando


10. New underwear:


Not to be crude, but having lots of underwear means you, like, never have to do laundry. So, uh, stock up this year.

Aerie Logo Bikini, 7 for $27.50, American Eagle Outfitters


11. New socks:


Having lots of socks helps with the laundry thing, too. This pair is the perfect thing to wear on a day when you just need a little encouragement.

Motherfucking Girl Power Socks, $8.99, Always Fits


12. A new planner:


You are going to be very busy this semester, right? Get a planner that shows it.

I Am Very Busy Planner, $28, Bando



13. A cool onesie to help you make friends:


This onesie is a dorm essential, probably.

Dino Onesie, $59,99, Nylon Shop


14. Or, fine, some “real” pajamas:


If you are going to be sensible with your PJs, this pair is really cute.

Jammies Session Cotton Pajamas, $51.99, Modcloth


15. A necklace holder:

Space is crucial in the dorm–maximize yours by keeping your jewelry on the wall.

Magical Thinking Artemis Wall Mounted Necklace Holder, $24, Urban Outfitters


16. An easy cookbook:


Should you decide that this is the semester that you’re going to venture away from the dining hall, this is a great cookbook with easy, cheap recipes that, as the cover says, you truly can’t “eff up.”

I Love Trader Joe’s College Cookbook, $13.78, Amazon


17. An aesthetically-pleasing neon lamp:


Isn’t this lamp soothing? It is so soothing, in fact, that it will help get you through any academic (or otherwise) trauma you experience throughout the semester.

Heart Neon Table Light, $129, Urban Outfitters


18. Pencils that reveal your true mood:


I mean, you’ll feel this way at some point throughout the semester. I promise.

Pencils, $8, Etsy


19. A new pencil case:


You know, o hide any potentially vulgarity-embellished pencils you may have in your possession.

Book Bag Pencil Case, $5.99, Dream In Plastic


20. A pillow with your pet on it:pet-pillow
Missing your pet? Get a picture of them transposed to a life-sized pillow. I know. We’re living in the future, guys.

Custom Pet Pillow, $58, Etsy


Are you in college? Would you use these gifts? Let us know in the comments!

You can reach the author, Sara Hendricks, on Twitter and Instagram.


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