Top 10 Gift Ideas For Stressed-Out Graduate Students

The holidays are often a relief for graduate students, who get a break from the usual educational challenges and stress. Graduate students have survived the four year college and are on their way to a masters or doctorate degree. Many graduate students work, have children, or have returned to school after a long break. The gifts for a graduate student should keep all of those possibilities in mind. The following gift ideas made the top ten list:

Top 10 Gift Ideas For Stressed-Out Graduate Students

1. Coffee Bucks

Coffee is usually a staple in the graduate student’s diet. There are a variety of coffee chains that offer gift certificates or canisters of the house brand. Many students enjoy a good cup of java and the certificates are helpful to their budget. Try Tim Hortons, Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, or another local favorite for some coffee certificates.

2. Casual Clothing

Graduate students are often casual dressers. Studying and attending classes often occupies much of their day. Look for some nice casual clothing as a gift. Students in Northern climates will also appreciate a new coat or scarf to keep them warm on the long walks to classes on campus. Sweaters, jeans, athletic wear, and fleece are all casual enough for the graduate student.

3. Campus Cash

Most campuses offer some form of campus cash cards for students to eat and shop at a variety of places on campus. Parents of graduate students might consider this option, since many graduate students fall short on cash if they are only working part-time or doing an assistantship.

4. Day at the Spa

A day at the spa for a nice massage, manicure, facial, or pedicure is a dream for many graduate students. For all the hard work, there is also a tendency to forget about pampering. A local spa or nail salon should have a variety of different spa pacakages to choose from that will fit your budget.

5. Fitness Membership

This may not be the gift for every graduate student, but many graduate students do not get enough exercise. A trial membership at the local fitness center or a voucher for some pilates or aerobics classes might be very helpful to a graduate student. Exercise has been known to alleviate stress, and graduate students need every chance they can find to lower their academic stress levels.

6. Journal Subscription

Graduate school almost always includes research of some sort, and professional journals are a great way for graduate students to keep up with the latest research in their field. Most journal subscriptions are available online for purchase. You can call the graduate school department to get some ideas for the appropriate journals for the field.

7. Book Store Gift Certificates

Book store gift certificates can be purchased at local stores or online. Graduate students would enjoy a gift certificate to a local bookstore where they can pick up a few books for either academic or pleasure reading. Some bookstores even carry text books, which are often expensive at the beginning of the semester, and a gift certificate might be helpful to a financially struggling graduate student.

8. Humourous Gifts

Most graduate students that I know have a great sense of humor. Buying a funny gift that they can carry around or put on their work desk is another good idea for graduate student gifts. If you can find something realted to their field, even better. A bottle of the jellybean Stress Pills from Spencer’s Gifts might be appreciated, or a humorous book from Barnes and Noble.

9. Entertainment Gifts

Graduate students are often short on entertainment between classes and papers there isn’t much time to go see a movie or see the latest play. Entertainment gifts such as movie tickets or tickets to a local play are good ideas. If the graduate student likes sports, there’s nothing better than a Sunday football game with friends to take the edge off of the coming week. Consider the particular interests of the graduate student and look for something that will entertain.

10. Computer Gear

In today’s world, every graduate student has to be on top of the latest software programs and computer gear. If your graduate student is required to do research, consider one of the statistical software programs available, like SPSS. Upgrades to Microsoft software might be another idea, since graduate students are often required to use Power Point and other advanced software. A nice laptop is ideal, if the student does not have one, but laptops are at least $500. If you have the money to spend, any graduate student would be thrilled with a laptop for Christmas!

Whatever gifts you choose for your graduate student this holiday season, have fun shopping and look for gifts that match the life of a busy and generall, stressed-out graduate student.

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