20 Clever Gifts All College Students Will Want This Holiday Season

If you’re a college student, chances are good there is something – or a lot of things – that you need, but can’t buy for yourself. If you’re going to be a college student within the next year or so, take this as a warning: there will be a lot of things you need, but can’t afford! Most college students live on a tight budget with student loan debt looming over their heads, and can only spend money on the necessities like food and school supplies. If you want things like dorm decorations, new clothes, fancier school supplies, or just random things that are cute? Well, you can probably forget it.

Except right now you don’t have to, because the holiday season is basically officially here. This is your chance to ask for fun items that you can’t get during the school year! It’s your chance to make your dorm room look cute and shiny and new again! It’s your chance to get something to wear to a party that isn’t the same black shirt you’ve been wearing to every party! Take advantage of it. These items will not only make your life a little bit more stylish and happy, they’re also useful for school/dorm life. Check out these gifts every college student will want this holiday season – ask for them for yourself, or buy them for friends!

1. A Chic Backpack

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Dome Backpack, $49.95, The Gap

When you first go to college, you’re really, really excited to get rid of the backpack you’ve been wearing for most of your school years. It feels so freeing to go to class without that big thing strapped on your back! But then, after a few weeks, you realize that you have days where you need to carry around a lot of stuff, and suddenly, a backpack seems more comfortable than a heavy tote bag. If you can relate to that, don’t feel like you need to get a backpack that looks like it belongs on a middle schooler. Get a chic option, like this one from The Gap. It’s small, it’s pretty, and it gets the job done.

 

2. A Seriously Organized Planner

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January 2018 Daily Planner, $59, Day Designer

Are you one of those people who love to make lists and stay super on top of everything? Do you wish you were one of those people? Make all of your goals come true by asking for a Day Designer planner. This planner makes it easy to be organized with detailed pages that have room for daily to-do lists, schedules, budget help, meal reminders, and more. It also has room for overviews and prompts. It’s basically like having a bullet journal already created for you. It’s perfect for students!

 

3. A Photo Printer

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Prynt Pocket iPhone Printer, $150, Free People

Being in college is all about making memories and friends, right? If you’re a very social person who loves to take photos, ask for this photo printer – or buy it for your bestie who loves the same. It works easily and ensures that your memories won’t just get lost and forgotten on Instagram. Plus, it makes it so much easier to create dorm room photo collages!

 

4. A Handy Phone Bag

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Holographic Crossbody Universal Phone Pouch, $29, Urban Outfitters

You know those nights where you go out and don’t carry anything except your phone and maybe, like, two cards and some cash? On those nights, the last thing you want is a giant bag on your arm. This little crossbody bag fits your phone perfectly and is super light, so your bag will never weigh you down. The holographic color is also really, really cool.

 

5. A Fun Planter 

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Plant Holder, $52, ban.do

This is a great random gift to ask for or give – it’s different and fun! A plant is an excellent way to brighten up your dorm room and make it look like new again, especially a succulent, because it’s so low maintenance. This one is great for the girl who loves a good glass of champagne.

 

6. Comfy Slippers

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Mindy Slippers, $59.99, Bearpaw

If you live in a dorm room, then you know that you absolutely need a good pair of slippers that can work inside or outside. Enter these Bearpaw moccasins. They’re super adorable and so comfortable. They’re cozy enough to wear when you’re studying in your room, but sturdy enough to take you to the cafeteria on days you’re feeling lazy.

 

7. A Quirky Pouf

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Aelfie Eyes Pouf, $200, ban.do

Looking for a splurge gift to ask for? If you’re going to be spending a lot of time in a dorm room, you might want to consider this fun pouf. It’s adorable and it’s great for small spaces. It adds an extra seat, but it’s also really easy to move around if you need it out of the way, or if you want to take it to your friend’s dorm down the hall. And when it’s not being used as a seat, it makes a cute decoration.

