Creative Birthday Gifts for College Students

Creative Birthday Gifts for College Students

Creative Birthday Gifts for College Students

Celebrating a birthday while away at college can be a fun experience, or a bit of a downer. Some schools provide a birthday cake to students, or a card in their mailbox, but other schools may not celebrate much, which leaves it up to the student and their friends. As a friend or family member, being away from your student on their birthday can be difficult.

Try celebrating with these creative birthday gifts for college students. Doing something like sending a party in a box or sending dessert in the mail with be something they won’t forget. Alternatively you could send sentimental gifts like a birthday card for each year you’ve celebrated together and continue making new memories while apart.

Party in a box

One way to celebrate with your college student is to send a party in a box. This can be a regular cardboard shipping box but inside you put all the things one would need to celebrate a birthday. Items to include could be decorations like balloons, streamers, party hats and dining supplies, as well as money for pizza and dessert.


Assorted Color Balloons Emoji Birthday Party SuppliesAs we get older, birthdays tend to be more about a meal and less about décor, but it’s fun to throwback to younger times and send your student some party supplies. Balloons are a birthday must and can be blown up, then taped to the student’s bedroom door. Streamers are another great birthday item to decorate a common area or the dorm room. Sending party hats and some paper plates and cups will remind your student of previous parties, and will make it easier to celebrate this one with new friends.

LolliZ Party HatsRainbow Crepe Streamer


What’s a birthday party without pizza? Most college campuses receive discounts on the weekends with local pizza shops, which makes it easy for your student to celebrate with friends. Including some pizza money or a gift card in your party box will round out the party and help your student celebrate. It’s also a good excuse to get off campus or order in, something many students may not have time to do or a reason to explore otherwise.


dessert mixA classic birthday item is the dessert. From a cake to cupcakes or ice cream, most parties aren’t complete without one. Sending a dessert can be tricky but if the student has a kitchen you may want to include a cake or brownie mix and a pan to bake in. Alternatively you could include an extra gift card to an ice cream shop or the grocery store to pick one up before the party. If you’re feeling especially creative an option may be to order one at their local grocery store and pay over the phone. Sending your student to pick up their own cake will be an added surprise and shows that you really thought of everything to make their birthday special.


The most memorable part of any birthday is the treats. Many celebrate with a classic birthday cake, while others prefer cookies or brownies. If your student is a fan of cupcakes there’s a way to send them gourmet cupcakes in the mail. Many bakeries have websites online that allow you to customize a cupcake package and send it to any recipient. Receiving these cupcakes is quite the event, from the large decorated box to digging in and finding a dozen professionally decorated treats. This is a creative way to celebrate with your student and treat them to something on a day they may have otherwise neglected while away from home.

Birthday cards

Birthday cardsbirthday cards are a must when it comes to celebrating another year. A creative way to share this special day with your student is to send clever birthday cards in a variety of ways. Sending more than one card either in the mail or as a bundle in a package will bring some spontaneity and fun to an otherwise low-key birthday.

X cards for X years

Instead of giving one card to celebrate the day, sending as many cards as they are celebrating years! This can be a fun way to get creative and share memories of past birthdays as well as treat your student with a variety of gift cards or dollar bills in each one. An even more creative way to celebrate would be to send each card individually, filling up their school mailbox with love. Getting mail at school is often a treat and getting a full box on a birthday is an added bonus.

Card bundle

Another way to uniquely celebrate with cards is to send a card bundle. You could pick out a few different cards, like a funny one, sentimental one, and one celebrating their age. Write a different message in each and bundle them together with some ribbon. You could also do one card per gift if you’re sending a few gifts in one package to make each item that much more special.

Another fun option is to divide their age into an even number and send several cards. For example, if the student is turning 20, send two cards celebrating their 10th birthday twice (10 + 10 = 20). Something with this level of creativity will make the birthday celebration even more special and memorable.

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