Graduation season has started which means a constant stream of parties and presents. It can be so tough figuring out what to ask for or what to give. The point of graduation is moving on to something brand new! I’ve put together this graduation gift guide to give you some ideas for things that are not only fun but really helpful. No matter what may be coming next for the graduate. Some of it are things I loved receiving and others are recommendations from a few friends-items they found super helpful or things they really wish they would have gotten. There’s also a section on the best gift cards for those of you who may live far away from the grad in your life!
This post contains affiliate links which means if you purchase any of the items I may receive monetary compensation at NO extra cost to you!
Travel is such a popular thing to do after graduation! If you know your grad has a trip planned, a cute passport cover is a great gift. I love this one because it’s simple, but the colors and the little plane add fun, and the extra pockets make it easy to keep all the important documents together. It’s a good way to let your grad know that you’re excited for them but also want them to be careful.
Hot Tools Styling Station
Whether it’s an a dorm or apartment there is NEVER enough bathroom space. And for those of us who need super heat to do anything with our hair trying to figure out what to do with our tools is a massive pain. I got this caddy for Christmas last year and it changed everything! It hangs on a towel rack so you don’t have to use any counter or shelf space and the steel mesh is heat proof so you don’t have to wait for your tools to cool off before putting them away. I really wish I had found this years ago!
External Battery Power Bank
It’s just a fact that we all live on our phones now. It’s also a fact that phone batteries tend to be terrible. A portable charger is always an appreciated gift and this one is great because of how compact it is. It holds enough for multiple phone charges and also works with some mini tablets. Plus it’s small enough to even be able to slip into a pocket.
S’well Water Bottle
Anyone who knows me knows that I am constantly drinking water. Staying hydrated is SO important! Especially if you’re running around campus or spending days in an office. S’well is new-ish brand of reusable water bottles and they work great! It keeps hot drinks really hot and cold drinks ice-cold. I LOVE my bottle and it goes everywhere with me. A lot of places now have water filling stations which means it’s easy to top off your bottle whenever you need. These bottles also come with really cute designs!
Wreck This Journal
Making friends can be hard but if you’re like me and going to a school where you don’t know anyone it can be really nice to have something to help break the ice. Wreck This Journal is a book that’s all about silly and creative ideas. Every page has a different direction of something to do. They get weird, and destructive, and hilarious! My best friend and I once ended up spending a whole night crying from laughter all from one page that said ‘try figuring out new ways to sit’. I guarantee this will be a hit and help make friends.
Keurig Single Serve Coffee Maker
If I’m losing you at ‘coffee’ don’t move on from this just yet. While single serve coffee is a necessity for some of us the great thing about these machines are all the other things you can use them for as well! In a dorm there will be times you live on ramen and mac and cheese but how great would it be to have the hot water ready to go in your room in just a few minutes! You don’t need a ‘pod’ to get hot water so you can use it for food, tea, hot chocolate. If you’re graduating college these are wonderful in apartments for all the same reasons but also great depending on your job. My friend just became a teacher and her Keurig went straight into her classroom!
I’ve been a reader my whole life and jumped onto the Kindle train as soon as they came out. My family use to travel with suitcases that carried only books so this was a revelation for us. Now they are not only great for reading for fun but they also offer an alternative to textbooks. If you know you’re not the kind of person you needs to physically write down notes than this is a great option. You can still highlight and save passages but without breaking your back from ridiculously heavy books.
Polaroid Instant Digital Camera
Polaroid camera’s are making a comeback and they’ve been updated to be better than ever. Even in the age of Instagram there’s something beautiful about being able to save and hang up memories. Especially being able to do it instantly. Polaroids are so great to have around to capture moments and they’re small enough to easily fit in your bag so it’s not a hassle. These cameras can barely stay in stock so make sure to order it early!
BeatsX Wireless Headphones
We seem to be going the way of wireless everything but Beats has taken charge and come out with their entire line of awesome wireless options. The BeatsX is my personal favorite because they’re in-ear but still have a strap. Beats are so high quality that even though they’re not ‘noise cancelling’ they still do a great job of blocking out anything from the outside. These would be great for around the house, walking around campus, or during work/studying to keep you focused.
