Find the perfect gift for YOUR college roommate

While the internet is chockfull of “roommate gift idea” lists, to find the perfect gift for your roommate, you’ll need to go beyond the anonymous online lists and think about who your roommate is and one they would appreciate most.

Follow these 5 simple steps to find the perfect gift for your roommate:

What are the best college roommate gifts?

  1. Try and jot down notes when they mention things they want during conversations.
    • Keeping a running list in your phone’s notes app will save you hours of beating your head against the wall come Christmas, their birthday, or move-out day!
  2. Think of their interests and hobbies; are they missing any gear that would allow them to do these things better?
    • Are they a gymrat? Get them a new water bottle.
    • Are they a music-head? Go in with some friends on some new headphones, or a shirt from their favorite artist.
    • Do they like to party? How about some neon rave clothes? Or just some good ol’ adult beverages (if you’re both of drinking age, of course)
    • Simply listing out all of their interests will help you jog loose dozens of ideas.
  3. Get them a gift similar to something you already own.
    • Do you have anything that they say they like? Maybe a shirt they always say is cute? Or a cool desk organizer that they mention they love? They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery; likewise, getting them something similar to something you already own. This shows that you’re happy to be so close to them, and that you’re happy to be “twinning” your way through college together!
    • Learn what dorm room essentials you and your roommate should be sharing!
  4. Scheme with their friends.
    • Ask around! See if your roommate’s friends can give you any hot tips. More often than not, they’ll be happy to help you brainstorm. Conspiring with your roommate’s friends on a gift idea for them is a great way for you to bond with their friends as well.
    • In a similar vein, consider proposing a Conspiracy Santa event with your roommates or friends! This unique twist on Secret Santa will let you get to know each other better—with a bit of intrigue for extra fun!
  5. Get them something for their major or dream job.
    • If your roommate is all-in on their field of study, then get them something tailored for their academic focus. If they’re a nursing major, for instance, consider a fun scrub top or nurse-themed mug. Quick searches on Etsy or Pinterest should turn up thousands of creative gift ideas related to their field of study.

Do I need to get gifts for my college roommate?

No, it is not “required” to get your college roommate a gift for major occasions; however, it is often expected and, let’s face it, usually the right thing to do. As we’ve covered before, being the best roommate possible is a key step in giving yourself the best college experience possible.

Like your roommate? Hate them? Either way, getting them a gift is a kind and thoughtful gesture that is sure to be appreciated. It is traditional to get your roommates gift for major occasions, just like you would for any other friends. And, yes, when it comes to gifts, it’s best to pretend your roommate is your friend, even if that’s not the case.

What gift should I get my new college roommate for the first day?

A roommate gift for move-in day is far-from-expected, but very much appreciated! This gift will be a nice surprise. Furthermore, it will demonstrate your desire to form a tight bond with your new roomie.

Great roommate gifts for for the first day of living together include:

  • mugs or shirts customized with your room number/dorm building
  • a bottle of wine or liquor, or a case of beer (if you’re both of drinking age)
  • a gift basket
  • a bunch of candy
  • paying to load up the fridge or cabinet with their favorite foods, snacks, or drinks

What gift should I get my college roommate for Christmas?

Chances are you won’t be together with your roommate on Christmas, so there isn’t always pressure to get them a gift. However, it is still a nice gesture, even if the gift is small. Great Christmas gifts for your college roommate include:

  • a gift card for their favorite restaurant or coffee shop near college
  • a bottle of their favorite booze
  • a snack basket
  • a fuzzy blanket
  • dorm decorations
  • a mood light to help them get through the winter

What gift should I get my college roommate for the end the year?

Move-out day is here already?! Can you believe it?! Whether or not you had a good year with your roommate, it’s always a good idea to leave on good terms.

Even if you butted heads when living together, who knows! Maybe absence will make your hearts grow fonder, and you’ll become close even after moving onto new living situations.

Consider the following tokens of friendship as you say goodbye to your roommate—either for now, or forever:

  • a framed photo of your dorm room
  • a framed photo of the two of you together
  • a gift card to one of the places you had the most fun together
  • a personal item of yours, so they can remember you even after you live together

Learn more about living with college roommates:

Photo by Kira auf der Heide on Unsplash

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