College. Ugh. Nonstop, privileged toil. Growing up is sooooo hard. Days without sleep, binge-drinking, experimenting with bodies—it's a miracle that anyone learns anything. These gifts won't print a diploma, but they will help your student earn one.
The laptop's reign as the must-have college accessory has ended. The iPad is king. It does pretty much everything your stressed-out friend could want in a lighter, more readalicious package. Make sure you load it with apps like Goodreader, which enables you to easily read and annotate virtually any document. $500-$830 [Apple]
Unfortunately, even with an iPad's productivity boost, students are still going to be burning the midnight/early-morning oil. Coffee is fine, if your like ulcers, and let's face it, tea just doesn't get the job done. Help your stressed-out friend discover the stuff that's been kicking Argentinian gauchos in the chaps for ages. Maté is highly caffeinated, easy to brew, and won't make you feel all poopy. Keep the maté flowing and it'll keep your student's head from hitting the desk. $30 [Guayaki]
Speaking of desks, students spend a lot of time sitting at them—even if it might kill them. But not all seats are created equal. Give your student a balance ball, which provides the benefits of a standing desk without that all that awkward standing. Okay, so maybe it's still goofy looking but at least this Gaiam system helps mitigate some of the silliness—and keeps the ball from rolling out rom under you. $100 [Gaiam]
If sitting were your student's only health risk, they'd be in great shape. A nasty case of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is never more than a hastily typed 5,000 word paper away. Regularly exercising fingers and wrists with the Gripmaster Pro can help keep crippled joints at bay. Beyond working the whole hand and forearm, the Gripmaster Pro can also train individual fingers. Your student will thank you for his GI-Joe kung fu grip. $14 [Amazon]
We can't over-emphasize the stress-reducing effects of exercise, but self-medication is so much easier. Help them hit that the, er, homeopathy hard with the most practical vaporizer in the world. The Magic Flight Launch Box is portable enough to mellow them out whenever and wherever the anxiety emergency arises. Plus it's efficient, so your student can save some of his other green for more... medicinals. $119 [Magic Flight]
Concerts are a timeless college tradition. But coming up with enough scratch to enjoy a throbbing cacophonous crowd can be tough, especially when you've got all of Ticketmaster's annoyingly arbitrary fees to deal with. Help your student find his or her aural satisfaction with a Ticketmaster gift card. Varies [Ticketmaster]
Listening to music isn't nearly as soul-expanding as playing music (especially when you've got that vaporizer going). There's nothing like a good jam to chase off the blues. Your student has no talent you say? That's why God created drum circles. Just a few sharp downward slaps to this simple bongo set, and they can experience the benefits of this trustafarian tradition. $44 [Amazon]
Drumming, concerts, and parties are exhausting, if you're doing them right. So if your student is ever going to get any work done, he'll need a comfy place for a nappy nap. Without mommy to tuck him in, the ENO Doublenest hammock will do. Bonus: the hammock can serve as your student's first home—in the middle of the local park— when he graduates and realizes his journalism degree ain't worth the paper it's printed on. Welcome, my son, to the 99 percent. $65 [ENO]
Nothing beats stress like a good night's sleep. Unfortunately your student probably lives with sex-crazed, alcoholic lunatics, and silence in a dorm room is rarer than unobtainium. Fortunately, this electro-mechanical white noise generator will fill his ears with so many monotonic, sleep-inducing audio-waves that he won't even notice if his roommate's making whoopee directly above his head. $55-$70 [Marpac]
Hyperbole aside, there will be times when even noise conditioners just won't cut it. That's where the V-Moda Crossfade headphones come in. You're probably confused as to how a bass-heavy pair of over-the-ear headphones could possibly help you sleep. After all, they're far too large to wear to bed. Thing is, they're not for your student, at least not directly. But any time they can't sleep because the subwoofer next door is rattling their bones, they knock on the door and offer to let them borrow your headphones. Crisis averted, friend made, A+. $199 [V-Moda]
Still haven't found the right present? Don't worry, we're here all month with a new gift guide every day—right up until the last minute. To see 'em all, head on over to #GiftGuide.