Monday, 15 December 2014

An Honest Wish List: What University Students Actually Want for Christmas

Holiday Gifts for Students

Get out your advent calendars folks! Christmas and the whole holiday season of mass consumerism are now under about a week away. Though most students are likely more focused on surviving finals, if you are anything like me, you’ve probably started planning your gift giving and receiving- ‘tis the season after all.

Though spreading love through gifts can be rewarding and fun, the whole culture of “presents” around this time of year also makes for a lot of potentially awkward scenarios.  Gift-givers get stuck figuring out whether their parents will accept another macaroni frame, or what level of gift is appropriate for the relationship they’ve just entered. Gift-receivers often have to feign a smile when opening their crazy aunt’s good-intended-going-directly-to-the-back-of-their-closet gifts.  To avoid that whole mess, I’ve created an honest wish list from your average University student. 

1. A 4.0

Keep calm and get a 4.0 GPA

Dear family and friends: all we want for Christmas is that 4.0, with a ribbon on it. For all the slaving away we do throughout the term, there would honestly be nothing that could trump the glorious gift of a transcript full of A’s. If only… 

2. Less Homework/ Finals?

All exams have been cancelled - Harry Potter
Image courtesy of mugglenet.tumblr

While you’re at it, could you perhaps get us on our prof’s “nice list” for a little less homework? Maybe you could even convince him/her to cancel the final indefinitely. Who needs academic assessment anyways? We’ll understand the true meaning of Christmas the morning we get mass emails proclaiming, “all finals have been cancelled, forever.”  

3. Coffee! (Or tea, or other caffeinated forms of sustenance) 

The gift of coffee
Image courtesy of Amazon

If you can’t directly foster our GPAs, perhaps you could give us the next best thing- the energy to study. All things coffee, as in things to buy it, make it, transport it and keep it warm, would do very nicely. Ahem, Keurig please!

4. Food in General

Study Snacks
Image courtesy of

On the topic of nourishment, we wouldn’t mind some study snacks either, but, for free. An endless supply of them would be ideal.  Stuff that won’t make us too unhealthy while sitting staring at books all day would be great too. So, yeah, never-ending, healthy, free snacks should cover it.

5. Textbook Funding

Text Book Money
Image courtesy of

Speaking of the books we shed tears over during exam season, did you know they cost like hundreds of dollars?! Again, to indirectly contribute to our academic success, we would love to have funds for the 15-pound pages of knowledge we carry around in our backpacks all semester, even if we don’t actually read them until the day before the midterm. 

6. Insta-fitness

Get Fit
Image courtesy of The Coveteur

In addition to keeping our heads above water with our school workloads, society somehow expects us to be healthy and have good self-image too. Hitting the gym two times a week with a full course load? Ain’t nobody got time for that. Help us help ourselves by maybe giving us a workout class, a gym buddy, or a healthy diet (see point 3). A magic spell for insta-fitness works too.

7. A Snow Day

Why don't we get snow days?
Image courtesy of

We know we are supposed to have adjusted to this frigid climate already, but maybe just once, we could get away with having a real stay-home-from-school Snow Day.  Sometimes we just need a little bit of a break so we can catch up on our sleep, and Netflix (and homework, of course). If you could help us overcome the tiring effort of bundling up to weather the weather and pay attention in class in hibernation-mode, we’ll probably work twice as hard the next day.  Until this happens we’ll just be counting down until the next long weekend, and be bringing heated blankets to school.

Perhaps all the average University student wants for Christmas is some time off school to spend with loved ones. But then again, maybe not. Let us know what your ideal Christmas wish list consists of! We hope you receive all your heart’s desires this holiday season!

----About the Author


My name is Kiera and I’m a fourth year Biological Sciences student with an English minor, trying to keep life interesting. I like to consider myself a glass-half-full type, and am most at peace spending quality time with loved ones (with a little wine and cheese on hand). When I’m not trying to balance my student group with studying, I am testing out different hobbies, slowly working towards becoming a jack-of-all-trades and master of none.

I am drawn to creativity and adventure, which there seems to be an abundance of amongst the U of A’s bright students. I hope to shed light on some of the inspirational individual stories that have resulted from unique campus opportunities, and also hope to encourage other students to tap into one of the many meaningful learning opportunities that are available outside of the classroom. I hope you’ll join me in celebrating the U of A’s stories that make our campus community so rich with experience and opportunity. 


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