Graduation Gift Ideas

Graduation season is here, and I bet you know at least one person who's about to embark on a new chapter in their life — whether that’s college or a new career. Here are a few easy gift ideas!

Gift Cards and Cash

Some articles will tell you that gift cards and cash gifts are tacky and impersonal, but I’m here to tell you that a recent grad isn’t concerned with etiquette. Cash gifts are the best (and easiest) gifts to give! They’re especially great for a recent high school grad that is going off to college, for a few reasons.

· They can buy the things they need when they get to school. Nobody wants to lug a ton of stuff off to school. It’s easier to buy it when they get there. This allows the grad time to make a list of what they need, and only what they need. No need to rent a truck/van and haul a dorm’s worth of items only to realize you still don’t have everything you need and have many things you don’t.

· They can pick out things that suite their personal taste. You don’t have to spend any time shopping around for a gift and they don’t have to spend time taking it back because they hate it.

· Gas money. Gas is expensive. And let’s face it – if your recent grad is taking a car their freshman year, they will undoubtedly be shuttling friends back and forth and taking road trips.

· Money for fooooood. This one is important – and self-explanatory.

Freshman Year Living Essentials

As I mentioned, nobody wants to lug everyday items like paper towels and toilet paper from home to college. But here are a few essentials that your recent grad may have a hard time finding near campus.

· A nice storage trunk. Invest in a nice trunk that your grad can use in college and beyond.

· School paraphernalia. Because school spirit can get expensive!

· Monogramed blankets and towels. Personalized items are less likely to come up “missing”, and they’re just super cute. Personalized cups, bags, etc. are also a great idea!

· A wireless sound system. Because study sessions are boring without music.

Recent College Graduate Living Essentials

Check out my blog post about turning a house (or apartment) into a home. After graduation, the college apartment furniture just won’t do.

Workspace Gifts

Practical gifts are always great! Whether your grad is off to college or off to start their career, gifts for their workspace will always come in handy.

One of the best gifts I got for high school graduation was a box of pens, pencils, and sticky notes. This box of school supplies lasted me all four years of college, and was one less thing I had to worry about buying each semester.

I would also suggest purchasing a printer/printer ink as a practical gift. It can get expensive - and when the campus library is closed until 8:00am but your grad’s paper is also due at the start of an 8:00am class, they’ll thank heaven for your generosity!

If your recent grad is off to start their career - stationery, desk decor, calendars, planners, organizers, or mood board is always a nice and practical gift.

A Job

Often times, it’s about who you know. If you’re able to help your recent grad land an interview, help them set up their LinkedIn, review their resume, provide career counseling, etc. offer this to them! These intangible gifts are the ones that may help them out the most.

Have additional gift ideas for recent grads? Leave a comment and let me know.

And don’t forget to check out what’s new at!


   Ashlei Shannon  
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