The Last Minute Shopper’s Guide to Buying Gifts for Adult College Students

The Last Minute Shopper’s Guide to Buying Gifts for Adult College Students

The most skilled gift givers know the presents that pack the most pleasure are those the receiver never knew they needed. For the adults in your life who are going back to college there are plenty of opportunities to usher in that unexpected joy.


Adult college students balance everything from work to school to family. While attending school they are likely holding down a job, taking care of family and handling all of life’s other responsibilities. Gifts that reduce stress, save time and money, or keep the person motivated or focused are perfect fits. If you’re in a crunch to find the finest festive favor for the adult college student in your life, here are 10 ideas to consider.


Calm in a Bottle – The refreshing smell of peppermint and chamomile. Even the thought of it is relaxing. So imagine how peaceful the adult college student in your life will feel when he or she smells this cooling balancing oil concentrate from Aveda. It’s the perfect thing to rub on sore muscles after a long day or to apply to the temples when relief is needed while doing homework.


Color Therapy – Coloring has been shown to reduce stress. Combine that idea with inspirational messages for anyone chasing their dreams in college, and you get the Be Fearless In The Pursuit Of What Sets Your Soul On Fire Coloring Book. Help the person in your life who is going after their goals express their inner artist while giving them a boost of motivation.


Daily Dose of “You Got This” – Everyone needs a boost every once in a while. But if you’re going back to school as an adult, you’re facing younger classmates, new ways of learning and the fears of having to do homework again after all these years. Older students can use some inspiration to keep going after their dreams of an education. You Are Doing a Freaking Great Job is pages and pages of inspiration and reassurance, perfect for the older college student.


Dealing with Dinner – What’s for dinner tonight? It’s a dreaded question. The planning, the shopping, the cooking. Sometimes it’s just easier to opt for take-out. But eating out can get unhealthy and expensive quickly. Instead, help out the student in your life by giving the gift of a meal club. These services deliver healthy meals and remove the headache of meal planning from the week. There are many choices so decide whether the adult student in your life would want a fully-prepared meal or simply the instructions and ingredients to make a delicious dinner.


Fresh Pressed Threads – The typical reason adults go back to college? To advance in their careers or start a new professional path. That means, once they’re done with their program they’ll probably be going on interviews. Why not give them the gift of a handheld steamer so they can dress to impress every time?


Kick of Caffeine – Just like traditional college students, adult college students often live off of coffee, maybe even more than their younger counterparts. Hopefully, the student in your life has already made the money-saving switch to drinking coffee at home instead of the shop around the corner. If they have, you can help make their mornings (or nights!) a little better by signing them up for a craft coffee delivery service.


Moments in Time – Days fly by when you’re busy. At the same time, the student in your life is accomplishing great things that should be remembered. Help them capture this time in their life with a five-year journal. This journal is organized for the busy student, too! The entry blocks are short so students don’t feel pressure to write a lot. It takes just one thought to capture what they are feeling, doing, facing and accomplishing that day.


No-Snooze Alarm Clock – Non-traditional college students have many places to be and a long to-do list. There is no time for oversleeping. If the student in your life is a snooze-aholic, how about an alarm clock that runs away before they have the chance? The Clocky Alarm Clock lets you snooze once and only once. After that, the clock jumps off the nightstand and rolls around until you get up and turn it off. Your college student will never oversleep and Clocky will save them the wasted time they used to spend snoozing.


Squeeze Out the Stress – Adult college students juggle myriad responsibilities. Why not give them something that will actually reduce stress instead of create it? Stress Ball Paul gives your college student a place to put their stress. Because if you had an assignment due, had to put in a full shift at work and then had to cook dinner for your family, you’d probably enjoy the feeling of squeezing the life out of Paul, too.


Token of Tidiness – Dusting, vacuuming, mopping, scrubbing the toilets. The gift of taking these to-dos off someone’s list is a gift that keeps on giving. Not only are you giving a college student valuable time back in their week, but you’re helping eliminate that nagging feeling of having just one more thing to do. Finding a cleaning service that will come by regularly – even if it’s just once a month for a deep clean – can create untold joy for the adult student in your life.



  1. When is it the Right Time to Go Back to School?
  2. What it Feels Like to Accomplish Your Goals: Ashworth College Graduate Lisa Ledee’s Story
  3. What Kind of Education Do I Need?