Shopping for gifts before the holiday season can often be difficult. For college students, who are preparing for finals or writing term papers, holiday shopping can be especially difficult. Between limited time, limited transportation, and limited money, college students face greater difficulties than most. Pittsburgh college students are especially likely to face difficulties because there are few major malls near the five universities in the city. The following are some of the best places for Pittsburgh university students to shop quickly and easily during the holiday season.
School Stores – Students often overlook it, but parents and relatives are proud of them. A sweatshirt or hat with the logo of the college is usually an appreciated gift by any family member. Both Carnegie Mellon (CMU) and the University of Pittsburgh (Pitt) will allow students to use student funds to pay for items from the respective school stores and nearly every school store has holiday discounts. Shopping at a school store can allow the holiday shopping to be complete in minutes, with practically no hassle.
Walnut Street – There is a small strip of shops on Walnut Street in Shadyside that has a surprisingly wide selection of shopping options. Walnut Street is less than a mile from Chatham and only slightly over 2 miles from Pitt and CMU. Plenty of public buses run to Shadyside, as do the private transit systems of the universities. Walking is also an option if the weather is nice. The quaint shops on Walnut Street sell clothing and knick knacks that are just about perfect for holiday gifts and the various restaurants in the area are a good place for a moderately priced lunch.
Waterfront -The Waterfront is an outdoor mall that also has numerous restaurants and entertainment options. The popularity of the mall is such that there is a bus that runs directly from the Oakland area, where the universities are, to the Waterfront at regular intervals. Of the various malls within a 15 mile radius of Pittsburgh, this is basically the only one that can be reached conveniently without a car. The wide selection of entertainment and dining makes a shopping trip to the Waterfront perfect for a day trip. Enjoying a movie or Dave & Busters will help alleviate some of the stress of shopping. As for the actual shopping, the Waterfront is a great place to buy clothing, electronics, sporting equipment, and perfumes. The variety should cover any holiday shopping needs.
Forbes and Murray – Within a block of this intersection there are about fifty stores. Like Walnut Street, this shopping area is walking distance for Chatham and CMU students and an easy bus ride for other students. In fact, nearly half the major bus lines run near or stop at this intersection. This particular shopping location is somewhat unique because there are multiple jewelry stores here. In addition, there is a good gift shop that sells cards, which is a very cheap way to show appreciation for a cash strapped college student.