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18 Gifts for Students They’ll Actually Use

17 Gift Ideas for Students They'll Actually Use
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Disclosure: The following product(s) may have been sent to Earn Spend Live in exchange for a review. All opinions are the author’s own.

Drawing a blank on what to get your favorite graduate this year? From life planners to steamers, here are a few gifts new graduates will actually find useful in their new adulting endeavors.

Erin Condren Academic LifePlanner

 18 Gifts for Students They'll Actually Use
Erin Condren Academic LifePlanner, available on

Let’s be real. Every college girl needs a planner—and even further, a cute planner. College students are dealing with the art of balance for the first time — between homework, tests, finals, club activities, Greek life, going home on the weekends, etc., they need a place to keep track of everything. Erin Condren goes above and beyond with the Academic LifePlanner—it’s cute and completely perfect for all things that require planning.covers!

Skyn ICELAND Face Masks

Gift Ideas for the Student in Your Life

skyn ICELAND Fresh Start Face Mask, available at
skyn ICELAND Blemish Dots, available at

What’s better in college than taking a little time for R&R? I can’t count the days where all I’ve wanted to do is go to the spa, but didn’t have the time or money.  With these masks that are quality-made to keep breakouts away while chilling you out, you can bring the spa to the stressed student! (We’re also huge fans of their blemish dots here at ESL.)

Blankets & Pillows

Easy Ways to Create a Cozy Home
Erin Condren Blankets, available on
Throw Pillows, available at Target

Because who doesn’t use a blanket multiple times a day in college? We seriously use them everywhere—the couch, our beds, chilly classrooms, sports games, and especially during those all-nighters in the library. Having a new, cozy blanket always pumps me up with a little extra motivation.


AILIHEN Headphones, available on Amazon
KATEVO Earbuds, available on Amazon

I can’t even describe how much good, high-quality headphones and ear buds are worth to a study-aholic. When I’m in the library and can’t find a soundproof room, I pull these babies out. They’re definitely an essential for every college student.

Portable Chargers

Gift Ideas for the Student in Your Life

Poweradd Lightning Portable Charger, available on Amazon
Poweradd Most Compact Portable Charger, available on Amazon

How many days a week does my phone die on me while I’m out and about? Seven out of seven. College kids are always on their phones—checking texts, social media, new assignments, emails, and anything else they can think of on their walks across campus. Having a portable battery could seriously save my life multiple times a week. Plus, they’re small enough that they would make great stocking stuffers!

Travel Mugs

Gift Ideas for the Student in Your Life Travel Mugs, available on Amazon
Pour and Shoot Mug, available at ModCloth

College students all run on coffee (and some of us, caffeinated tea). Usually, the majority of people in my classes have a transportable cup of some sort containing whatever juice it is that keeps them going, especially in the cold weather. So, this one’s a no-brainer.

Coffee Mugs

“Messy Bun + Getting Stuff Done” Mug, available at Target
Earn Spend Live “Just Let Me Live” Mug, available on Zazzle “The Boss” Mug, available on Amazon
Porcelain Stacked Mugs Pink & Green – Set of 2, available at Target

For those days when class is just too hard and we stay in all day studying and watching TV reruns. Yeah, we’ll need life juice on those days too. Plus, they are so much cuter to post on Instagram than a coffee cup with a lid. Am I right, or am I right? Point is, college kids use a lot of coffee cups.

Erin Condren Laptop Case

Best Gifts for Students

Erin Condren Laptop Case, available on

Erin Condren has a plethora of accessories perfect for students, but their Designer Laptop Cases are great for students with tablets, Mac laptops, or those who want to tote around their LifePlanner from class to class. Plus, it comes in millennial pink in addition to the stunning black.

Clothes Steamer

NOSIVA Black Steamer, available on Amazon
Bestope White Steamer, available on Amazon

I received one of these as a graduation gift right before I went off to college. Now, every friend that’s ever seen it wants one. It de-wrinkles your clothes in about 30 seconds (which is way faster than the dryer). Also, it’s super rare that college kids get the time to hang up all their clothes right after they come out of the dryer, so this is more handy than you’ll ever know. Shout out to the family who gave me my steamer, I probably wouldn’t have had de-wrinkled clothes to wear to my interview if it weren’t for you.

