Graduation gifts are a great opportunity to provide many different messages to the graduate: hope for the future, the celebration of a job well done, excitement at the multitude of opportunities that lie ahead, and so much more! The completion of an academic degree is an enormous accomplishment and one that should be celebrated. This guide is meant to offer creative ideas on meaningful and fun gifts that are sure to leave the graduate pleased.
If the graduate is going off to college, this will be a time of increased responsibility, such as doing laundry. Purchasing a laundry tote, perhaps one that doubles as a laundry hamper and small container for detergent can be a practical gift. This gift can be made more fun by pairing with the book, Do Your Laundry or You’ll Die Alone: Advice Your Mom Would Give if She Thought You Were Listening. This little gem is full of practical tips, offered in a humorous way, for a graduate launching into adult life. A zip ID case with a keychain is a great gift, and options are widely available; either with the college logo on it or from a designer such as Vera Bradley.
A few other gifts to enhance dorm life are flip-flops, slippers, or socks to wear around the dorm. There are some humorous socks currently for sale with quarantine reminders, pictures of toilet paper, and hand sanitizer. On that note, a bottle or two of hand sanitizer would not be a bad idea! If apartment-living is on the horizon, then adding toilet paper to the gift would also be pandemic practical. A thoughtful and fun book to add to a gift like this would be Goodnight Dorm Room: All the Advice I Wish I Got Before Going to College.
With the reliance on technology that today’s youth have, any tech gifts would likely be well-received. A new phone or laptop is always a great choice. A lightweight charger to accompany this would allow for portability. Another tech idea is a Polaroid camera, like the Fujifilm INSTAX® camera to capture all of those fun college memories. Do not forget to add in a package or two of extra film.
Also, keep stress-relief in mind. Give an essential oil diffuser with a set of stress-relieving oils such as lavender, bergamot, or lemongrass. If the root cause of one’s stress is homesickness, Uncommon Goods offers Homesick candles, which can be personalized with different states – perfect for the graduate moving out of state. This concept, though, can be used with any candle, simply offering the gift with the encouragement for them to light it when they miss family and friends. Sleep can be difficult to come by when stress levels are high as well, so a weighted blanket and an eye mask can be helpful in this area.
As college and early adulthood are not always times of great cash flow, offering gift cards to local eateries or coffee shops can be fitting. If there are highly specific, independent restaurants that do not offer gift cards, provide a promise of a forthcoming shared meal at that restaurant. A unique addition to those gift cards could be a hammock in which to relax after being filled with a delicious and free meal.
For those college-bound graduates, almost any merchandise that has their new college logo will likely be appreciated. Clothing such as T-shirts, sweatshirts, and lounge pants are typical favorites, as well as accessories such as stickers, notebooks, and hats.
Journals and Stationery
The season following high school graduation can be a time for great self-reflection as well as social and emotional growth, as one navigates potentially new and different relationships. A leather-bound journal is a nice gift if the graduate enjoys writing, or a daily gratitude journal, especially for the difficult times that can come with lessons learned during those post-graduation days. Another perfect gift for the reflective graduate is a product called letters to my future self, which is a paper time-capsule. This item can be found on Amazon.com, and includes prompts for letters, as well as writing space, a place to write the date on which the letter was written, as well as a date that the letter is to be opened. An additional idea is to give a college-bound graduate a book of stamps, along with a package of blank cards or stationery so that they might have a thoughtful way to stay in touch with friends and family.
Personalized gifts like leather bags or jewelry are typically well-received. A leather tote bag monogrammed with the graduate’s initials would be a great option for toting around necessities from class to class. To account for size, do not forget to consider whether the student will be hauling a laptop or tablet. For personalized jewelry, factors like a person’s birthstone, what they are studying in school, graduation year, a compass, or arrow are some suggestions on what one might add.
Personalized gifts are always a great choice for milestone times such as graduation. An item like an insulated tumbler with a person’s name, initials, or college logo would likely be useful for them on a daily basis. Etsy, Shutterfly, and Zazzle have unending options of items to personalize. Here is a curated collection of graduation quotes that can be easily added to items found:
“She believed she could, so she did.” – R. S. Grey
“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” – Arthur Ashe
“Your imagination is your preview to life’s coming attractions.” – Albert Einstein
“If you want something you’ve never had, you must be willing to do something you’ve never done.” -Thomas Jefferson
“The road to success is always under construction.” – Lily Tomlin
“If you can imagine it, you can achieve it; if you can dream it, you can become it.” – William Arthur Ward