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Here’s seven alternative presents to gift an Exeter student for Christmas

Have yourself a merry little Exe-mas


The Exeter Christmas Markets are finally open, the sparkling lights are glittering along Fore Street and obnoxiously large scarfs are to be seen everywhere in the Forum. That can only mean one thing: That Christmas is right around the corner. With Michael Buble and Mariah Carey fully defrosted, we have well and truly entered the holiday season. But in this time of love, peace and joy, comes the absolute mayhem of buying your family and friends gifts, especially when you have spent your whole student loan on Venoms and FIXR tickets all year long.

The struggle for what to buy your friends for Christmas is real. Especially with the cozzy livs meaning you can only gift a heartfelt hug to show your Christmassy appreciation of them. Or perhaps a Quality Street if you’re feeling generous. But if you want to really step up your Christmas present game and surprise your mates in the upcoming Secret Santa, fear not. Here is a list of all the alternative presents to give to an Exeter student. Hopefully, this list will make you step into Christmas without sending you into your overdraft.

1. Dating advice

This present is for those who cannot spot the red flags in their love life. This present is for your delulu friends who believe that their Hinge match Ben who does rugby, attends every TP Wednesday and leaves them on delivered for three days is “different” and that they can “fix him”. Let’s be so for real. He’s not going to change and is probably more devoted to securing a TP Wednesday ticket than securing a committed, serious relationship.

Although you probably already lecture this friend every single Monday as they cry in the Fever toilets over their current situationship, this present of professional dating advice may save your breath. You know this friend has the absolute worst taste when it comes to choosing the right person for them. They may always go back to their casual, non-serious situationship who only hits them up when it’s 2am and leaves them on delivered for the rest of the week, but your friend claims they are “the one”.

Or they may opt for dating their flatmate/housemate which, as we all know, never really ends well for them, or the other people you live with. So, with the gift of dating advice from a professional and not you (for once) it’s a win win situation. You get to save time by not having to recite the same “there’s so many fish in the sea” speech. And your friend can finally get their head out the clouds and broaden their horizons beyond the Rugby team.

Or they may opt for dating their flatmate/housemate which, as we all know, never really ends well for them, or the other people you live with. So, with the gift of dating advice from a professional and not you (for once) it’s a win win situation. You get to save time by not having to recite the same “there’s so many fish in the sea” speech. And your friend can finally get their head out the clouds and broaden their horizons beyond the Rugby team.

Urban Outfitters is a fashion staple among all Exeter students. The Forum is constantly flooded with an array of Josie tops, Iets Fran gilets and BDG jeans, all on their way to order their oat milk vanilla latte from Pret. Urban is the place to make your wardrobe proper “Exetah”. After your first term at UoE, there is no doubt that 50 per cent of your wardrobe belongs to Urban Outfitters with piles of black Urban shopping bags floating around as you just HAD to get a bag to show everyone that you went to Urban.

For your friend who is always dressed head to toe in Urban and is basically a walking, talking advert for the shop, this Christmas present is for them: An Urban Outfitters gift card. The perfect gift to fund their Josie top collection. By giving this gift card to your Urban addict fiend, they can splash out the cash as much as they want without feeling like they have spent money (girl math!).

By giving the gift of a gift card, your friend can stop putting themselves in their overdraft by constantly buying new Urban corset tops and parachute pants for every Sketch Friday. Hopefully, they can actually spend their saved money on their food shop and books rather than breaking the bank on another faux fur Urban jacket, but in a different colour.

3. TP Wednesday ticket

The gift of a TP Wednesday ticket would put a smile on any Exeter student’s face. Getting a TP Wednesday ticket is like gold dust nowadays. With TP getting stricter on their ticket regulations by not allowing screenshots, it means it’s become even harder to secure a night dancing away with sweaty rugby boys with a green TP Venom in hand.

