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9 Perfect Holiday Gifts for Students

Here's a gift guide to help you celebrate the adult college student or recent grad in your life.

Wrapped holiday gift for a student

Ah, the holidays! That beloved time of year when many of us also stress out about finding the perfect gift for the important people in our lives. It can be even more difficult when you’re shopping for a loved one who has gone back to school. These busy adult students are trying to balance their time between earning their degree, work, and life responsibilities. Here’s a list of gift ideas for adult college students and recent graduates that’ll brighten their spirits and help them on their educational journey. 

A watch

Ensure the student in your life is always on time with a new watch, a time-honored gift that is also useful for recent grads. You can keep it simple with an elegant analog dress watch or go all out with the latest wearable technology to make sure they get their steps in each day.

Hot/Cold tumbler

Wherever their school or new professional life takes them, it’s key to stay hydrated. A new hot and cold tumbler, personalized with their favorite colors, initials, or hobbies, is the perfect choice for someone who’s always on the go. 

Snack subscription

These days, there are so many snack kits you can customize to your loved one’s favorite flavors—sweet, salty, or the elusive umami. You can find a box online with snacks from around the world, candy-only boxes, or crates that serve healthy snacks. No matter what you choose, they’ll appreciate your gift with every bite.

A new tool for their professional trade

Does your student or graduate need special equipment? This is a wonderful opportunity to get professional tools they’ll need for school or work. A stethoscope, badge holder, or going big with an upgraded laptop or tablet will always hit the gifting sweet spot.

Inspiring books about leadership and overcoming challenges

The Aspen University community and student body are filled with go-getters and leaders. That’s why we recommend giving an inspirational book to help the student or new grad in your life hone their skills. Some popular picks include Dare to Lead by Brené Brown; Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek; Talk Like TED: The 9 Public-Speaking Secrets of the World’s Top Minds by Carmine Gallo, Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes; or The Road to Redemption: Overcoming Life’s Detours, Obstacles, and Challenges by Lucinda Cross. Or give them a copy of a book you found helpful in your professional journey.

Flowers or plants

You can never go wrong with gifting a beautiful floral display or house plant to liven up their home. If you know their favorite flower, try to incorporate it into the bouquet. Many elementary schools and community groups have fundraisers this time of year featuring flowers, so your purchase does some good while also looking beautiful.

A leather portfolio they’ll use for years

There’s no second chance when making a first impression, and your grad will walk into a job interview with confidence carrying a new portfolio. Pick one with space to hold an extra copy of their resume and professional credentials, a notepad, and a pen. And for an extra special touch, personalize it with their initials.

Cash or personalized gift card

It’s not the most creative, but cash is a perennial favorite among givers and receivers. Whenever your grad or student needs a new pair of shoes for work, an upgrade on their cell phone service, or some spending money on a post-graduation vacation, cash is always welcome. If cash feels too impersonal, choose a gift card to their favorite shop, restaurant, or arrange for an experience you can enjoy together.

A card with your good wishes

Sometimes simple gifts hold the most meaning. Your words of wisdom, well wishes, or recognition of how hard your student or grad is working toward their degree will last longer than any gift that comes from a store. For a more unique touch, you can also look into small card businesses that create customizable cards. 

Ready to be the graduate, not the gift giver? Imagining what your own future as a graduate might look like? Find out more about Aspen University’s schools and programs today.