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The Definitive List of Must-Haves for College Students

Let’s face it, being a college student isn’t easy. Between classes, extracurriculars, and a jam-packed social schedule, it’s hard to find time for things like cleaning, laundry, nutrition, and personal hygiene (sorry, Mom!). The good news is there are some products on the market designed to make a college kid’s life a little bit easier. Whether you’re a student yourself or a relative or friend of a college student looking for that perfect back-to-school gift, we’ve got you covered. Here’s our list of nine fun, functional, and trendy items for the college-aged crowd.

 1)  Single-Cup Coffee Maker...for when you need that #classic caffeine fix. Our company may be all about eating caffeine, but we totally appreciate the power of a good cup of liquid java, too. A single-cup coffee maker will find itself right at home on a dorm desk. It’s the perfect complement to those early morning classes or late night study sessions. A student will appreciate the convenient, quick, and easy caffeine fix -- right from the comfort of their room. Many brands manufacture single-cup coffee makers, but we recommend a trusty Keurig, which you can find at most department stores.

Single Cup Coffee Maker from Target _ Keurig

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 2) Portable 3-in-1 Razorfor when you realize you missed a spot. We’ve all been there -- realized we missed a spot while shaving when we’re out, far away from shaving cream and a razor. In college, this a frequent issue for students who are too busy to do anything more than a patch-up shaving job during their morning routine. This portable 3-in-1 razor easily folds away in a backpack or purse, ready to be called upon anytime and anywhere as the hero a young adult needs.

Portable 3-in-1 razor from Ulta

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  • 3) PopBabies Mini Blenderfor when you only have time for liquid nutrition. 
  • When you’re studying and socializing all day, it’s easy to forego a steady meal plan. With a mini blender at a college kid’s disposal, there’s no excuse for missed meals since they can use the blender to whip up protein or fruit-based shakes that are substantive and filling. We recommend this blender from PopBabies because it’s USB-rechargeable and comes with a portable cup.

    Pop Babies Mini Blender from Amazon Portable Rechargeable for College Students

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  • 4) Charging bookbagfor those long days without a wall charger.
  • Ever taken out your phone to take a photo or text a friend, only to be met with a dead battery screen? Phone batteries don’t last forever but with a solar-powered backpack from Birksun, a college student will never be caught without a quick, convenient way to recharge. No more being tied to wall charging mechanisms or asking other people for their chargers. A good alternative to a charging backpack is a solar-powered portable phone charger.

    Birksun Solar Powered Backpack Portable Charger for College Students

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  • 4) Ticket Stub Diary...for when you want to remember that night.
  • It’s like a scrapbook, but better. Instead of curating memories in picture form, it holds ticket stubs and non-photo mementos. Shows, study abroad, trips, sporting events, and concerts are everyday occurrences in a college kid’s life -- and it’s easy to lose track of all the fun times. This diary can archive up to 80 tickets and includes room for notes about each event to immortalize them forever on paper.

    Ticket Stub Diary from

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     5) Bamboo Bed Deskfor when you are so lazy you can’t evenNobody ever said dorm beds are particularly comfortable, but this aside, they certainly can have a magnetic pull on their assigned college student for various reasons. Sometimes it’s sleep deprivation, sometimes it’s extreme laziness, and sometimes it’s just a matter of preference...regardless, it’s inevitable that there will come a time when a college student has homework to do but will pull every stop to stay in bed. With a bed desk, they no longer have to choose one or the other. We like this one from Bed, Bath and Beyond because it has an adjustable tilting component that a laptop can sit on for better keyboard access and viewing while laying down.

    Bed Desk for College StudentsPhoto source: 

  • 6) Mini Vacuumfor those times you eat in bed.
  • Sometimes, mustering the strength or finding the time to go to the dining hall is a major struggle. There are times when tossing popcorn into your mouth while sitting cross-legged on your bed is more appealing than literally anything else. Trust us, resorting to in-bed munching happens to the best of us...and so do the crumbs that come along with it. That’s why a cute mini ladybug vacuum is not just a trendy must-have for a college student -- it’s also downright necessary. It’s also good for cleaning crumbs and dust from a desk or the keyboard of a laptop.

    Mini Desk Vacuum Best Gifts for College Students

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  • 7) Food and gift cards...for when your bank account is lower than your GPA. 
  • If you’re a gift-giver reading this article, don’t fall into the trap of thinking a food care package or gift card to a clothing store or favorite restaurant are cop-outs or impersonal gifts. Trust us, these are some of the most coveted items on a college campus. Nothing puts a smile on a college student’s face quite like free food or free money (yes, gift cards count as money in college!). An alternative to a gift card is a prepaid recurring subscription to any of the student’s favorite apps, sites, or products (think Netflix, Spotify, Audible, Amazon Prime, Birchbox, Dollar Shave Club, etc.). We can guarantee it won’t go unappreciated!

    Gift Cards for College Students

    Photo source: Adobe Stock


  • 8) Eat Your Coffee Barsfor when you want a feel-good kick.
  • Of course, we couldn’t get through a listicle without promoting our very own coveted Eat Your Coffee Bars! Long days of classes and nights of social activities and studies definitely catch up to a person quickly. Our naturally-caffeinated bars are perfect for stifling those on-the-go or study munchies. They’re vegan, made of real, ethically-sourced ingredients (including a full cup of Fair Trade Coffee), and come in three different flavors to accommodate even the pickiest of snackers.


    Eat Your Coffee healthy snacks for college students

    Want to try some?

    Written by Alyssa Wisnieski for Eat Your Coffee


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