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15th December 2021

Student Gift Guide

The Mancunion have compiled a gift guide so you can ensure to find the perfect gift for any student personality
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Student Gift Guide
Photo: PxHere

Contributors: Libby Elliot, Jonathan Hadfield, Erin Botten

Christmas is around the corner, meaning Secret Santa gifts are fast approaching. This season, The Mancunion’s in-depth scientific research has unveiled what people are really pining for this year. From Activists to Jocks, we’ve got you covered.


Rarely seen outside of the kitchen, the chef acts as though they’re the next Heston Blumenthal. They live for their next dish, and won’t hesitate to boast about it. Luckily, they’re easy to buy for. First off, we recommend the Comfort MOB Cookbook (£13.74) with really easy wintery and student-friendly recipes. If you want to spice up their utensils, you have two options: a stainless steel ball whisk (£5.99) OR a Microplane (£6). Ball whisks are easier to clean and look proper fancy. Microplanes however are adored by chefs, allowing them to up their parmesan game. The most important thing of all though, is a nice jumbo bottle of Fairy Liquid (£2), to encourage them to actually clean up after using every single utensil in the drawer for their creations.


Only waking up for ‘pres’, the drinkers are always either drunk or hungover. Why not feed into their borderline concerning habit this season with light-up shot glasses (£10.99) or a booze belt (£12.99). This will definitely make them look super cool – at least in their eyes. For a late night treat, grab a pack of cigs (£9.50 roughly, although The Mancunion does not condone smoking) and a pot noodle (£1) to keep them warm in between benders. Also, why not treat them to some Aldi Bellucci Amaretto (£6.99). Although, they’ll drink anything to be honest.


Jocks have somehow made sports and high levels of testosterone their personality trait. They’re well known to be about things that are more than skin-deep… so why not get them some weights (£14.99) to help them boost what’s just beneath their skin, it’s what’s on the inside that counts after all. A book on how to cope with making less money than those they bullied in secondary school would probably be useful too; Teaching Primary PE (£13.67) will help with that. If they love some cardio, they’ll be grateful for a bumper-pack of extra-small condoms this year (£2.95). Lastly, you can’t go wrong with a tennis ball (£1). It’ll be sure to keep them entertained for hours!


Artists can be hard to please. It’s almost a guarantee that they’ve been receiving ‘art kits’ from relatives for years now, so here are some abstract gift ideas. Firstly, to become a true artist, a beret is a must (£10), alongside a tote bag (FREE at your local freshers fair). This will obviously need to be followed up by a bottle of wine, purely to get their artistic juices flowing (from £3). Why not gift them a bag of pencil stubs (available at all good local primary schools) – they’ll love the challenge! Finally, if you really want to take them back to their roots, Crayola pens (£3) and A3 paper (£3) would be perfect. Though frankly, anything Wes Anderson related is a safe bet.


Fierce objectors to Kindles, bookworms spend most of their time inhaling pages. If you want to leave your mark, I suggest a bookmark with your face on it (£6). Or maybe introduce them to the Good Reads app (free) – they’ll be captivated for days. Bookworms, particularly English students, also seem to fear breaking book spines. Be charitable this season and end their suffering with a book holder (£2.99). Or better still, gift them a Waterstones gift card – they find these utterly orgasmic… Or to help them find that special someone, why not splash our on a Premium Bumble account (£16.99), so they can boast to indie girls who study Art History about how many James Joyce works they’ve read.


After a long day of eating the rich, activists like to settle down with a good book, while the Antiques Roadshow plays in the background. For this I recommend Women Don’t Owe You Pretty (£14.99). This easy read will coax their ‘saviourship’ mentality, having them believe they can be the next Gloria Steinem in no time. To fight climate change, why not buy them a plant? The bigger, the better we say, that’s the same as saving the rainforest right? Or, how about some superglue (£4.79), to help them stick themselves to the front doors of oil company head offices. You could also help your activist pal say they’re an ally without saying they’re an ally with some cruelty free blue hair dye (£4.95) and Luna’s vinyl stickers (£1-£2), both found inside Afflecks, or, just get them a megaphone (£8.97).

Beauty Guru

Is it makeup or do they just naturally have sparkly pink eyelids? Beauty gurus look damn fine either way, and they know it. Keep these gurus on fleek with The Ordinary’s super popular peeling solution (£6.30), keeping their skin in check. Plant-based sheet masks (£3.70) are also handy. A ring light is a must for them to take those killer shots for their 12 beauty Insta followers. Personally, you can’t go wrong with some lippy. My favourite is MAC’s velvet lipsticks (£15.75) that work well on their own or with gloss. The most practical gift however are bamboo makeup pads (£5.99). Not only are they cheaper in the long run, but they’ll save you from a bathroom bin full of infinite cotton pads when they try to remove those 15 layers of contour. Another benefit is that they are reusable and sustainably grown so they don’t kill the planet – ding dong!

Music Maestro

Either party-loving or smart alecs, maestros live and breathe music. God forbid they go deaf from standing next to the speaker five nights a week. These guys love new bands, and the closest place to find them are at the SU’s academies. Head to the Students’ Union to grab a leaflet and see what’s on. Glow sticks (99p) are a must for these gigs. They can make the biggest of music snobs look more approachable or even datable, though I can’t make promises. However, a music lover’s Kryptonite is a keyboard tie (£2.99) – it makes them feel *special*. Finally, nothing makes a maestro feel more powerful than p**sing straight into an LED loo (£10).

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