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Gifts To Ask For As A College Student That Aren’t Money

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at DESU chapter.

With the semester coming to an end and the holidays right around the corner, college students can finally relax again. The semester might have killed your wallet, but that’s where Christmas comes in to alleviate that debt. We all know the number one thing a student could really use is money, but unfortunately, money is sometimes seen as a taboo thing to ask for. Instead, here are some things to consider asking for, or giving, that would be beneficial to you as a student.


Now before you scroll away, hear me out: Textbooks are not cheap and quickly add up considering the amount of credits a full-time student has to take. You may be able to get away with finding free versions online, but there’s always going to be that one class that requires you to buy the textbook to do your homework. 

If you want to save yourself from being broke next semester AND want to look good for your family members, why not ask them to cover the costs of your books? If you don’t get your syllabus in time before Christmas, an alternative would be to ask for a gift card to your school’s bookstore. That way, you can buy exactly what you need when you return to campus.

Gift cards

This one is an essential that could not be left off the list. Gift cards are the best way to give someone a gift you know they will use. Now, imagine it’s late at night and the dining hall is closed, but you’re still hungry.

Do you spend your last $10 on food or eat sleep for dinner? Asking for gift cards to your favorite food place will save you in a pinch, so don’t forget to ask for one. Besides food, gift cards to places like Target, Walmart, and Amazon will be your best friend.

Skincare items

College causes stress and stress can cause acne, so if you want clear skin you need to get your skincare routine together. Now is the perfect time to experiment with new products considering that you aren’t the person paying for it. 

Lately, different holiday skincare sets have been trending on TikTok due to the amount of new products to try in one box. The Target holiday gift set comes with plenty of different useful skincare items for only $15. 

Already found your perfect routine? Great, now you can instead ask your family and friends for new bottles to last you through the next semester.

Bus/train passes

A gift that would be very thoughtful for commuters. Public transportation can get costly, especially considering that you have to pay for it upfront, unlike tuition. Many public transportation systems use passesthat allow citizens to pay for several trips at one time. 

Why not ask loved ones  to buy you a pass that will last you for weeks? It is environmentally friendly and saves your wallet. For students that go to school out of state, asking for a bus, train, or plane ticket in advance can save you stress for the future.


With the rise of new technology, and especially after the COVID-19 pandemic, the world has gone digital, so it is best to keep up. You don’t need the latest computer, but a good laptop or iPad would benefit every student. I use my iPad and keyboard combo every day, so if you’re thinking of cheaper alternatives to a computer, this is it. 

Other electronics such as calculators, printers, or even new headphones will benefit you in the long run. If your school doesn’t provide free printing, buying a printer will save you money over the years, and is useful beyond your college days. Nice headphones are great when you’re trying to study in a public place or just want to be in your world. 

I don’t go a day without my headphones and it’s been great. Listening to music while you study is 10x better than silence.

The best gifts are ones that will be beneficial to you, so don’t slack this year when writing your lists! Of course, not every gift has to be a super serious need, but hopefully, this list provided you with some ideas to help you save money next semester. 

From one college student to the next, we can all help each other out. 

Merry Christmas!

My name is Savannah Smalley, I am a freshman at Delaware State University, and I am majoring in Agriculture with a concentration in plant sciences, and a minor in environmental science. My goal is to become a successful botanist, and I will achieve that. I am a senior editor for my campus’s chapter of Her Campus. My hobbies include reading, writing, playing video games, growing plants, and playing sports. When I am not writing for Her Campus, I take part in other organizations at my school such as the alliance for minorities participation (AMP), minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and related sciences (MANNRS), and The environmental alliance (TEA). I’ve been writing my entire life through stories, essays, newspaper articles, and more as a way to express myself. I graduated high school with an award in creative writing, and I plan on continuing my writing journey through my college career.