Students share holiday shopping stress, rewards

Taylor Moore
Social Media Editor 

For many people, the holiday season can be stressful – since spending comes with gift-giving. Add on the stress of the crowds gathering at malls or other shopping venues for holiday sales, and holiday shopping can be chaotic.

That may be why roughly 57% of U.S. Consumers plan to forgo malls in favor of the screen for online shopping, according to a Statista survey, “Holiday shopping plans among consumers in the United States from 2015 to 2022, by channel.” 

Some this year are preferring online because of a recent uptick in COVID cases locally, or just out of habits developed during the past two pandemic-influenced holiday seasons.

According to a small informal survey among Southern California College at Cal State Fullerton, Cal State Long Beach, Cal Poly Pomona, Mt. San Antonio, Citrus College and La Verne, 10 out of 11 students said they will shop via a combination of online and in-person for the holidays this year. 

As for their reasons for shopping online, the most common responses had to do with good deals and convenience, as well as saving themselves time and stress. 

Samantha Leyland, a junior radiology major at Mt. San Antonio College, said she sticks to online shopping because of her busy schedule and the fact that she can do it last minute.

“(It’s) is easier with work because I don’t have time,” she said. 

Sebastian Ballester, senior kinesiology major at ULV, also primarily shops online during the holidays to mitigate stress and spending.

“I set a budget for each person individually,” he said. “I’m usually always saving,” he added. So holiday shopping “comes out of that money.” 

Despite the inconveniences, 10 out of 11 of the students said they look forward to buying gifts for their loved ones. And eight said they do not even bother setting a budget, they just focus on buying gifts they think their family or friends will like. 

“It’s always a special treat to shop for loved ones,” Peter Trinh, junior business major, said. “I try my best to set a budget for everyone so that no one feels like I’m spending too much on one person, but I end up going over budget anyway.” 

One student, Nicole Garcia, senior communications major at Cal State Fullerton, said she prefers shopping in person for nostalgia. 

“I truly love the stores just because it feels a little more holiday-ish,” she said. “It takes me back to my childhood, shopping with my mom and my sisters.”

Money can be a big worry for college students. When asked how they navigate financial stress while holiday shopping, eight students said they look for online deals or coupons to save. Seven said they start their shopping as early as possible to take advantage of early sales. Eleven students said they make a list of who they plan to shop for. 

All 11 students said they ask their loved ones for a list of gifts they might want before embarking on a holiday shopping spree. 

According to Oberlo, an online company that keeps up with the latest shopping trends, the latest data also shows that U.S. retail sales hit $1.9 trillion in the third quarter of 2022. This marks a 0.7% increase from the previous quarter and a 9.1% annual increase. Sales are expected to rise in the fourth quarter, as competitive retailers will increase their sales to draw in holiday customers. 

Taylor Moore can be reached at

Taylor Moore is a senior broadcast journalism major and Campus Times editor-in-chief for Spring 2024. In her sixth semester on Campus Times, she has served as the LV Life editor and social media editor twice, as well as a staff writer. She’s also worked on the University’s television news broadcast Foothill Community News as an anchor and reporter, and was a on-air personality for the University’s radio station 107.9 LeoFM.


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