Finding the perfect gift for your brother doesn’t have to be hard. It’s just a matter of picking the right one out or at least something he’ll like. If you’ve given him all the socks and hats his closet and dresser can hold, it may be time for an upgrade.
Switch up your tactics and get your brother one of these 10 gifts.
College student or not, your brother needs money. He hates debt like any other Joe. If helping him pay his student loans off doesn’t scream gift, then I don’t know what does. “I wish for someone to pay off my student loans,” said University of Central Florida sophomore Alex Duarte. Cheap and college are far from synonyms, (even if we wish they were). For that reason, help a “brotha” out and loan him some money, he’ll definitely thank you for it.
Keep sliding through the slideshow to get the full list of top 10!
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Written by Rosie Forster.
What screams masculinity more than total blind devotion to a sports team? Get him a jersey that displays his team proudly, whether it’s football, baseball or rugby. He’ll love you for it. “I was so surprised because I never thought [my sister] was listening when I was talking about baseball because she hates it. But she went out of her way to get me what I really wanted,” University of California, Los Angeles sophomore Austin Cook said.
Not everyone has access to a gym, and if your brother lifts (bro), he’ll appreciate a way to work out on the go. Get him some weights that he can keep in his dorm room for those days he’d rather stay in and watch Top Gun. As we all know, weights will keep gym junkies endlessly busy, and he’ll get muscles out of it (the ultimate gift to a macho man). He’ll thank you for keeping his bulking schedule on track.
13. A Keyboard
Do you want your brother to wreak havoc on the ears of everyone in his dorm? A keyboard will help your musically inclined brother reach his dreams of stardom. Even if he can’t read music, the ebony and ivory can gently push him into the profession. “My sister bought me my midi keyboard for my birthday and that’s my favorite thing I’ve ever gotten because I’m a f—king nerd,” Macquarie University sophomore Cal Maritz said. Get tone deaf brothers a poster of a keyboard instead so no one blames you for him waking up the dorms at 3 a.m. with his rendition of “Clocks” by Coldplay.
14. TV Show Merch
My brother’s favorite T-shirt proudly displays one of his favorite quotes of all time: “M as in Mancy” (bonus points if you can guess the show it’s from). Show him you’ve been listening to his slew of TV recommendations and get him something that he’ll actually like. Whether it’s a shirt, a World’s Best Boss mug or a Dothraki language guide (you’re welcome, GOT fanatics), he’ll love it. Not only does he already like the show, but your gift proves to him that you value his opinion.
A lot of siblings in college don’t get to hang out together for months at a time. Show them you truly love them by planning a day out together when you come home. Take him to a movie, a sports game or take him shopping. Watch the sunset if you like. Make time for him and be present. “The best gift I ever gave was being born,” UNSW sophomore Eliza Priest said. Cherish the fact that you have a lifelong connection to this person, and go beyond the occasional FaceTime call. Nick, when I come home, we’re going out for ice cream, even if you are lactose intolerant.
16. Concert Tickets
If your brother likes music (because who doesn’t like music?) and you have a few dollars to spare, grab him a ticket to his favorite band, or maybe a music festival. “My sister got me Coachella tickets. I got to meet so many new people, and it opened my world,” UCLA junior Kenny Nicholson said. If you have other siblings, pitch in together to give your brother the experience of a lifetime and cut down on the cost per person. If your brother nerds out more than he rocks out (because college students tend to be nerds), get him tickets to see a magic show or an art festival.
17. Duffel Bag
Give him another reason to come home and hang out with you. Buying your brother a quality piece of luggage will not only make him remember you when he goes on his frat retreat, but it’ll also make him feel guilty about living so far away. He’ll be more inclined to go traveling (hopefully with you) if he has a bag that’s both durable and stylish.
18. Handmade Crafts
If you have a heart of gold, break out the glitter and colored paper. Making your brother something by hand declares your love for him and looks great on his dorm room wall. “My sister made me a card. It opened my eyes, cause it showed how big a role I play in my sibling’s lives and how they look up to me,” UCLA freshman Jose Perez said. It doesn’t have to be a macaroni necklace, but even just writing something out by hand adds a personal touch that elevates your gift to the next level.
19. A Board Game
Families across cultures spend nights arguing over a game of Ticket to Ride or Clue. Get your brother a board game to take to college with him, and he’ll have an instant way to connect with his new floormates. It’ll make for a great reminder of you while away if he can remember all the times you fought over the game together. Before we had Words with Friends, we had Scrabble. Give him the gift of fun without the screen-induced headache.
20. Steam Gift Card
Steam is the ideal marketplace for every gamer. You can buy almost any PC game that ever existed and will exist in the future. Let your brother throwback to his favorite memories on Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic or test out the new graphics on Call of Duty: World War II.
Imagine being the only kid in the house for your mom to nag about a dirty room. You left to college and stranded your brother to face the parentals all alone. Let him drown out the nagging with a speaker that shakes the walls of the house in all his teenage angst.
If your brother thinks he needs to work on his ~aesthetic~ or his ~vibes~, indulge him by getting him a vinyl recording of his favorite album. Listening on vinyl sounds different than hearing the songs on Spotify, and he’ll thank you for a cool way to decorate his dorm. Who doesn’t love displaying their album covers proudly all over their walls? He’ll drown himself in nostalgia when he plays it, and you’ll be at the forefront of his mind as the person who gave it to him. If he doesn’t have a record player, get him that first, and then you’ll know what to get him for the rest of your life.
23. New Laptop
Don’t give him an excuse to forget to do his homework. There’s always a classmate who says the dog ate his homework. Don’t let that be your brother.
Worried your brother won’t remember you when he leaves for college? Make him a photobook of all the photos you have of the two of you together. Even the toughest of bros will tear up when he’s presented with a book of touching memories. “Every page was a new age/important moment and then I added a blank page at the end to represent his blank canvas for the future for him to write his own history,” UNSW sophomore Eliza Priest said. Add some Polaroids for extra nostalgia.
Alexa is the mom you can’t have in college. Let her remind you to do your homework every day or play music to keep your mind mellow.
26. A power tie
Give your bro the nudge he needs to interview for his dream job and ditch the secretary position at your dad’s office. Power ties are typically red or yellow. Give him a few ties to show that you believe he can land the job and actually have a need for multiple snazzy ties.
Maybe he dreams of becoming a Grammy-winning producer. Maybe he has an annoying roommate (AKA you) that snores up a symphony every night. Either way, he’ll need headphones to feel the beat and block out the world.
28. Protein Powder
Time to bulk up, dude. Your gym rat brother wants to make gains for his new SO and you can help him do it the healthy way.
29. Dress Shirt
: Price Varies
Buy your brother what he needs but won’t spend money on willingly. A classy dress shirt can be used at career fairs, internships or even a fancy family dinner. And if you find him a “non iron” shirt, he won’t show up to any of these places a disheveled mess.
30. Nerf Gun
No matter your age, a Nerf war can and will break out this holiday season. Prepare your brother for the game of a lifetime… or just get it for yourself and take the win for yourself.
*Updated on October 11, 2017 by Rosie Forster to include gifts 11-21.
*Updated December 4, 2017 to include even more gifts your brother will love.