Finding the best gifts for college students might sound easy at first, but chances are things have changed since the last time you were in school—and the backpack or alarm clock that once graced your wish is yesterday’s news. Your favorite students are probably pressed for space (and cash), not to mention all over everything that’s blowing up on TikTok, so we asked college students what they really want.
We’ll be the first to admit that shopping for people in that awkward first stage of adulthood is, well, tough: Gifts for teens can feel too young, but you don’t want to give something way too mature, either. (Weighted blankets, for example, tend to make better mom gifts). But as long as you know a little bit about their living situation and their interests, you can make an educated guess about what they’ll love.
Whether you’re searching for the perfect gift for a teenage girl who likes to decorate every inch of her dorm room, a useful present for teen guy living in an off-campus apartment for the first time, or a small pick-me-up for someone who’s feeling homesick, these thoughtful ideas are bound to be a hit with the zoomers on your list. Better yet, plenty of them are cheap presents to help you stick to a budget. (These ideas all double as graduation gifts, by the way.) These are absolute best gifts for college students that’ll lock in your “favorite relative” status.
Our top picks
Looking for more gift ideas? Check out our roundups of the best gifts for women and the men in your life—including the best gifts for husbands and boyfriends. If you have no idea where to start, make sure you check out gifts for people who have everything.
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