Home Featured Top 10 Gifts for College Students: UCSB Edition

Top 10 Gifts for College Students: UCSB Edition

Top 10 Gifts for College Students: UCSB Edition
Illustration by Diane Kim

Tia Trinh

Co-Arts & Entertainment Editor

As the nights grow longer and the cold winter air begins to sneak into dorms and apartments, it’s time to pull out the fuzzy socks, throw blankets, and hot chocolate! Take this list seriously or as a joke, but as the holidays peek around the corner, gift-giving is a common practice around the world. As college students, there’s a lot that we need: more sleep, more coffee, and more good food in Isla Vista (I.V.). So, if you’re stumped this holiday season, here’s a list of 10 things to get your college friends!

Nyquil & Dayquil

When frat flu hits, these are your best friends. Get yourself (and a friend) the dynamic pack of two to get through sickness in no time! No matter the season, Nyquil and Dayquil are ready to fight any illness that might have you struggling to catch up on your schoolwork. Pair this gift with cough drops and a box of chamomile tea, and you’ve created the perfect “get well soon” gift.


Anyone who lives in or near I.V. is no stranger to noise, especially over the weekend. Many of us don’t get enough sleep as it is, and the screams of people running down the street aren’t exactly the ideal lullaby for finals week. So take this from someone who lived right by a noisy lounge in the Santa Catalina Residence Halls (“FT”) and who currently lives across from a frat house: earplugs work (for the most part)! 

Over-the-Ear Headphones

Want to get featured on Hot Ticket? These are a must. Pair it with a pair of Docs, flared pants, and a nice top, and you’ll make it onto the Instagram page in no time. These headphones can only make a great outfit even better. These are also much less likely to get lost than Airpods. Bonus points if you get it in a pastel color. 

Keurig Mini

If you’re like me and you survive off of caffeine, this is an absolute must. A Keurig Mini is quick, convenient, and, best of all, not too loud that you and your house/roommates will wake each other up early in the morning. Start your day off with a warm cup of coffee (with oat milk) and your favorite playlist to get your day going right.

Keurig Mini

If you live in or near I.V., then chances are that you’ve tried Blenders. A great pick-me-up drink on the way to or from class, many students find themselves going to grab a smoothie with or without friends. A gift card would be perfect for your friends who consistently find themselves standing in that long line for something to drink.

Designated Party Shoes

Whether they be light-up Sketchers, velcro straps, or white slip-on Vans, if you’re going out to a party, designated party shoes are a must. These shoes will be ruined the first night out but that’s perfectly fine because it means you’ve already worn them in! Trust me, the last thing you want is your sexy Docs to be covered in dirt and stains.

Box of Tissues

Are you really a college student if you don’t have a random breakdown in the middle of the week? Get the softest tissues for your best friends so it feels like you’re there to brush away their tears, every time.

Beach Towel

You live by the beach and you still don’t have a beach towel? Going to the beach is a UC Santa Barbara (UCSB) tradition. Whether you’re going to watch the sunset, go surfing, or picnic with your friends, the last thing you want is for sand to get all your stuff. Get your friends a nice beach towel for them to take each time you head over to the beach. Grab an Arizona and a film camera and you’re all set to go!


Stop writing your assignments on your hand or in the margins of a paper you know you’re going to lose. Just get a planner! Writing things down in an organized fashion is a good habit to get into, or continue. But, if you’re strongly against putting pen to paper, use Notion (it’s a lifesaver, I promise).

A Spotify Premium Subscription

Trust me when I say once you get Spotify Premium, there’s no going back (and for good reason). As someone who shares and pays for Premium with my family, it’s so nice to be able to play whatever song I want with no ads and no skip limit. That means I can play “Last Christmas” by Wham! on repeat until the holiday season ends.

A Spotify Premium Subscription

All I’m saying is that sometimes you have to use your resources. All jokes aside, Chegg is useful for checking homework answers and even helping you figure out what little mistake you might have made in a page-long vector calculus equation. Use it wisely.

Whether you take this list as a joke or not, rest assured that no matter what you give your friends, know that they’ll cherish it! As dorms begin to empty and I.V. quiets down, it’s time for all of us to take a much-needed break. Here’s to the end of fall quarter, get as much rest as you can before winter quarter comes washing upon the shore!


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