Thoughtful Graduation Gift Ideas

Give the Perfect Gift to Your Special Grad 

Where does the time go? Just like that, it’s graduation day?! With so much to celebrate, you’re on the hunt for the perfect grad gift. What are your grad’s passions and plans for the next year? Incorporate these details into choosing just the right gift for your favorite grad. From creative to classic, we’ve got you covered with ideas for meaningful gifts sure to impress your graduate.

Thoughtful Graduation Gift ideas

Thoughtful Graduation Gift Ideas

Adulting Survival Kits: Start off your grad on the right foot and help them with essentials (that can quickly add up). Depending on their upcoming plans, a college, apartment, or general adulting survival kit could be in order. 

  • College dorm survival kit – general edition:  Fill a plastic storage bin or laundry bag with items such as a personalized travel mug or water bottle, ear plugs, shelf-stable snacks, a med pouch (with a simple first aid kit, pain relievers and cold/flu medications), command strips and hooks for damage-free hanging, condoms, playing cards, laundry pods, and a power strip.

  • College dorm survival kit – shower edition: Using a bathrobe as a wrapper, tie in (personalized) towels, shower shoes, cap, and a mesh bag to keep toiletries organized. Finish with a big bow in school colors.

  • Apartment survival kit – cleaning edition: Fill a bucket or laundry laundry basket with cleaning supplies such as dish and laundry detergent, duster, floor cleaner, gloves, bathroom wipes, toilet brush, disinfecting surface spray, sponges, and towels. 

  • Apartment survival kit – kitchen edition: In a large salad bowl, add cooking utensils, olive oil, spices, a cutting board and knife, colorful kitchen towels, salt & pepper grinders, a starter cookbook, and a grocery store gift card.

  • General survival kit: Consider things like a fireproof box for documents, a digital subscription to a newspaper, a simple tool kit, sewing kit, an emergency radio and flashlight, a fire extinguisher, and a gift card to a hardware or home store.

College Memorabilia: For the grad excited about their upcoming higher education experience, consider a t-shirt, sweatshirt, hat, shorts, blanket, travel mug or backpack with the school’s name or mascot -- it’s an ideal present to help them start their year with S P I R I T!

Crafty Keepsake: If you or someone you know is crafty, make a one-of-a-kind keepsake for your special grad – think a t-shirt quilt preserving the grad’s fave events and concerts, a framed sports jersey or Scout sash, a memory book of letters or photos from friends and family, or a photo collage of special milestones. 

Electronics: Whether your grad is heading to college in the fall or into the workforce soon, a new set of headphones, portable charger, tablet, smartphone, or laptop can be a useful and welcome gift for keeping up with schoolwork, continued learning outside of school, finding new job prospects, gaming, and more.

Memorable Experience: Give the most-special gift: a lasting memory! Plan a road trip together, visit a resort, or help send your grad on their dream adventure. Select excursion and experience gifts you know your graduate will be pumped about – think surf or skydiving lessons, concert or Broadway tickets, or dinner at the chef’s table at an award-winning restaurant. 

Self-Help Workshop: Adulting is hard – gift your grad a self-development course that teaches them or enhances key skills for their upcoming year. If they’re heading to college, learning pro study and note-taking skills can come in handy. If they’re heading into the workforce, a professional development workshop focused on computer skills, communication, or stress management can help them excel quickly.

Travel Accessories: If your graduate has a big post-graduation trip planned, or loves to travel in general, give them something to make their adventures a little smoother. Think luggage or a backpack, clothing compression cubes/bags, international power adaptor, travel diary, an engraved compass, a passport holder or money belt, luggage tags, or a travel neck pillow.

Work Attire: For the grad entering the workforce, help them dress for success! Those heading into a professional setting may need Zoom shirts, a dress, blazer, a briefcase or professional bag. Those heading into trades or healthcare will need new shoes or boots appropriate for their work setting, uniforms or safety-approved work clothes. Give them a confidence booster and help them turn-out prepared.

Gift Cards or Money: When it comes to grad gifts, cash is still king! Let your grad choose exactly what they want – present them with a gift card to their favorite store or online retailer, or put cash in a creative and personalized envelope or card. Pro Tip: Make it a group gift and use SignUp to collect money  from family and friends!


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