Gift Ideas for Students Starting University


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In search of gift ideas for students starting university? It’s not easy to decide what to give the kid in your life who’s starting higher ed.

It’s a big moment! And if they’re living away from home, they’re on their own for the first time and need nearly everything.

Arguably, what they need most is help staying healthy.

Sure, college and uni kids are young, strong and resilient, but the post-secondary phase can be one of the riskiest, health-wise. And you can help with a few well-thought-out gifts.

But first, what are the health issues students face today? Well, like many fully-fledged adults, their risky behaviour falls into five big categories: diet, exercise, sleep, stress and alcohol.

  • Diet: How many kids do you know who rarely cooked a meal before leaving for college or university? It’s not uncommon. If they’re living in residence, at least there’s a meal plan – but then, what are they eating? Burgers and pizza every day? Diet can make a huge difference in how students feel and perform. A highly-processed, low-nutrient diet can lead to more mood problems, erratic energy, difficulty concentrating, fatigue, and self-image issues.
  • Also at issue: fitness. You’d think with all that galavanting, students would be super fit, but studies show that exercise steeply declines among young adults when they move away to school.
  • That said, it’s not all beauty rest for the younguns. Sure, some college kids will sleep through their morning classes, but our best sleep is in the earlier part of the night. You can’t really compensate for missing night-time rest.
  • Stress is also a massive and growing issue for young adults at school. It’s no wonder, too. Take a bad diet, combine it with a steep decline in exercise, too little sleep, and a total life overhaul, and you have a recipe for stress.
  • And this summation would not be complete without reference to alcohol. One effect of alcohol is to dramatically decrease the body’s supply of magnesium, with all the expected results over time: muscle tics and spasms, tension, anxiety, insomnia, headaches, depression and more.

OK, so now that we’ve painted a picture of a kid in dire need of a health fix, how can you help?


  • Natural Calm becausekids need it to deal with stress, perform their best and wind down to sleep
  • A care pack with powdered greens, superfoods, a plant-based smoothie powder, organic teas, healthy snacks and energy bars made from nuts, seeds, dried fruits and dark chocolate
  • Gift certificates to a healthy fast-food outlet, like Freshii, or a smoothie bar like Booster Juice or JugoJuice
  • A natural or organic latex mattress topper, to ease tension and help your students sleep their best, even on a dorm bed
  • A good blender
  • Gift certificates to health food stores in the town where they live
  • A meditation app subscription
  • Mental-health focused audiobooks that they can listen to on-the-go
  • A gym membership, or fitness classes
  • Running shoes and fitness gear
  • Noise-cancelling headphones so they can study and just chill in peace
  • An open-ended ticket home, however far they may be — because sometimes all you need is to see the fam and feel like a kid again!

What other ideas do you have for the college or university kid? How can we give the gift of health, while still giving them something they’ll love?

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