To help you with some ideas for gifts for college students, here’s a list of some of our favorites.
Our Favorite Gifts for College Students
When Randy Pausch, a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon, found out he had terminal cancer, he began to write a final lecture to his students. That talk, “Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams,” was later turned into this touching book. Filled with the wisdom he wanted to impart to his students, this gift is high on our list of recommendations.
We love this gorgeous book and think that the young men and women in your lives will, too. Written by New York Times bestselling author Deborah Copaken for her college son and daughter, along with noted sculptor Randy Polumbo, each letter of The ABCs conveys a parental pearl of wisdom. Don’t forget to add your message of love and advice, too.
4. Echo Dot
The Echo Dot ($49) offers much of the same functionality of the much pricier Amazon Echo and has been a big hit. This small voice activated device can search online for information, play music on command, get sports scores and the weather, answer math questions, order a pizza, Uber or almost anything sold on Amazon. After cell phones and laptops, the Echo Dot may just become the next most popular device for college students.
There is something about this whimsical and inexpensive toy that makes us so happy. A little bit childish but perfect for kicking around the dorm hallway, a Can You Imagine Air Power Soccer Hover Disk has been a crowd-pleaser with our college sons. If you are looking for something for outdoors, we suggest Spikeball or Kan Jam . We also love the Portable Table Tennis Set that turns any table into a ping pong table.
Our children’s safety and wellbeing are top concerns, even when kids are grown and flown. For an extra bit of peace of mind (yours and theirs) consider buying your student a Revolar, a small, thumb-size device that fits in a pocket, inside a bra or on a keyring that can be easily activated if ever they feel they’re in an unsafe situation.
ROBOCOPP is a low-cost safety alternative. At 19.99, this “sound grenade” clips onto a backpack or key ring and can be activated by pulling the top off. The sound is equivalent to an ambulance siren, startling to anyone within earshot.
Never have a dead phone battery again with one of these Jackery Mini Premium Portable Charger external chargers.
This is a pillow that your college kid would love to have. They can use it to lounge on or as an extra bed when friends are sleeping over. We love the Yogibo Support Pillow as well.
Roommates often have very different sleep/study schedules. When your kid is up late studying and trying to be considerate to the perfect stranger who is now his roommate, having a desk lamp with a dimmer switch is very useful.
Even with a surge protector with extra outlets, there is always a shortage of places to charge all the electronics college students take with them. Getting your kid an extra long charger cord will let them keep the phone charged overnight and still close enough to the bed to function as an alarm clock.
12. Rolling Duffel
A duffle that can be folded and stashed under the bed or on top of a closet is the best idea for luggage for college students living in tiny dorm rooms. Depending on your kid’s college location, they may come home for fall break or Thanksgiving, filling the duffel with shorts and flip-flops and returning with sweaters and boots. Eagle Creek is a great brand for college students and, if your kid is transporting loads of things, you might consider this No Matter What Rolling Duffel.
13. Do Your Laundry or You’ll Die Alone: Advice Your Mom Would Give if She Thought You Were Listening
Becky Blades is the incredibly talented artist and author of Do Your Laundry, now in its second edition. What began as a deeply personal guide to adulthood for her eldest daughter, morphed into this slender volume that we can all enjoy. Becky helps us say goodbye to our college daughters in the most original, humorous and affectionate way possible.
14. Alex and Ani
Alex and Ani “Bangle Bar” December Birthstone Silver Bracelet is a great gift and we love their college collection as well.
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