• Emma Eggleston

The Best Gifts for College Students in 2020

Updated: Dec 7, 2020

This past year has been unusual and difficult for everyone, but college students have been hit especially hard as they have had to adjust to learning remotely, being away from their friends, and, for many, moving back home. Even the holidays will look different this year for college students, so make the day of a college student in your life by gifting them something from this list of things *every* college kid wants in 2020.

An Extra Phone Charger or Two

It's such a boring gift, but Gen Z kids are addicted to their phones and college students really do use them for pretty much everything from schoolwork, clocking into their part-time jobs, communicating with friends and family, listening to music, reading the news, and watching movies. Phone chargers are easy to lose and occasionally they get broken, so it's always good to have a backup one ready to go. This practical gift is guaranteed to be used by any college student.


Everyone wears sweatshirts and when it comes to size, it's not difficult to estimate what size to buy for someone. When in doubt, just go bigger because not only is that currently fashionable, it's also super comfy. College kids practically live in sweatshirts on most campuses. Plus, there are so many fun ones to choose from online. A safe bet is to buy them a sweatshirt with their school's logo, but you could also go with one of their favorite sports teams or bands.


Big kids like candy just as much as little ones.

Spotify Premium Subscription

Spotify is the most popular way for college kids to stream music. The only thing people dislike about the app is that you have to listen to ads every half an hour and are limited in the number of skips you can use per hour with the free version. However, with a Spotify premium subscription, listeners can enjoy any song on-demand and don't have to deal with annoying insurance ads all the time. If your college kid is a music addict, this the perfect gift for them that they will enjoy all year.


Socks miraculously go missing in college laundry rooms all of the time. It might seem like a rather dull and impersonal gift to buy, but it doesn't have to be. Just like sweatshirts, socks these days come in a fun variety of options. You can find Christmas socks, sports socks, taco socks, and even celebrity socks online. Check out Sockologie for a wide selection of unique socks.

Gift Cards for Gas Stations

Gas is expensive and college students generally like or need to drive and they can use Wawa or Sheetz cards on quick snacks as well.


Not everybody wears perfume or cologne, but many people like to wear it at least on occasion. Additionally, there are tons of great sales on it around the holidays.

Water Bottle

Reusable water bottles are great for the environment and they help college kids stay hydrated while trekking around campus.

School Supplies

While many students do the majority of their work on their laptops, pens and pencils are still useful for notetaking and writing down reminders. Sticky notes. planners and spiral-bound notebooks are among the most popular traditional school supplies used by college students today.

Dorm Room/ Bedroom Decor

Whether its a new poster of their favorite movie, a canvas print of their pet, or a fuzzy carpet to keep their feet warm, you can make a college student's dorm room, apartment, or bedroom feel a little more like home by gifting them something to level up their living space.

Laptop Case

College kids are always carrying their laptops around to class, the library, and almost everywhere else they go throughout the day. It's a great idea to get them a laptop case if they don't have one already in order to protect their expensive and necessary devices.

CollegeBox Care Package

While most college students have dining plans, many still rely on snacks to make it through the day. Y0u can get this ultimate variety gift box with 45 different snacks from Amazon. Who wouldn't like to find this under the Christmas tree?

Pajama Pants

If your college student is attending a Zoom meeting in anything but pajama pants they are a rare breed. U.S. college students were constantly wearing pajama pants even to in-person classes before the 2020 pandemic, but now they are wearing them even more frequently.

Reusable Face Masks

COVID-19 isn't going anywhere soon, so why not invest in some fun face masks that will help your college student stay safe and healthy wherever they go. Just don't let them wear a Dallas Cowboys face mask within a 30-mile radius of Philadelphia.


We all know how blinding it can be outside when the sun's light is reflecting off of the snow during the wintertime. Sunglasses are a great gift that will protect their eyes while they're driving or walking around campus. Plus, sunglasses always l0ok cool; just ask Joe Biden.

Stress Balls

College is stressful and many students struggle with finding ways to cope. A stress ball is a fun gag gift with a real purpose that may actually help your student later on when finals or a big exam are having them feeling a little panicked. For the winter holidays, consider these fun penguin stress balls.

Keurig K-Mini Plus Coffee Maker

This mini coffee maker is the perfect size for a dorm room or student apartment. This is a great gift for the many college students who survive off of caffeine.

Bad Dad Jokes 2021 Box Calendar

Are you constantly telling terrible jokes to your college-aged son or daughter? Then, this is the perfect gift for you to give them. Each day they will get to rip off another joke from this daily calendar that will remind them of you.

Air Fresheners

A nice smelling environment helps college students focus, right? After all, teenagers aren't exactly well known for having immaculate rooms that smell like apple pie anyway.


When in doubt, money is always a safe bet.