A friend or relative just had great A level results? Awesome! Leverage our insider knowledge with this list of genius gift ideas for students starting university to send them off with a bang.
The trick with new students is not to give them too much, the basics are a good place to start. Try to steer away from gimmicky gifts, they will be abandoned quickly.
New students may be in halls in the first year and won’t need as much as when they are in a flat or shared accommodation. Our list starts by covering the basics.
Money no object? Lucky you, then scroll to the end of the page to find a gift list for students when money is no object. Believe us, we know people who have had all of these in their first year.
Genius gift ideas for students starting university
Written by a university student who realised there were a whole bunch of things she wished she had known before arriving. A popular best seller that speaks for itself.
A practical and casual bag to carry to and fro is top of our list for usefulness and necessity. A backpack could also work, but we like this messenger bag which looks cool, but has the added bonus of being big enough for a 13 inch laptop and A4 files.
While the university might provide linen, there is nothing better than your own cotton sheets. We picked this set because it is affordable and 100% cotton. More importantly though, it isn’t an overly fussy pattern which isn’t cool, or plain, which will be more likely to show the dirt. Student linen doesn’t tend to have a long life span, so this is a great solution.
A kettle in a student room is a must have item. Coffee after lectures and hot chocolate late at night are part of every day student life. This glass kettle is slightly smaller than the average domestic kettle, but bigger than a travel kettle at 1.5l. The glass, and the blue light that illuminates when the kettle is on, add a touch of style to an everyday item.
Smart, Simple and Silent LED Alarm Clock w/ Date Display, Repeating Snooze and Sensor Light and Night Light
Never miss a lecture with an alarm clock left permanently in the bedroom. This will mitigate the risk of a student’s mobile running out of power, or being left at the bottom of a bag. This popular alarm clock is very affordable, energy efficient and comes with a handy, optional night light. A perfect little gift.
A mini-fridge is straying into luxury item territory, but if you have ever had your milk stolen you will know how great it is to have your own fridge. There are lots of options on the market, the smallest taking only six cans of regular coke. We liked this because it can actually take quite a bit.
Pillows are very basic, and don’t really seem like one of our better gift ideas for students starting university. But think about it, would you like to sleep on pillows that a previous student has slobbered all over? Us neither, so try these affordable pillows from Silentnight.
First written by a Mum when her son came back from Uni sick from a poor diet. Joy May gives simple to follow instructions, a photography with every recipe and most helpfully, weekly ingredient planners. One of the best gift ideas for students starting university. Buy it.
A large fleece blanket has a multitude of possible uses. Obviously as an extra layer on the bed on cold nights, but also as a wrap when studying late into the evening, as a snuggle blanket when reading, as a picnic blanket and as a festival necessity. These blankets come in a range of colours and are machine washable.
Next on our list is another bag, this time for laundry. Hauling laundry from halls, or worse to a launderette, is never a glamorous or uplifting task. These affordable and fun laundry bags will lighten the load. They come in a range of different designs so take a look around. Oh yes, and be prepared for this bag to come home filled with dirty laundry at weekends and holidays….
Highlighter pens are pretty much a must have item. Used when researching and revising, they are part of the armoury of stationery that a university student will need. This box will keep a student going for some time.
Tea towels don’t tend to have long lives in student kitchens, so we suggest you go cheap and cheerful with this present. This pack of three are 100% cotton, distinctive enough to be identified in tea towel ownership disputes and so do the job nicely.
A stylish way to remember loved ones and happy events while warding off the pangs of homesickness in early student life. These feelings pass, but happy reminders of home help.
Despite the age of the laptop, a decent pen is still a valuable gift for a university student. These pens write superbly. Highly recommended.
Like tea towels, mugs need to be cheap and cheerful as they are unlikely to have a long shelf life. We like this set because it is simple and the mugs are large enough to double as soup mugs. Sorted.
There are many more sophisticated corkscrews on the market, but given the work load this will have we recommend a cheap and cheerful option like this one. Opens beer bottle tops as well. One of the perennial great gift ideas for students starting university.
Campus bedroom can be a bit drab, so a great affordable idea is to add a touch of colour with this small rug. Made from re-cycled materials its has great eco-credentials as well.
A really good basic idea. A set of four towels, sold as a guest set, but the perfect quantity for our student relative. They come in a variety of colours. Good value gift.
Playing loud music late at night isn’t going to make any friends, so these headphones are the obvious solution. Chic and foldable, they are a great gift for students.
We love this stylish large bag that will hopefully encourage your student friend to come home and visit for the weekend. A large and practical bag, beautifully crafted. Good value.
An old school physical diary that runs through the academic year, with a week per two pages. It comes in a variety of colours and in A6 size, but is also available in A5. A handy planning tool for those looming deadlines.
Plastic lunch boxes are not the coolest present ever, but they are certainly useful. Apart from keeping food fresh and doubling as a lunch box, they help to keep your food safe in the communal fridge.
The next generation of desk lamps. This stylish lamp is fully adjustable with a number of brightness and colour settings. Especially helpful for those long dark winter days of study.
This 16 piece set comes with a free cutlery tray and is available in three colours. This is a great cutlery starter kit, affordable but good quality.
A good quality basic 12 piece dinner set. Four each of a plate, side plate and bowl will give enough crockery for an intimate dinner party or four days of eating with no dish washing… Either way a great basic gift.
When the lectures and the partying and the stress of being away from home all gets too much, what better than a good old cup of tea? So, last in the list, but no means least, we recommend this as one of the better gift ideas for students starting university.
6 Gift ideas for students starting university when money is no object
University and student accommodation can be very trying, so what better than a flat for the duration? Assuming that the student is at a London University College, Shoreditch is a trendy up and coming area, so this is potentially a great investment as well. Of all our gift ideas for students starting at university, this one is our favourite.
A run-around is an absolute must so this Jeep Wrangler fits the bill perfectly. It will also transition nicely to fun weekends away from University. A cool and multi-pupose vehicle.
Pretty much up there as top of the range from Apple. It is a beautiful, fast and effective piece of kit with a price tag to match. Not a laptop to be spilling coffee over.
How to get more Inspired Gift Ideas
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