A Subscription Box

Gift Ideas for the Student in Your Life
Box of Style | Ipsy | FabFitFun | FabFitFun

Subscription boxes are little sample packs that come in the mail once a month. They come in all sorts of types, sizes, and prices (we’ve rounded up the best subscription boxes under $10, read it here). But no matter what your favorite student likes, there’s definitely a subscription box for them. There’s everything from clothes, to arts and crafts, to desserts, to makeup, to coffee. Whether you want to order them one single box, three months of boxes, or even a whole year’s worth, there are options on most sites to give boxes as gifts.


GoPro, available at Target

Does the student you’re buying for love going outside and being adventurous? Well this little camera records videos and takes pictures in all types of conditions. No matter what they do for spring break (go surfing, skiing, hike mountains in the rain or shine), this little gadget will record it all in very high quality. What a perfect gift for the memory-hungry, adventure-seeking student.

Apple Watch

Gift Ideas for the Student in Your Life

Apple Watches, available on Amazon

A watch that tells you what time it is, who’s texting you and what they’re saying, and when people post in social media. That’s right. It’s the watch that’s far enough away from a phone that teachers can’t yell at us for using it in class. And, we can’t text back on it, so it’s not really that distracting. Plus, it holds all your favorite apps, pictures, and counts your steps everyday!


Gift Ideas for the Student in Your Life

HP Envy Wireless Printer, available on Amazon

It’s the worst feeling to have to leave your place late at night or really early in the morning to go print something off at the library. I wish every single day that I had a printer of my own. It would save me time, money, gas, and emotional trauma of being late to class. So do your college kiddo a favor and bless them with the ability to print from home.

Cards Against Humanity

Gift Ideas for the Student in Your Life

Cards Against Humanity, available on Amazon

The epitome of a college kid game night. This card game might be a little vulgar, but it’s the quickest way to liven up a party. If you’ve ever heard of Apples to Apples, Cards Against Humanity is just the R-Rated version. If you’re looking to get something that will help keep a student’s mind off classes, this is a great way to go.


Gift Ideas for the Student in Your Life
Find our full roundup of the best backpacks here!

You know, one of the ones that makes you look like you just came back from a three-week mountain adventure even if all you do is sit on the couch and watch Netflix? Yeah. They’re a big hit. Not only are they cute, but they have so much room and so many pockets without looking like a nerdy suitcase. Snag one of these as a gift, and you’ll be their new favorite.


Gift Ideas for the Student in Your Life

Nalgene Wide Mouth Seafoam Green Water Bottle, available at Target
Nalgene Water Bottles, available on Amazon

Besides all the coffee that college kids transport around, they also have to stay hydrated. Nalgene water bottles are popular because they’re easy to wash, come in great colors, and are perfect to cover in stickers (college kids put stickers on everything). So if you’re looking for a cheaper option, think Nalgene!

Buttons for the Backpack and Stickers for the Nalgene

Gift Ideas for the Student in Your Life

Earn Spend Live Logo Decal, available on Zazzle
EVEsdropping Logo Decal, available on Zazzle
Cactus Pin, available on Zazzle
Donut Pin, available on Zazzle
Totally Koalafied Pin, available on Zazzle

When in college, giving your opinion is everything. And what better way to let everyone know what you like and don’t like than with buttons and stickers? Get your student some personalized buttons for their backpack that let everyone know what they’re into, or get them some stickers to stick on literally everything they own! Either way, they’ll love you for knowing them so well.

Phone Case

Gift Ideas for the Student in Your Life
Earn Spend Live Phone Cases, available on Target

A phone case is a good idea because it helps change the scenery, even if it’s only a little bit. Speaking from experience, getting a new phone case puts me in the mood to get things done. Because my phone looks put together, and my phone is my life, it makes me feel as if I’m put together as well. So if you aren’t looking to spend a ton of money but want to get an impactful gift, grab them a phone case!

Last modified on August 9th, 2018

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