Gift Guide: Gifts for College Students

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One of the most difficult things to do in a child’s life is to pick out just the perfect gift. Children are rarely ever shy to show their disappointment about a present that didn’t quite meet their lofty and unrealistic standards – something that you’re sure to see a lot throughout their lifetime! Even as they approach into adulthood, it’s still quite a task to find something that they truly like. If you have a child who’s a college student, we want to help make the job of getting him or her a present so much simpler. To do so, we’ve provided you with a list of excellent gifts for college students that your child is sure to enjoy.

A PlayStation 4

What college student doesn’t enjoy shirking his or her responsibilities to indulge in copious amounts of video game playing? If your child’s like pretty much every other teenager or college student out there, one of the first gifts you should consider is a gaming console. When it comes to consoles, the PlayStation 4 is the best of the bunch as it clearly outclasses its competitors. It offers everything the Xbox One does along with tons more and it also offers a much greater variety of games across all genres when compared to the Switch. Plus, it’s the most popular console by far so if your child is into playing video games online, it’ll offer the best possible experience. You can’t go wrong with a PlayStation 4.

Purchase a PlayStation 4 Slim 1 TB Console at Newegg.

Video Games

Perhaps your college student already has a PlayStation 4 (or his or her favorite console of choice). Clearly, the next best option is to purchase a few video games. While this is common sense, unfortunately, it’s not quite that simple for someone who’s not terribly familiar with video games. After all, the amount of video games that are out there can make it seem simply overwhelming. Allow us to dispense a few recommendations based upon your child’s interests. If your child is into horror themes and scary things, we suggest purchasing Resident Evil 7. If your child is the brainier, introverted type, go with Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age or Tales of Berseria. For those who are into retro-based games and things, we recommend Shantae: Half-Genie Hero or Mega Man Legacy Collection. Fans of exploration may enjoy Ratchet & Clank or Rise of the Tomb Raider. And if your child’s just into going around and shooting anything that moves, we recommend Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare and also keeping him or her away from any firearms, sharp objects, or tricky brainteasers.

Purchase Resident Evil 7 at Newegg.

A Laptop

For any college student, a laptop should be the essential heartbeat of his or her college life. Both a student’s college work and social life are entwined in this vital device. Not only is it important to pick out a reliable laptop, but you should also consider getting a smaller laptop as your college student will be on the move quite a bit. Though there are many laptop brands out there, we’d like to single out ASUS, Lenovo, and Dell as being some of the best of the bunch whether a student will need it for classes or just for recreational purposes.

Purchase a 14” ASUS VivoBook at Newegg.

A Drone

If you’re looking for a more unique gift that’s a bit off the beaten path, we’ve got a fun and trendy pick that’s become very popular amongst the younger crowd – drones! Do college campuses allow students to fly around drones? We have absolutely no idea! But it sounds like something fun to try! I mean, what’s the worst that could possibly happen, right?

Purchase a DJI Mavic PRO Mini Drone Portable Hobby RC Quadcopter at Newegg.

A Bicycle

Unlike a drone, here’s a gift that can be both fun and actually productive for everyday life! Since most college students will be having to spend quite a bit of time getting from class to class, why not make it a bit easier for your child by purchasing a bike as a birthday gift? Not only can it be a fun way to get around, but it’s also a great method to promote physical exercise and healthiness in a sometimes sedentary college lifestyle.

Purchase a Mantis – Raptor B 24 Hardtail MTB Bicycle on Overstock.

A Tennis Racket

Maybe your college student is looking for another way to get in his or her outdoor exercise. In that case, we suggest getting a tennis racket as a gift if your child’s a sports fan. Head, Wilson, and Babolat are among the standouts when it comes to trusted brand names. Some of the more advanced tennis rackets may seem to be rather pricey, but if your child is interested in tennis and wanting to stick with it, these rackets will pay off by making the game so much easier to play. Your child may not turn into Roger Federer or Maria Sharapova, but at least it’ll prove to be an excellent and effective way to stave off that dreaded “Freshman 15!”

Purchase a Head Graphene Touch Radical MP Tennis Racquet at Tennis Express.

A Cell Phone Case

We don’t want to make generalizations (or maybe we do!), but college students can sometimes be a bit…careless. That’s where you have to come in to protect them from themselves! After a long night of line dancing or spelling contests or whatever other mischief college students are getting into these days (which we know nothing about), they may find themselves in a haze (simply from exhaustion or overstudying, of course) and they might accidentally drop and break their wildly overpriced phone. By purchasing a cell phone case, you may not be able to recoup any of the money you unfortunately spent on these ridiculously expensive modern phones, but you can keep it safe and make sure that you don’t have to double down on that mistake. Come to think of it, that sounds like a better gift for you. Oh well, it’s a great gift, regardless.

Purchase a Recover X UO Bloom iPhone 8/7/6/6s Case at Urban Outfitters.

A Camera

College is one of the most important experiences in a person’s life and definitely something that should be remembered for a lifetime. Well, what better way to do that than by giving your child a camera to record all of his or her precious memories? It’s a magical way to capture and savor the essence of youth. Actually…if we’re really being honest here, a college student just wants a high-tech camera in order to brag to every single Facebook friend about what awesome things he or she has been doing. Trust us though – it’s rarely ever as awesome as Facebook makes it sound!

Purchase a Canon PowerShot SX540 HS Digital Camera at Newegg.

Scrapbooking Supplies

Think of this as the perfect complement to that camera which you may or may not end up purchasing for your child. Not only will your child have the ability to capture many wonderful memories on film, but he or she will be able to compile it in an album that’s completely unique and customized for them. This one’s obviously for the creative types – Call of Duty fans need not apply.

Purchase a Rainbow Paper Pack at Oriental Trading.


Honestly, what better way to help out a late-night studying binge than with a giant supply of candy by his or her side? A college student’s going to have plenty of these nights (which we know from experience!), which means they’ll also need plenty of fuel to get through the night and keep them from sleeping in and missing the big exam (which we also know from experience!).

Purchase a Favorites Chocolate Candy Mega Mix at Oriental Trading.

A Coffee Maker

Not only does a college student have to be prepared for late nights, but also getting ready for early mornings. Make sure that your child has all of his or her bases covered by purchasing a coffee maker. A Cuisinart Grind & Brew is a perfect choice as it’s incredibly simple to use – even for those who’ve never bothered with a coffee maker before.

Purchase a Cuisinart Chrome Grind & Brew 12-Cup Automatic Coffee Maker at Newegg.

Gift Cards

As you’ve undoubtedly picked up on over the years, shopping for a teenager or college student can be quite a tricky task. Teenagers and college students can have picky (sophisticated?) tastes and they can often be difficult to please. It’s not uncommon for a parent to purchase what was thought to be an awesome gift only to see that dreaded look of disappointment on a child’s face. Instead of taking a gamble on a present that your college student may not like, you can always just purchase a gift card instead. Sure, it’s essentially a shortcut, but it’s a heck of a lot more effective than trying to figure out what style of clothes your child will want to wear. The beauty of a gift card is that you can’t possibly screw it up! If your child doesn’t end up liking the items that are purchased with the gift card, the blame lies totally at his or her own hands and you can always take solace in that fact!

Purchase a $100 Urban Outfitters Gift Card at Urban Outfitters.