Birthday Gift Ideas for College-Going Teens

When your teen heads off to college for the first time, it’s a really big deal. They are going out to find their own way in the world. They are also walking in to a world of student loans and bad housing and terrible cheap food. It might be nice to mark the occasion with a gift that can be both sentimental – saying how much you’ll miss them and how proud you are – and useful – to help them get through the next few years unscathed. Here are our ideas for great college gifts:

Survival Kit

This is a must have birthday gift for college-going kids out there. A College Survival Kit should be mandatory in the orientation info, as all of a sudden your little boy or girl is all grown up and (gulp) off living away from home. It’s no shock that dorm life is wildly different from that at home, without the luxuries of clean sheets changed by Mom, or home cooked roast dinners. Preparing your teen their very own survival kit will come in handy for those silly little things nobody thinks of: bandaids, aspirin, instant coffee, soap, shaving-cream, a roll of quarters for laundry or an emergency $20, chocolate bars, toothbrush/toothpaste, tampons – all those “just in case” things. This birthday gift should come with a life-saver guarantee! Here are some cool ideas for college survival kits on Pinterest.

Netflix Voucher

Believe it or not, college isn’t just frat party after frat party, and there will in fact be times when your son or daughter is stuck bored in their dorm room. What better then, than an online Netflix or Amazon voucher? With vouchers available in as much or as little as you are willing to spend – this birthday gift is ideal for college-going teens: on hangover Sundays, or after finals. Sometimes there is no better gift than a movie day cuddled up in bed!

Towels and Bedding

While it’s not the most thrilling birthday gift, if you’ve lived through college dormitories yourself you will know the perils of keeping clean, dry and warm through the colder winter months. If you want to stock up on cosy, fleece blankets, look no further than – with blankets starting from $29.99. Head around to your local bath store and buy them a new towel set: bath towels, facecloths, it may sound boring, but those shared bathrooms will be made much better by your birthday gift. Once they’re cuddled up warm, watching something they bought with their Netflix voucher, this bedside caddy is perfect to hold their books, magazines, remotes, and snacks. Ideal! image

‘Send Them Packing’ Gift Box

Goodbyes are bittersweet. If your college-going teen seems to have it all under control: has blankets and towels, has everything they will need in case they get hurt – buying them a birthday gift may seem impossible. That’s where you’re wrong: this gift box will leave only sweetness to the goodbye, with tiers of different sweet treats, chocolates, nuts, fudge, popcorn, pretzels, the list goes on! Stylishly wrapped, this gift box will be the envy of all their roommates.


If you’re stuck for more gift ideas, check out the awesome selection of drinking games, blankets, fashion and other college and birthday gift ideas at It will be hard at first, but once they’ve left and settled in the fun really begins – for you both!

What would you buy your college-going teen, any tips?

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