Disclaimer: StephShares is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. There are NO extra costs to you, the consumer by using my affiliate links.
We’ve now hit the holiday season, my absolute favorite time of year. I’m one of those people who love to see Christmas in the stores early, love to hear the music, even when we are still dealing with 100+ degree weather. It’s a sign that the heat is almost over, that we get a breather in sports, and I get to hang out with my family and just relax.
One common complaint I’ve heard about the holidays is not knowing what presents to purchase. I completely understand because if I don’t have kids in certain age groups, I’m clueless too!
So, this year, because I am lucky enough to have kids in several age groups and a husband who has specific tastes, I’m pulling in my resources and asking them all to contribute to my Friday Gift Guide Series. This Friday, as I alluded to in the title, is Giving College Kids Something Other than Gift Cards Gift Guide. Of course everyone loves cash and gift cards, but sometimes it’s fun to actually open a present and receive a physical gift. Yes, gift cards are included in this list, well, because at the end of the day, it’s a great go to item!
My daughter, a senior in college created the following list and hopefully, if you have people to shop for in this age group, the following items will assist you in your shopping adventures! Some items are geared towards for females, but most of these suggestions are geared towards any college kids!
There are ALWAYS people biking at night around college towns. GRDE Zoomable 3 Modes Super Bright LED Headlamp with Rechargeable Batteries, Car Charger, Wall Charger and USB Cable is a great, hands free way to light up your way while also making us noticeable to cars. Not to mention, it’s a great handy tool for camping, backpacking, evening runs/walks, or any other activity that requires a flashlight.
Tablet with keyboard
I’m more of a paper and pen kind of gal, but many college kids I’ve seen like to type up notes in class nowadays. I’ve never personally used a Microsoft Surface Pro 3 12-Inch Tablet (Intel i5-4300U 1.9GHz,256 GB, 8GB RAM, 5MP Camera, Media Card Reader, Windows 10 Pro), but I’ve heard only good things from those that do own one. They’re lightweight, compact, versatile (you can type or use it as a tablet), and sturdy. Overall, they’re pretty reliable for student’s basic needs.
For those that prefer to hand write their notes like me, Sharpie Pen, Fine Point, Assorted Colors, 12-Count are the way to go. They don’t bleed through the paper, they don’t smudge (which is awesome for lefties), and they last quite a while. I bought this 12-pack over a year ago and still use the same set for everything from taking notes to journaling to making lists.
Restaurant/Grocery/Gas gift cards
I know a lot of people consider gift cards to be insincere and not personal, but trust me. As a college kid, one of the greatest things anyone can do for me is pay for my gas, groceries, or meals. Generic restaurant, grocery store, or gas station gift cards are always a good way to go. If you want to make it more personal, you can look into buying a gift card to your student’s favorite local place. In my experience, many local places have a website where you can purchase gift cards. Amazon eGift Card can cover many bases for students.
Yes, Netflix is an amazing thing. However, many people I know still own DVDs and Blu-Ray discs, and there’s still RedBox kiosks at grocery stores. It’s never a bad thing to have a DVD or Blu-Ray player available for movie nights; plus, Sony BDP-S3700 Streaming Blu-Ray Disc Player with Wi-Fi, Bundled with Sony DLC-HE10S 3.3′ Slim High Speed 4K/3D/Ethernet HDMI Cable + Remote Control is equipped with Wi-Fi capability so you can still access all available streaming options.
I, like my brother, adore water bottles, and believe in always carrying one around to keep myself hydrated. However, I am also clumsy, and recently decided I needed a metal bottle. I’ve shattered my share by dropping them. I bought this Simple Modern 22oz Summit Water Bottle + Extra Lid – Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel Wide Mouth Hydro Travel Mug – BPA Free Cycling Container – Slate Gray, which is just like a Hydroflask but at a fraction of the price, and I absolutely love it. I have the 40oz one and it came with two different lid options.
In my dorm and even off-campus experience, I’ve noticed a LOT of electric kettles. The Ovente KG83 Series 1.5L Glass Electric Kettle, Black offers a great, easy way to heat up water for cups of tea, coffee or even Ramen. They’re cheap, easy to clean, and overall a very nice kitchen gadget to have on hand.
Growing up, I did NOT appreciate my parents buying me socks and underwear enough. In college, I hate having to buy undergarments, and never seem to have enough. Every college-aged friend of mine absolutely loves it when their family buys them something as simple as socks for the holidays. I love fun, goofy, extravagant socks for everyday things, but for long work days or outdoor adventures I like to turn to athletic socks, with Champion being my favorite brand so far. Below are some good options for both men and women.
College kids are always on the move: home, school, work, library, etc. I wouldn’t be able to survive if I didn’t have my Zojirushi SM-KHE48BA Stainless Steel Mug travel mug to make and take tea or coffee on the go. Stainless steel travel mugs are great because they have excellent insulation; plus, with a fully sealed mug, you can chuck in your bag and bike with it or accidentally drop it a few times without having to worry about spills.
Who doesn’t like a good blanket? Whether you’re studying, watching television, sick, chilly, or just curling up for a good night’s rest, a good blanket is guaranteed to make anything better. I personally enjoy lightweight comforters the most, and have had a blanket similar to this AmazonBasics Reversible Microfiber Comforter – Full/Queen, Black and absolutely love it.
Cards Against Humanity
Cards Against Humanity is a classic college party game. I personally love board and card games, but I find this one of the best and most popular ones for my age group. It’s wild and weird, you can make your own rules and spice it up, or you could theoretically have as many people playing as you’d like. In addition, there are plethora of expansion packs such as Cards Against Humanity: Blue Box or Cards Against Humanity: Red Box to always keep the game interesting.
Regardless of where you live, a good beanie is always appreciated. I have a few Trendy Warm Chunky Soft Stretch Cable Knit Beanie Skully ,Light Melange Gray,One Size, including one that is extra slouchy, and I really enjoy them. I love how many different color options they have, and how cheap their hats are.