Gift Ideas For The Student In Your Life


2021 has flown by and we’re already once again in the run-up to Christmas. Students can be notoriously difficult to buy for with the chaos that is student life and culture. Especially with the rise of TikTok, what’s popular is changing faster and faster and can be impossible to keep up. Here are some alternatives to the classic vouchers, alcohol and stationery that confused gift-buyers often stick to.

Stocking fillers: £10 and under

Student rooms are renowned for being a little musty and most rented accommodation doesn’t allow lighting candles. Reed diffusers are a great way to freshen up the room and mask the mysterious scents of the previous nine tenants. They’re usually not too expensive but something that students won’t often remember to treat themselves to. There’s a lot of variance in price, scent and design so you’ll be able to find one that matches your budget and taste, I personally love this one from Dunelm. A practical and homely gift that won’t break the bank.

Dunhelm: Geo Global Terracotta 120ml Diffuser

For the earring-wearing students in your life, a great gift could be some kind of funky earrings. They’re very on-trend at the moment and are the versatile accessories for both themed parties and lectures. Jewellery is an easy and reliable way to support small businesses and there are so many choices and some niche products; you’re bound to find the perfect set for the student in your life. Etsy is my go-to for unique earrings, from astronauts to cheese slices, there’s something for everyone.

Etsy: Astronaut Space Planet Earrings Ear Ring

Disposable cameras are a blast from the past that have surged in popularity in recent years. It’s a great way to get some retro-looking photos with the mysterious novelty of getting the photos developed. You can pick one up from Boots for just £8.99 and look forward to seeing the recipient’s photos in a few months!

Boots: Vintage Yellow Single Use Camera

Mid-range gifts: £15 to £50

Alcohol and going out is a huge part of student culture. If you know a student who drinks, you could consider purchasing them a drinking game to spice up their nights out. They’re great fun and is a great way to get to know people, so would be perfect for first-year students and prospective students too. The drinking game market is saturated with a host of different kinds of games. However, a personal recommendation of mine would have to be one that my flatmate bought called Let’s Drink To That. It’s made by a small business and is hilarious, perhaps one for grandparents to avoid though…

Let’s Drink To That ‘Original Deck’

Plants, plants, plants. Most students barely keep themselves alive but are slowly mastering looking after plants. You could get a plant or a fun plant pot (or both!). It’s a great way to liven up a room, just be sure to add some care instructions. As well as that, try to stick to the simpler to care for plants, like aloe vera or spider plants, unless you know they’re a keen gardener!

Etsy: Face Pot

I ridiculed my girlfriend when she pulled out a handheld hoover for her bedroom. However, I have very much eaten my words on that one. It’s certainly not an essential but the vacuums in every student house I’ve visited have been useless. It also comes from a place of laziness; I’m far more likely to clean my room when I don’t have to lug a bulky hoover up and down two flights of stairs. It’s far from essential yet a surprisingly practical gift that might give parents some reassurance that there’s a possibility their child’s room might be cleaned.

Argos: Black + Decker NVB115JL Dustbuster Handheld Vacuum Cleaner

Luxury presents: £50 to £100

Laptops and books are bulky and heavy. A practical and useful gift would be a sturdy bag that can fit the student essentials. My personal favourite is the Fjallraven Kånken. They blew up in popularity a few years ago and I’ve had mine for years and it’s still going strong. They’re practical, fashionable and comfortable, a student essential of mine. They’re slightly more expensive than other backpacks, retailing at £85, but worth it in terms of comfort and durability.

Fjallraven Kånken Rucksack

Finally, you could consider gifting a mini projector. Film nights are always a hit amongst students and projectors are a great way to make them a tad more exciting. Maybe you could combine with some microwave popcorn and one of your favourite movies or a Netflix gift card to make the perfect film night bundle.

Currys: PHILIPS NeoPix Easy NPX440 Mini Projector

Still stuck for ideas? Some final honourable mentions would have to be baking trays because student houses are where oven trays go to die, or perhaps a good portable speaker for house parties.

Enjoy your Christmas shopping and all the best for the festive period!

Words by Ella Gilbert

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