It seems like yesterday that you brought your child home from delivering them at the hospital, but they are in college now. Shopping for younger children is easier than for college-aged kids because little children typically have a never-ending list of things they want for their next birthday or holiday. However, young adults are in a better position to purchase the things they want and need, not to mention they’re becoming their own people, so you may still need to learn what they want. If you’re searching for the perfect gift for your child in college but are coming up stumped, keep reading for the best gift ideas any young adult away at school would love and use.

Portable Safe

While they’re still too young to have likely accumulated a massive fine jewelry collection or large stacks of cash, a portable safe is still a fantastic gift for your college-stage kiddo. With shared living spaces, it’s normal to worry about your personal items being exposed, and an affordable, portable safe is the perfect solution. Some portable safes come with locks to which they can set their own pin code, while others come with traditional locks with keys, and either is a great option. 

Espresso Machine

One of the fastest ways for a college kid to drain their bank account is with convenience food purchases. While you likely have a meal plan included in their tuition, daily coffee runs add up financially. An espresso machine for their dorm room or apartment will give them the ability to make the perfect cup every time they need a pick-me-up. In fact, with a high-quality espresso machine, they will likely be making better drinks than they can get at Starbucks or their local coffee shop on campus. It may seem like a splurge-worthy gift, but your kid will appreciate it and likely use it for many years after college.

Digital Photo Frame

Just because your kid is growing up doesn’t mean they don’t get home sick from time to time. A digital photo frame is a perfect way to quickly send pictures of what’s going on back home to help them feel like they’re still in the loop. Whether you’re uploading photos of their siblings, yourself, or beloved pets they couldn’t bring to college, they’ll love the sentimental present.

Storage Saving Furniture

Chances are the apartment or dorm your child is living in at college is small. Giving them the gift of ways to stay organized will not only help free up space in their home but also have other positive impacts on their collegiate life. From helping with college homework to creating a safe living space and healthier home environment, multifunctional furniture that also works for storage is a must. It may seem like a useful gift and not overly sentimental, but it will surely be useful in their everyday lives.

Memory Quilt 

Want to give a nostalgic and sentimental present to your college-age child? One guaranteed tearjerker is a memory quilt. While it may make you nervous about sending off some of their most beloved clothing pieces, a quilt made from nostalgic items is a beautiful gift. Not only will your child treasure it while they are away at school, but it also has serious potential for becoming a family heirloom that they pass down to their own children one day. Imagine that!


Over the past couple of years, athleisure has become even more popular. It has become the new norm and even a point of style for many younger generations. Being on campus and in classes can be draining, so remaining comfortable is integral. Add to this gift a pair of comfortable and supportive athletic sneakers so they can stroll around campus without getting tired.

Shopping for your college-age children can feel stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. Considering that they are young adults and have more mature needs than they once did, you can give practical, meaningful gifts or anywhere in between. Your college child would treasure any of the presents mentioned above.