Do you know someone who’s graduating this year? I like to get a little something for everyone I know who graduates from high school, college, or grad school. Here are my favorite ideas for graduation gifts, all of them easy to pick up at the last minute:
For the high school graduate
When my friends graduated from high school, we were mostly excited to go out and have a fun night together. We knew that we wouldn’t be seeing much of each other after graduation, and we wanted to make some lasting memories. I love getting high school graduates a generous gift card to a fun restaurant like Red Robin or TGI Fridays so that they can go celebrate with their friends.
If your high school graduate is planning on attending college, I think that anything that can help with dorm life is a great gift. Gift cards to stores like Bed, Bath, and Beyond or Target can always go a long way for setting up a comfortable dorm room. Small appliances like microwaves, toaster ovens, mini refrigerators, and popcorn poppers are also good gifts, as long as they are allowed at your graduate’s new college.
For the college graduate
The transition from college to the career world is not easy, and I like to help out a new college graduate as much as I can. If your college graduate is going into business, a gift card to a store with career clothes like Banana Republic or Nordstrom is a useful gift. Anyone starting out in the work word will need a good wardrobe, especially for interviewing. I also like to throw in a career or business book that may be helpful to the graduate. Anything that has helped you over the years is a great bet, and I also recommend What Color Is Your Parachute? 2014: A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career-Changers.
After living on dorm food for four or more years, your graduate may be looking for a dietary upgrade. A gift card to a nice grocery store like Whole Foods is a great gift for any college graduate. If your graduate is of age and drinks alcohol, a bottle of nice champagne is a fun celebratory gift as well.
For the graduate or professional school graduate
People often overlook giving gifts for graduate or professional school graduations, but I still like to give a little something. Since these students are more mature, they can be difficult to shop for. I find that a gift card to an independent bookstore is a lovely gift, especially for the more academically minded types.
Grad students are often extremely overworked and exhausted by the time they graduate. Depending on what your graduate likes to do for fun, a trip to the spa or a night at a nice hotel in town is a good gift. Another gift I like to give older graduates is a gift card to a store related to their hobbies. REI and Williams Sonoma are perfect for older students who are about to get a little more free time.