Categories: College Life

20 Practical Gifts For College Students

If you find yourself looking for practical gifts for college students, then these ideas are perfect for you! Everyone knows how small and cramped dorm rooms can be, so it is important to minimalize unnecessary items and stick to essentials, memorabilia, and multi-use tools! These practical gifts range in price from under $20 to more than $300, so there is something for everybody’s price range! Be sure to check out the websites linked to find the perfect product that is just right for you!

1. Keurig Mini Single Serve Coffee Maker

If the intended person likes coffee, tea, or hot chocolate, this mini Keurig is the perfect option when looking for practical gifts. It comes in multiple colors and makes only a single cup of coffee at a time.

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2. A Mini Crock Pot

This small addition is easily to store in a shred kitchen or just on a bookshelf in your dorm room! There are so many creative ways too make nearly any dish you can imagine in a slow cooker, so be sure to purchase a recipe book as well.

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3. Portable Shower Caddy

One of the most practical gifts you can buy is a portable shower caddy. These come in a variety of options fit for everyone, and are unexpectedly helpful and convenient!

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4. The Echo Dot

The Echo Dot, powered by Amazons Alexa, is fully functional as a variety of devices, such as an alarm clock, speaker, interactive story-teller, phone (if connected), and much more! This is an amazing personal assistant for anyone looking to find perfect practical gifts for students. 

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5. A Smart Notebook

This amazing notebook lets you write on a thin, digitally scanned paper, which immediately uploads to the tablet, laptop, desktop, or phone of your choice! Ideal for artists, hand-written notetakers, or writers.

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6. Storage Ottoman

A combination seating space and storage unit, this is a wonderful addition to any room that comes in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors!

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7. Laptop Cooling Pad

If you already own a laptop, chances are you know how hot it can get and how quickly the entire system overheats, even with the fans. For cheap, you can purchase a comfortable cooling pad which can be placed on your lap or a surface to provide extra air flow.

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8. Essential Oils Diffuser

This is a must on the list of practical gifts for college students, as it is allowed in dorm rooms whereas candles and incense are not. The best part of all this is that you can completely customize which essential oils you use to personalize the best choice for you!

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9. Mini Fridge With A Separate Freezer

The biggest problem I always have with mini-fridges is that the freezer is never even big enough to fit a pint of ice cream in, so I can not splurge on Ben and Jerry’s (or a cheap, gallon container) as it will not fit. This is the perfect solution for only a few dollars more!

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10. A Quality Graphing Calculator With Color

Whether you are in psychology, business, chemistry, economics, physics, or of course, mathematics, you will need a graphing calculator, and it is worth spending the money on a nice one for the amazing added benefits, such as colored graphing and more user-friendly controls. 

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11. Under The Bed Shoe Rack Or Storage

Over the door shoe racks are bulky and often prevent the door from closing fully. This easy alternative works with vertical space rather than horizontal and keeps your collection hidden from the public eye. General-purpose organizational storage containers can also be purchased.

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12. Noise Canceling Headphones

Headphones with active noise canceling is one of the best practical gifts that you can get. There are a lot of options in varying price ranges, so try to pick a reliable brand and look at reviews before buying.

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13. Personal Safe Or Lockbox

This is extremely important for anyone with large sums of money, expensive jewelry, who has their passport, birth certificate, or social security card, and generally most people. It is likely you will have something private you want to be protected at some point in time.

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14. Fitbit Or Other Smart Watch/Fitness Watch

While Fitbit is specifically built to track fitness, there are a ton of smartwatches that offer similar features connected to your phone. Coming in square or round, small or bulky, and a variety of colors, there is a perfect look for everyone. Features available on each watch differ, so find the one that works best for your lifestyle!

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15. Nalgene Water Bottle

Nalgene is my personal favourite water bottle, as it comes in multiple sizes, (32oz and 48oz are most common, though there are children’s sizes), narrow or wide mouthpieces, and a rotating selection of colors and designs, on top of a warrantee replacing any broken water bottle at any point due to normal use.

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16. Daily Academic Year Planner

Planners are perfect practical gifts, especially when paired with other fine stationery accessories, such as nice pens. It will help you stay organized, keep track of goals, and even have space to journal depending on which daily academic planner you choose!

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17. Roku Or Amazon Fire Stick

Roku and Amazon both offer easy plug-ins for your TV to instantly access hundreds of streaming platforms. If you don’t already have a PlayStation or Xbox, this is a must have!

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18. Portable Charging Brick

Portable charging bricks can hold anywhere from one to up to five full charges, so they are perfect for anyone regularly on the go!

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19. Travel Mugs

Travel mugs are perfect insulators for cold drins and thermoses for warm drinks, so it can perfectly suit everyone’s individual needs! With different sizes and designs to choose from, there are tons of fun options here!

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20. Light Therapy Lamp

Light therapy is a fairly new concept, but that doesn’t mean it has to be expensive! Look into your own at home therapy for cheap.

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Which of these practical gifts for college students was your favourite? Let me know your top picks in the comments below! If you know anyone else who needs to purchase practical gifts for a college student, (or perhaps if you are a college student yourself), share this article with your friends!

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Mykala Repati

Mykala Repati graduated from Northland College with a B.A. in Writing and from Tulane University with her Master of Social Work (MSW).

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