gifts for college freshmen

Heading off to college is a major life transition worthy of celebration. These six gifts for freshmen make the move even more exciting. From helping to make their dorm room feel like home to encouraging them to savor every adventurous moment, these gifts will bring a smile to any soon-to-be college freshman’s face.

1. New Backpack


Get it on Tophatter for around $20

A new school calls for a new backpack. This simple bag contains several compartments for easy storage of books, notebooks, a laptop, cell phone, and other necessities the soon-to-be freshman will need to cart around. Choose from black, grey, purple, and blue. This stylish rucksack-style bag is another good choice with canvas lining and a laptop compartment. Or, inspire your freshman to sign up for a study abroad trip by opting for a large pack fit for backpacker expeditions or a spring break outdoor adventure.

2. Hanging Toiletry Bag


Get it on Tophatter for around $19

Dorm rooms are known for fun, but not so much for space. This hanging toiletry bag allows freshmen to keep their bath and beauty needs in one compact area without crowding space. The built-in hanging hook is easy to hang from bathroom doors, shower rods, or towel racks. There’s also a storage space for wet items at the bottom of the bag and side storage for easy accessibility.

3. Noise-Cancelling Headphones


Get it on Tophatter for around $203

For many students, filtering out the noise of nearby students (especially roommates) can be a challenge. And when it comes to finals and other high-pressure scenarios, having a quiet place to study can be crucial. Sure, they can pull an all-nighter in the library with the rest of the campus, but these noise-cancelling headphones let them focus even in the midst of a raging dorm party. They’re wireless and long lasting, with 35 hours of distraction-free listening pleasure on a single charge. There’s also a hands-free microphone for calls with Mom and Dad back home.

4. Laundry Hamper with Straps


Get it on Tophatter for around $14

This laundry hamper can be conveniently hung from a door and comes with a zippered bottom opening, so it can be easily unloaded into a washing machine. The hamper also features straps, transforming it into a backpack for easy transport to and from the laundromat.

5. Lost Item Finder


Get it on Tophatter for around $22

You’d be surprised how easy it is to lose items in a compact dorm room. The Nut Find 3 helps your college freshman find their wallet, phone, keys, and other lost items quickly with the assistance of a Bluetooth signal. The owner of the Nut Find 3 also has access to a Lost & Found Network to let others know if you suspect your item has been stolen.

6. Mattress Topper


Get it on Tophatter for around $87

Most dorm rooms come furnished, which can be convenient for budget-conscious freshmen, but also scary if they’re in love with their deluxe mattress back home. Ensure they get a good night’s rest despite the quality of their bed by gifting them with a cushy mattress topper. Face it, though they might behave as though they won’t need sleep after encountering their first campus party, your college freshman will be glad when they return to their room and find they’re not actually invincible.

Prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.


Erica Garza is an author and essayist from Los Angeles. Her writing has appeared in TIME, Health, Glamour, Good Housekeeping, Women’s Health, and VICE.

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