Buying for the student in your life can be a tricky affair; use the guide below to choose a unique, thoughtful gift, whatever your budget, that’ll put a smile on your special person’s face all through the year and help to keep them motivated in their studies.
1. Experience Days
There are now several companies providing a wide range of experiences that can be bought and given as a gift. The sheer volume of choices on offer means that you’re sure to find something that the recipient will love: whether that’s a live online cooking course undertaken at home, a trip on a steam train, a thrilling zip-wire ride, or a pamper day with lunch thrown in. The best thing about this option is that experiences can be as wallet-friendly or indulgent as you like; make the most of offers and discount codes to pick up, for example, an escape room gift experience from about £25 – or push the boat out and gift your loved one a hot air balloon ride or a sailing lesson. Theater trips, sports car driving, and afternoon tea are some of the other most popular gift experiences right now.
2. Personalized Jewelry
Personalized jewelry is not only absolutely on-trend at the moment, but a classic customized item is a gift that can be worn and enjoyed for years to come. Have a look here to get an idea of the options available; choose initial necklaces in yellow or rose gold, sterling silver, or that are gold plated. This particular option offers the facility to have inscriptions engraved onto selected jewelry, too, to make for an extra unique festive offering. Personalized necklaces, bracelets, or earrings make special presents that will never go out of fashion.
3. Board Games
Board and card games don’t need to be square: leftfield games like ‘Cards Against Humanity’ are extremely popular in student halls of residence now, as are old-school favorites such as ‘Pass the Pigs’ and ‘Uno.’ This is a great option as a budget-friendly gift – to save even more cash (and boost your sustainability credentials) have a look online for second hand games that are in excellent condition and come complete with all original pieces.
4. Food Delivery Subscription
Students are notorious (quite possibly unfairly) for the baked beans basis of their culinary repertoire. Whether this is just or not, it is true that students are busy with lectures, studying, and working (not to mention their commitment to the Student Union bar), and healthy eating can easily go out of the window. Help your friend or loved one out with a subscription to a food delivery box. Various companies offer different services: for example, you could choose to sign them up for a weekly delivery of ready-made meals, or you could instead opt for a meal kit option. In the latter case, pre-portioned ingredients are sent to the recipient along with simple instructions to create a variety of meals. This is a great way to cut back on food waste while trying your hand at cooking a range of dishes.
Depending on your budget, you could sign the recipient up for a month or a longer period of deliveries. Most food delivery services cater to various special diets, including Vegetarian and Vegan; many also offer dishes tailored to diabetics or those that require a low-salt diet.
5. House Plants
Help your special student feel more at home in their student let or dorm by gifting them a pot plant, or a few small house plants, in carefully chosen pots. Again, this is a gift that can be made to suit all budgets: miniature house plants, such as ferns, can be picked up for just a few pounds each; two or three of these, arranged in a decorated gift box, can make for a beautiful present. Houseplants have been huge in the world of home decor for the last couple of years, and this trend is showing no sign of slowing. If your budget is larger, then consider a ‘statement’ plant, such as an established string of pearls succulent, in a basket that can be suspended from the ceiling, which makes for a spectacular present.
6. Backpacks and Satchels
A perennially popular gift idea for students, a backpack or vintage-look satchel will always be a winning offering. Leather is set to be massive in 2023, with clothing, accessories, and home decor all reflecting this trend; get ahead of the game (and impress your student relative) by opting for a leather bag and, for an extra special treat, have it personalized with their initials, too, and pack it with a leather-bound notebook and pencil case. If the recipient is vegan, then go for options in natural materials, such as canvas or organic cotton.
7. University Survival Kit
If you’re buying for a soon-to-be student, then why not put together a Uni Survival Kit for them? Depending on your budget, you can create a kit that contains a few or a large number of items. Ideas for things that you could add and include an emergency first aid kit, a few Pot Noodles, a bundle of handwritten letters from friends and family wishing them well, a pack of cards, vitamins, post-it notes, and facemasks. You could also pop in a USB stick, a set of pens, notebooks, a gift card loaded with money that can be spent at the nearest supermarket to their university, and teabags. Be as creative as you like with this, and tailor the kit to the preferences of your loved one.
8. Home Comforts
Student halls and shared accommodation may not be the most homely of places, so giving the gift of a little home comfort can make for a much-appreciated present. Think about things that will make the recipient’s rooms or shared flat cozier and more inviting; a snuggly, brightly colored throw for the sofa could help warm up a room, or a set of fairy lights to drape along a bookcase or shelving unit can add easy ambiance to an otherwise impersonal space.
Other ideas to help things feel more like home include scented pillar candles and tealights, framed prints, cushions, and rugs.
9. Mini Portable Safe
An eminently practical present idea, a portable safe is perfect for use in a dorm room or shared space. Miniature versions make for affordable options and can hold a phone, cash, cards, keys, and important documents. The safe can be secured to other objects to prevent it from being removed. If your child is leaving for university imminently, this is the perfect way to protect their property and give you added peace of mind.