Giving the gift of a getting a TP Wednesday ticket with zero hassle would be a dream for all Exeter students. Imagine a world where £6 tickets weren’t being resold for £50 for no apparent reason by students. Imagine a world where John Smith’s don’t scam you on Messenger as they are actually a random person located in Nigeria and managed to rob you of £20 for a ticket. Imagine a world where tickets didn’t sell out within a second just to go to TimePiece. Us Exeter students can only dream. To actually secure a TP Wednesday ticket is a Christmas miracle in itself.

4. A considerate flatmate

In your time at the University of Exeter, you will encounter all different types of people. Especially, the flatmates/housemates who have never cleaned a day in their life. You may have had that one person in your first year accommodation or, perhaps, they even live with you in your final year house. There is always just one person. They always leave their dirty dishes everywhere and claim they are just “soaking”. They easily wake up you and the whole street at 5am as they slam each door in the house as they don’t know what the concept of being “quiet” is. They can drop half a bag of rice on the floor and decide to just leave it there rather than hoover it up: new decoration for the kitchen!

In an ideal world, we all wish for more considerate people to live with. It can become super frustrating having to constantly indirect them on the group chat with the same text of “can you keep the noise down?” or “can someone else take the bins out?”. This person can make a big scene when you ask them to do a bit of cleaning, they will act like you just asked them for an arm and a leg. For Christmas, the perfect gift for you and the rest of your frustrated housemates, is a considerate housemate. Someone who can actually recognise that their mug, that they have left on the side for three weeks, is starting to collect mould…

5. Waitrose loyalty card

At UoE, Exeter students are completely divided by which supermarket they choose to do their weekly food shop in. Some opt for Sainsbury’s, some opt for Iceland, some opt for Aldi, and some opt for Tesco just so they can use their Clubcard to feel like they’re Martin Lewis. But, for others, the more “elite” kind: they will always opt for Waitrose. Regardless of how big or small their budget is (or if their daddy is funding for their smoked salmon and avocado addiction).

The students who do their food shop at Waitrose want the best of the best. They look for the finest quality in their food and drink. They are what makes the “Exetah” stereotype a real-life thing. Anyone who shops at Waitrose will make it KNOWN that they shop at Waitrose. They are always itching to tell you that their sun dried tomatoes are from Waitrose. They cannot wait to cook their freshly caught haddock for their average Monday night dinner.

If your friend is an avid Waitrose enjoyer, you can guarantee that the Waitrose loyalty card would make their Christmas 10 times better. By gifting your upmarket friend a Waitrose loyalty card, they can enjoy their Waitrose’s finest turkey for their Christmas dinner and use their weekly food shop to try get some Waitrose benefits. After all, they are dedicated to Waitrose through and through. They don’t let the cost of living affect them. With their new loyalty card, they can finally show their commitment to their much beloved Waitrose.

6. Hot water bottle

As the cozzy livs have impacted all of us, this can only mean that the heating has gone up tenfold. We have well and truly entered the cold, winter months where it is dark all the time, it is raining, snowing and people are slipping all over the place on Sidwell Street. As you’re in your freezing cold house, it gets to the point where you have ran out of jumpers, hoodies, blankets, hats and gloves to feel some kind of warmth. When you can no longer feel the tips of your fingers, you know this can only mean one thing. It’s time to ask the ultimate question: “Can we turn the heating on for a bit?”. Which, almost always, results in a hard “no, stick on another jumper”.

Winter is always tough for Exeter students. The heating decides to stop working completely, the boiler decides to hibernate and the once hot water turns bitterly cold: Making your showers feel more like an endurance test rather than a time of relaxation. To help you and your freezing housemates, the gift of a hot water bottle is always the best solution. A hot water bottle is not only cost-efficient, but it is also super snuggly, comfy and, most importantly, warm! Even though it may leak on your bed multiple times, at least you can feel some sensation in your fingers again. Your friends will most certainly beam with Christmas joy when they see that they have been gifted a new, fluffy hot water bottle as their Secret Santa.

7. Vapes

This Christmas present is bound to make 99 per cent of Exeter students happy and merry. As most Exeter students are always equipped with a Lost Mary in one hand and a coffee in another, what more could they want than to be gifted with more vapes. Especially as the one they bought yesterday has already run out.