College (-ish) Girl Gift Guide

Struggling with what to get that young adult female in your life? This gift guide is for just that. As a recent college grad (class of 2018), young adult, big sister and a woman who’s not quite a Millennial and not quite Gen Z, I’m sharing with you the gifts that myself, my 18-year-old sister, and my friends would all love to receive this holiday season.


It’s no secret that this generation loves athleisure. Whether heading to the gym or to class, having a cute pair of sneakers is a must.

I love my Adidas Swift Run sneakers for going to the gym or running errands on a casual day. You can’t go wrong with neutral colors like black or white. Specifically, tons of girls are asking for Adidas NMD or UltraBoost sneakers this holiday season, as this style has been super on-trend for the last year or so. I have had NMDs in the past and can vouch for their comfort, and both the NMD and UltraBoost styles come in cute, trendy colors and patterns – I’m obsessed with this pair of NMDs that has snake print on the heel.

As for fashion sneakers, I’ve been loving my Adidas Stan Smith sneakers for years now, and just discovered the brand’s new Sleek Leather Sneakers – an updated, clean-looking version of Adidas’s classic shoe. Of course for the college girl, Nike Air Force 1s are still a major trend. Many girls even wear these out at night. My sister has a pair and is asking for ANOTHER just so she has one to wear to parties and muddy tailgates and one for day-to-day wear.



I wear leggings nearly everyday, and so does almost every other young adult I know. My favorites are the Lululemon Align leggings. They’re buttery soft and fit so well. I love high-rise leggings, and these hit at the perfect spot on my waist. I have two pairs in black so I always have some to wear, and also have a grey camo pattern that is subtle enough to pass as a neutral but also spices up any athleisure outfit with the trendy pattern. I get mine in the 25″ length so they don’t need hemming. For reference, I’m 5’5″, typically wear a size small, and I wear a 4 in Lululemon leggings.

Lately I’ve been loving my Spanx leggings. The faux-leather leggings are a blogger staple, but I SO wish I had these in college. They’re so flattering and feel just like another pair of yoga pants, but look extra stylish on the body. These can be worn on a day-to-day basis or even out at night. Spanx also makes great camo leggings for a significantly cheaper price than Lululemon’s.

Aerie also makes super cute leggings! I can’t say I’ve tried them, but they have all kinds of  patterns and great reviews. Love these star print leggings.


Fleece, teddy and sherpa

Teddy material has been trending for a while now, and it makes sense – it keeps you warm and cozy, and looks cute too. I love my I Am Gia teddy coat, and there are a ton of cheaper alternatives on the market. I’d be so happy to receive a blanket of the same fabric like this one!



A nice backpack is a must in college, or even after college in the working world. I just got a Dagne Dover backpack and it’s incredible. It’s made from soft neoprene fabric and has plenty of pouches for all of my essentials, including my 13″ laptop. It’s perfect as a carry-on bag or for toting my laptop around for doing work. I got the medium size, but the large might be best for a student who’s carrying around textbooks all day. A duffel bag would also make a great gift for any student who flies back and forth to school. Having good carry-on luggage is underratedly important.

Beanies are super in this year (more so than usual, it seems) and they’re so cozy for the winter. I’ve been seeing lots of neon beanies as well as classic pom pom beanies. Who doesn’t love getting cozy accessories like these as a gift? I’m lusting over this Canada Goose beanie – they’re so expensive, but so luxuriously cozy.

Hoop earrings are still going strong, and my favorites are by the brand Nadri that’s sold at many major department stores. They’re dainty while still making a statement, and hold up really well considering they’re not fine jewelry. These are my favorite, but these mini ones are great for everyday wear.



I believe you can never take too many pictures, especially when you’re in college. Before you know it, four years are up and all you have are some Snapchat memories. Get the girl in your life a disposable camera or a polaroid so that they can have some real, printed photos to look at later in life.

I loved having my Amazon Echo Dot in my college apartment, but I wish I had an Echo. It’s great because it has so many functions – I keep one in the kitchen to use as a timer, weather reporter, and speaker to play music from. Instead of buying a basic speaker, buy this. It also has an alarm clock function for the girl you know who struggles to make it to her 8 a.m. class on time. The Echo Dot is a great tool to supplement the normal Echo.

I swear by having a smart watch. I used to have a Fitbit which I loved, but they tend to die over time and have a lot of problems. My Apple Watch has so many capabilities that I never knew I needed. Having a smart watch motivates me to get up and get moving, even if that just means climbing the stairs instead of taking the elevator. It’s also great to have in class (especially when professors are strict about the use of phones and laptops).



I don’t think you can really go wrong with a beauty gift – if all else fails, get a Sephora gift card!

Glossier is an incredibly trendy brand amongst this age group. Get her this set of mini products to dip her toes into the brand, or even try products she’s just not yet familiar with. It also comes with the cutest Glossier headband. To learn more about the brand’s products, read my blog posts here, here, and here.

For the girl who loves makeup, buy an eyeshadow palette. Palettes can be expensive, especially on a college/young adult budget. Anastasia Beverly Hills palettes are some of the best, as are Tarte and Natasha Denona.

A luxe lip also makes a great gift or stocking stuffer. Charlotte Tilbury’s Pillowtalk lipstick is a cult-favorite because it just looks good on EVERYONE. This Fenty Beauty lip gloss set is on many a wishlist this year, as the formula has become a favorite of so many beauty lovers.

You really can’t go wrong with gifting any of Sephora’s holiday sets. Or, look into purchasing them a fragrance! I have a fragrance guide here.


What are you getting/gifting this Christmas? Let me know below!



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