The ultimate gift guide for the NYU student in your life

If you’re wondering what your Violet wants for the holidays, look no further.


Jennifer Ren

(Jennifer Ren for WSN)

Alexa Donovan, Staff Writer

With the holidays just around the corner and Black Friday sales starting soon, you may find yourself wondering what to get that NYU student you know and love for the holidays. For the student that spends all of their time at 404 Fitness or someone who can’t live without their expensive New York City coffees, this gift guide has it all. 

For the avid reader

McNally Jackson Reader Reward Card: If the biggest bookworm you know is looking to save some money on their literature, look no further. McNally Jackson, an iconic bookstore with four locations across New York City, offers a 10% discount for every member purchase. The membership also includes a discount to their stationary store, Goods For The Study.


A photo of the interior of a bookstore featuring a bookshelf with titles like “Easy Speedy Vegan,” “Mamacita,” “Bake it Slice it Eat it,” “Mission Vegan,” “Home Food,” “Cooking from the Spirit,” “Make Every Dish Delicious,” among others.
(Amory Gao for WSN)

Strand tote: A symbol for everyone to know they read and buy their books at one of the coolest bookstores in the city. 

All-access New York Magazine subscription: New York Magazine is always a great read for all things New York City. This subscription gives readers access to the general magazine, the Cut, Strategist, Vulture, Grub Street and Intelligencer. So much depth and breadth in one subscription! 

For the student who still takes notes by hand

Muji pens: A popular stationery brand near campus, Muji’s range of pens write smoothly, never bleed and give students some street credit. A refill is also easily available to Washington Square campus students, with the Cooper Square store just a 10-minute walk from the park. 


The interior of a shop with a large shelf by a brick wall with notebooks of different sizes displayed on it. At the top right corner is a large poster with text “MUJI GIFT” in all-caps and an illustration of a small house. A customer is picking notebooks standing under the poster.
(Jennifer Ren for WSN)

Mon Carnet de Poche notebook: If this note-taker loves the feeling of an old book, a notebook filled with uneven, rough pages is a perfect present for them. With a mix of ruled pages, grid paper and plain pages, the notebook will check all of their paper needs. 

Smart notebooks: Paper everywhere in your bag can be very bothersome — smart notebooks are the perfect solution. With a smart notebook, notes can be written in the same way and feel as on paper, but can later be accessed on a laptop or phone. Some noteworthy brands to shop for are Moleskin and Rocketbook.

For the 404 Fitness gym fanatic

NYU workout gear: The NYU Bookstore offers tons of university gear perfect for working out. With NYU clothing from brands like Beyond Yoga, Champion, Lululemon, Nike and Under Armour to choose from, there are so many options for the 404-frequenter in your life.


The interior of a shop with stacks of clothing and a mannequin on the right. The clothes are primarily purple, with some of them with the text “N.Y.U.”
(Yuna Baek for WSN)

Noise-canceling headphones: While the sounds of New York City invigorate many, they might not be for everyone. If this gym-goer likes to work out to their own music, headphones that allow them to escape the city are essential. 

Massage guns and foam rollers: Really, anyone who lives in New York could use these products to ease their muscle pain and tension. Walking everywhere, especially in addition to working out, can really take a toll on someone’s body. Nobody will be unhappy to ease their muscle pain.

For the coffee addict

Electric kettle: If your NYU student is always in a rush and prefers cost-efficient caffeinating, an electric kettle is the way to go. Everyone has specific tastes, so maybe let them choose the coffee grinds to go along with their piping hot water. You can go the classic route, with a Cuisinart or Hamilton Beach, or you can opt for a pop of color with a HADEN.

A gift card to a coffee shop near campus: If they like to treat themselves and get their cup of joe on the go, there will be nothing better than a coffee-shop fund. Some local NYU favorites include Madman Espresso, The Bean NYC, Think Coffee and La Colombe Coffee Roasters.

For the dorm chef


Against a white and blue flowery background is a red-covered book with black titles that read "The New York times Cooking No-Recipe Recipes Sam Sifton."
(Chanelle Chong for WSN) 

The New York Times Cooking No-Recipe Recipes cookbook: This national bestseller is perfect for students living on campus or in a cramped apartment. This book makes cooking easy, listing over 100 recipes, featuring everything from pasta to steak tacos. Ingredients can be easily substituted; in fact, your student chef won’t even need to go to the store to make these dishes.

Nostalgia MyMini Personal Sandwich Maker: This little appliance will easily tuck into a tiny dorm well and is useful for those without a kitchen. The sandwich maker is perfect for little pizzas, quesadillas and paninis. 

Anyday: This glass cookware company is designed to free up your time by tapping into the unexpected magic of the microwave. The silicone rim locks moisture in and the vented knob design releases excess pressure while cooking in the microwave or oven. For the student without a kitchen or who just wants to save on time, making shakshuka, coconut rice noodles, pasta and cookies has never been easier. 

For the Manhattan resident who takes classes at Jay Street 

Karecel rechargeable hand warmers: The frigidity of long commutes looms as winter creeps in, and whether you’re on the subway or shuttle, having a source of warmth — even if it’s just a small battery — will make all the difference. These small hand warmers will make the commute so much easier.

New York Times Games subscriptions: With this subscription, the recipient will have access to over 10,000 crossword puzzles, in addition to other NYT’s specialty games including Spelling Bee, Tiles, Letter Boxed, Vertex and the classic Sudoku to play on their journey across the bridge.

At the end of the day, any gift that you receive as a college student won’t go unnoticed. I wish you much luck in your gift-giving endeavor, and I hope that the NYU student in your life will love whatever it is that you choose to give them.

Contact Alexa Donovan at [email protected].