 

8. A Portable Speaker

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Ultimate Ears Wonderboom Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker, $100, Urban Outfitters

If you’re a college student living in a dorm room, you should definitely have a good portable speaker. This one from Ultimate Ears is weirdly adorable, and it’s also very versatile. It’s waterproof, so it works in the bathroom when you need some private time, and it’s also small and light enough to take on the go.

 

9. A Cozy Robe

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Serving Smiles Fleece Robe, $32.99, Modcloth

Winter is approaching rapidly, and dorm rooms have the tendency to be either suffocatingly hot or freezing cold. For those cold days and nights you’re staying in getting work done (in a dorm room or not!), you’ll want a cozy fleece robe. This one is comfortable and very fun.

 

10. A Stylish Lunch Bag

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ban.do Crossbody Lunch Bag, $26, Nordstrom

If you’re a commuter or a student who brings lunch to class, this lunch bag will be a lifesaver. The metallic gold color and crossbody style make it look chic and gives it less school-lunch-vibes. It’s easy to carry around and it might even help you save money!

 

11. A Cool Coin Purse

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Watchful Eye Pouch, $20, Anthropologie

This tiny pouch makes a really special gift for someone if you have no idea what to buy them, but it’s also a cute gift to ask for if you know someone doesn’t want to spend a lot. Small pouches are great to have for anyone, college student or not. This one is good to keep your little items handy during the day.

 

12. A Polaroid Camera 

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Fuijifilm Instax Mini 9 Instant Camera, $69, Urban Outfitters

Again, college is about making memories, and one way you can save those memories is with photographic evidence. It’s always fun to have a Polaroid laying around – people have such a good time with them! These are really cute for photo collages or just to hold onto.

 

13. Warm Slippers

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Marshmallow Out USB Foot Warmers, $39.99, Modcloth

Forget about practical slippers for a second – sometimes you just want to ask for something you’d never buy for yourself. These s’more slippers have a USB warmer in them, so you can stay super cozy on even the coldest days. They’re bound to start a conversation with someone!

 

14. A Funny Bathmat 

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Cold Picnic Boob Bath Mat, $60, ban.do

Maybe you just want to spruce up your dorm room or apartment! If so, this bath mat depicting boobs is ridiculous and awesome all at once. It makes a great gift for a friend. And, hey, it’s really practical. Bath mats are a necessity!

 

15. A Throw Pillow With A Message

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Levtex Throw Pillow, $39.99, Nordstrom

Let your roomie know what’s up with this cute throw pillow. It’s a reminder that you love to sleep! Also, it’s a great piece of decor that will spruce up your room a little bit. And this is also basically a college student slogan.

 

16. A Cool Light Box

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Light Box, $50, ban.do

College is tough. Remind yourself what you’re working towards with a motivational light box like this one. It makes for great decor but can also be a nice message to yourself. Ask for this or give it to a friend who’s really going places.

 

17. A Wall Calendar

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Rifle Paper Co Maps Of The World 2018 Wall Calendar, $26, Anthropologie

Wall calendars make a great gift for a student, or anyone who enjoys being organized. Not only do they serve as a cool wall piece, but they also keep you on top of a busy schedule. This one is beautiful to look at and offers enough space to keep track of every appointment, deadline, and class.

 

18. A Jewelry Hook

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Chill Wall Hook, $12, Urban Outfitters

Dorm decor never looked so cool. This chill wall hook is perfect for hanging your favorite jewelry, keys, small accessories, and maybe even a coat or two.

 

19.  A Silly Game

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Chronicle Books Sobriety Test Game, $19.95, Nordstrom

Are you and your friends into drinking games? Stop playing beer pong for once and try something new. This game is silly, funny, and will bring the party right to your dorm room. Not that we’re encouraging underage drinking, because we definitely aren’t! Only add alcohol if you’re legal, ladies.

 

20. A Mini Fridge

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Igloo Mini Fridge, $119.99, Urban Outfitters

If you don’t already have a mini fridge in your room, this is a great gift to ask for. It’s perfect for storing small drinks and snacks so you can be super lazy and never have to your dorm. It’s also just very cute and fun to look at!

 

You can follow the author, Jessica Booth, on Twitter or Instagram.

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