Roku Streaming Media Player
There’s a lot of ways to stream media to your TV now but Roku is hands down the best choice! Their interface is so simple and they have every app you could possibly want. The remote makes scrolling through Netflix a breeze and if you need to keep the volume down it offers a great option to plug-in some headphones so you can keep it all to yourself. Cable may not be available, or you may not want to pay for it, but a Roku will make sure your TV still has plenty of uses!
There’s really nothing better than coffee you don’t have to pay for. A gift card to Starbucks will always be appreciated during exam weeks or long days of classes. A lot of colleges now have Starbucks right on campus which means this gift can become part of their normal routine. If there’s not a Starbucks on campus than there is probable one nearby, and if there isn’t where do you even live?!
Barnes & Noble
Most people don’t know this but a lot of college bookstores are run by Barnes & Noble. A gift card here means they can buy anything from school supplies to new clothes. They don’t have to worry about the price either, bookstores are expensive! Wherever you go to college becomes your life for at least a couple of years so being able to buy something like a sweatshirt helps make it feel like home. I’ve gone with this gift a lot and every single time the grad makes sure to let me know how much they loved it. It’s such a joy when they you send a pic in their new shirt and you can see how happy they are!
Finding food in college is easy, choosing to eat healthy food is HARD. When your funds are limited it just doesn’t feel worth it to pick the healthier option when you can get wayy more for a lot less even if it’s junk. Giving a gift card to a store like Trader Joe’s helps to make your grad feel not as guilty about going with a healthy option. Trader Joe’s also has a good pre-made section so they don’t have to worry about then cooking. This is also all true for a college grad who’s not making the most at their first post-grad job. You do have to go in-store to buy a gift card though because TJ doesn’t sell anything online.
Ikea is the perfect cheap but good quality furniture that your grad needs for their apartment. Buying a sturdy couch or desk without breaking the bank is a really important and appreciated gift. I have all kinds of Ikea furniture that has lasted years so this gift is a good investment into their future. This is especially good for teachers who are trying to figure out how to start their classroom for the first time. I gave this card to a friend last year and she was so excited to be able to buy a nice bookshelf for her students to use.
I don’t even understand how people who don’t use Amazon live. My family has been members of Prime since 1999 and we use it for everything we ever need. To be able to find what you need online and order it gives back so much time that would be wasted actually having to go to stores and search. They also have an incredible textbook section that I used throughout my college years and saved hundreds of dollars. For even cheaper you can rent the books you need. They’ll have them delivered before the semester starts. You just need to keep the box to send them back when finals are over. It’s such a good option and having a gift card makes what usually a terrible cost a little easier.
I hope this makes graduation season a little less stressful and a little more fun. If you have any questions about any of the products let me know in the comments!!
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College graduation is such a pivotal moment in a young life – I might also recommend some inspirational reading selections for those enterprising grads who want to get out there and conquer the world! http://booksto.co/books-to-conquer-the-world/
Oh I love this!! I feel like many people struggle with deciding what to give as graduation gifts, and they just end up giving money. I love that these are tangible and useful! My favorites are the passport cover, the battery pack, and the Polaroid. And don’t get me wrong, gift cards are nice, too!
It is a tough thing to figure out what to give and while money is nice getting something that is truly helpful is the best!!
I love this! I think I need all of these things in my life! I shall add them all to my wishlist haha
I know! I’m going to end up buying two of certain things so I can keep one for myself lol
I love this gift guide! I may end up buying some of this for myself! Oooops!
Treat yourself! lol
The wreck this journal seems really cool. Nice way to have something you’ll remember that is personal.
Exactly! Whatever you do with it will make it extremely personalized
This is great especially the passport cover. I wanted to get something ‘different’ for my graduating niece and I think you just helped me decide!
It’s the perfect mix of personal and helpful! I’m glad this guide helped!