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College is a wonderful time for young people to go off and explore new horizons, while learning amazing things about their chosen field (and about themselves). The downside is they end up being missed a whole lot by friends and family members. With gifts like these, at least, they can remember the giver fondly every time they use them.

Since college is a time when many people take the opportunity to reinvent themselves, these gifts are neutral enough to appeal to just about everyone. After all, you might remember this person as loving sparkly unicorn sweatshirts and stuffed plushy penguins (which they did when they were 12 or so…), but that doesn’t mean they’re still into those things at 18.
Without further ado, some fabulous presents to toss at your favorite college student:

1. LED Desk Lamp with USB Charging Port

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Why just give a simple gift when you can give them one that does seven different things? This LED desk lamp has a USB charging port, alarm clock, pen storage, and more, so they have everything within easy reach when they’re up all night finishing last-minute assignments.
It even has three different dimmer settings AND a colour light show, so it’s just as much fun during weekend “chill” time.

2. Breakfast Sandwich Maker

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Students generally aren’t allowed to have elaborate ovens in their dorm rooms, but they ARE allowed small electrical appliances. This easy-peasy sandwich maker lets people make delicious sandwiches from English muffins, scones, biscuits, or bagels. They can toss in whatever ingredients they like, close the lid, and have healthy-ish meals ready in minutes.

3. The 5-Ingredient College Cookbook

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If your kid didn’t have much cooking experience before you booted them out the door, you can save them from developing scurvy with this simple cookbook. Each recipe has only five (affordable, easy-to-find) ingredients, so if the young’un has even the most basic kitchen skills, they’ll be able to feed themselves healthy, homemade food on their college budget. Bonus: gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan options/substitutions are included.

4. 4-in-1 Bed Table

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Is the young person you’re buying for a classic introvert? Save them from having to socialize in the cafeteria (or study areas, or public spaces…) with this 4-in-1 bed table. Full of storage space and dividers, it can hold writing supplies, mobile devices, and snacks within easy reach, while allowing them to either eat, write, or work on their laptop from the comfort and security of their own bed.
Best of all, it folds flat when not in use so it doesn’t take up precious space in their room.

5. Shower Squids

See reviews and pricing on UncommonGoods

They might sound like a new type of bacteria only found in college dorm bathrooms, but no. No, these charming cephalopods are handy shower caddies that can hold bottles in their grippy little latex tentacles so those items never have to touch the filthy floor below. Shampoo, conditioner, body wash and more are held within easy reach: a student can just hang one of these squiddies from the shower head while washing, and use the handle to tuck it away in their closet when they’re done. Hygiene for the win!

6. Reading Pillow

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Just about every university course has a huge syllabus of books for students to plow through. That means a lot of reading time, which may be daunting for people who are more accustomed to reading tweets than novels.
This is where the reading pillow comes in handy.
It’s soft to the touch, and provides a perfect balance between support and comfort—perfect for long study sessions.
No, you can’t keep it for yourself.

7. Microwave Ramen Cooker

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Ah, ramen. This delicious noodle dish is a mainstay for college students around the globe, and with this handy microwave cooking container, your gift’s recipient is sure to enjoy picture-perfect noodles each and every time they use it. Made of BPA-free plastic, it cooks ramen perfectly in 4 minutes, and doubles as a bowl. No need to mess up any other dishes, only to leave them languishing in the sink for days.

8. Echo Dot Smart Speaker

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Since “smart” technology rules pretty much everything in our lives, might as well add to the smorgasbord with this brilliant speaker. Echo Dot is voice-controlled, and allows people to call friends and family, play music from sites like Spotify, Pandora, etc., and even control their lights and thermostats. All just by asking it nicely to do so. They can shout at it too, but that’s really not necessary: there are 7 microphones that can be placed around the room so Dot can hear and obey from pretty much everywhere.

9. Anti-Theft Backpack

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Since a person can’t actually look at their backpack while wearing it, they’re usually oblivious when someone else is opening it and stealing stuff from it.
This anti-theft backpack has a password lock attached to heavy-duty metal zippers, so thieves can’t open it on public transit or in long queues. In addition, it also has a USB interface and battery pack so they can charge their phones or other devices wherever they go. Oh, and it’s waterproof. That’s a plus.

10. Bedside Essentials Pocket

See reviews and pricing on UncommondGoods

There’s seriously nothing worse than getting all cozy in bed and having to get up to get the phone from across the room. Or a book. Or a snack.
With this handy bedside pocket, all the bits and bobs a student needs to keep at hand is just inches away from them. Made of durable grey felt, it has one end that tucks beneath the mattress, and hangs off the bed’s edge, holding books, electronics, notepads, remotes, or personal objects within arm’s reach.

11. Bluetooth Wireless In-Ear Headphones

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Listening to music (or podcasts) has never been more stylish. These in-ear headphones have noise reduction and echo cancellation, making whatever they’re listening to sound a gazillion times better. The sound is clear, and the battery lasts up to 11 hours of nonstop talking, so when you call them, you know they have no excuse but to listen to you tell them every update going on in your life.
If they tell you their battery’s dying, they’re lying.

12. Portable Charger/Power Bank

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If your college student is spending long days (and even nights) at the library, they might not find a spot with an outlet so they can keep their devices charged. This portable power bank has enough booster juice to charge an iPhone 6 three or four times over, or charge their iPad mini to full capacity. It’s incredibly handy for long weekends away, or if there’s a quick jaunt to another country for a week or so.

13. Flash Drive

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One can never have too many flash drives, and that goes double for college students. Far too many people have lost important work when their computer has died, or some other technical glitch has occurred.
With one (or three) of these flash drives, they can back up their work so it’s never lost. That way, they don’t have to come up with really creative excuses as to why they haven’t submitted their papers on time.

14. Electric Toothbrush

See reviews and pricing on Walmart

When one is so busy and stretched so thin that they can barely remember to blink and swallow, the mere act of brushing one’s teeth can be exhausting. Fortunately, there are electric toothbrushes like this one, so dental care doesn’t need to take any effort beyond pressing a button.
It’s fully rechargeable, and comes in a variety of different colours. Fresh breath and sparkly teeth for everyone!

15. Fitbit

See reviews and pricing on Fitbit

Have you heard of the “Freshman 15”? It’s basically the average amount of weight a college student will gain during their first year, thanks to a combination of poor diet and little exercise. It can happen at any time during one’s school career, but can also be avoided by eating well and getting up off the couch once in a while.
The Fitbit Versa smart watch tracks sleep, motion, exercise, heart rate, and more, and offers prompts to help college students stay active and healthy.
Available in a variety of different colors.

College is an amazing time for young people to expand their horizons, meet new people, and discover who they really are. They might travel across the country (or even overseas) to study, and explore all manner of new experiences.

These are just a few gift ideas that any student would appreciate. After all, along with all the fun stuff, there’s a lot of hard work and stress involved with being a student. Anything that can help them out a bit will be appreciated beyond measure, even if it’s just something that offers them a little comfort when they’re feeling really far away from home.