What can you purchase for the college student who has “everything” this year? As both a doctor who works with college students and a parent of two collegiate students (one undergrad, one grad school), here’s what made my TOP TEN HOLIDAY GIFTS for COLLEGE STUDENTS in 2020:
1. Restaurant Gift Cards– What?? During a pandemic? YES- for TAKE OUT. Let’s especially support our local businesses! #KeepAustinWeird Taco Shack Gift Cards
2. Weighted Blanket– These can be pricey, but for anyone dealing with anxiety and/or insomnia, they are worth their WEIGHT in gold. What weight? 15-20 lbs. (Bigger adult, heavier blanket. 15 lbs is plenty if your student is petite.) Look for blankets with stitching throughout that keep the weight evenly distributed, such as this one.
3. Winter Beanie Hat with Wireless Headphones-Perfect to encourage outdoor walks, jogs, or snow sports because you can listen to your favorite music or podcasts as you exercise! I like this one.
4. Light Therapy Box– Definitely more of an issue the further north you live, but if shorter days and less sunshine are making you feel more sluggish or depressed (and possibly causing Seasonal Affective Disorder), consider a small light box to brighten your mood. Consider Verilux.
5. Board or Card Games– traditional or flavored with your favorite university, tv series, or movie theme. College-themed Monopoly, Harry Potter Code Names, Trivial Pursuit Netflix’s Stranger Things Back to the 80’s Edition,What Do You Meme: The Office Edition, etc!
6. Laptop Stand and Wireless Keyboard/Mouse- Help prevent all the sore backs and necks from extended zoom classes. There is NO WAY for your posture to be ergonomically correct using a laptop by itself, but raising the screen and keeping your arms lower will do the trick. Consider one like THIS or THAT, along with a wireless keyboard and mouse.
7. Books– Whether they are old school or audible, books are a timeless holiday favorite, with bonus points if you discover an author with a whole series to enjoy! A few of my favorites from different categories:
The Defining Decade: Why Nonfiction: Your Twenties Matter and How to Make the Most of Them Now
Cook Book:My latest fav: Run Fast. Cook Fast. Eat Slow.
Suspense/Thriller Series: Adrenaline (1st book in Jeff Abbott’s Sam Capra series- I love ALL his books, including his latest pictured above!)
College Survival: Do Your Laundry or You’ll Die Alone and shameless self-plug but truly a great stocking stuffer, The ULTIMATE College Student Health Handbook: Your Guide to Everything from Hangovers to Homesickness.
8. Meal Service Gift Card (if your student lives in an apartment, house or anywhere with a full kitchen) like Hello Fresh or Blue Apron This is a fabulous way to kick off 2021 with healthy, quick meals while learning new cooking skills, even if only used for a week- there is no obligation to continue the service.
9. Socks– Trust me, college students are notoriously hard on their socks, so restock them this holiday season! I especially love inspirational message socks like these or these, or these collegiate socks.
10. Electric Toothbrush– Don’t laugh! Especially this year, when MOST of us have skipped routine dental cleanings and visits, investing in an electric toothbrush can GREATLY improve oral health. Consider a Sonic toothbrush like THIS and don’t forget replacement heads (you should swap out the heads monthly.)
Bottom Line: Wishing all our college kids happy holidays and looking forward to a happier, healthier 2021!
DISCLAIMER: I have no financial ties to any of these products (other than my own book, obviously!)