Choosing the perfect gift to celebrate one of the most important days of your graduate’s life is a daunting task. Graduation marks the transition between years of arduous work…and years of MORE hard work. So this is a pretty big deal! And, yet…what gift could possibly compare to the satisfaction of finally receiving a hard-earned degree?
Don’t panic! This list has got your back. Below are thirty A+ graduation gift ideas that cover just about any situation in 2017 – whether you want to spend dollars or hundreds of dollars; whether your graduate is male or female, young or old, artsy or sporty; whether we’re talking about a middle school graduate or a new Ph.D. – you’re sure to find something on this list that will elicit a camera-worthy grin.
Oh, the Places You’ll Go!
No 2017 graduation gift list would be complete without this classic. As you send your graduate off to bigger and better things, feel secure in the knowledge that Dr. Seuss’s wise words will guide the way. This book features honest, top-notch advice that is both a pleasure to read and relevant to just about any situation.
Featuring twenty hours of battery life, a limited-edition color option, and Bluetooth technology (wireless!), these noise-reducing, sanity-saving headphones will be a godsend to any 2017 graduate whose future includes roommates, public transportation, or crowded office spaces. If this particular pair is out of your price range, check out the rest of the website for more budget-conscious options.
Spotify Premium Subscription
For soon-to-be college students, the main advantage of Spotify Premium is the ability to download playlists and listen offline – meaning that music access need not depend on the availability of a Wi-Fi connection. Other features include: ad-free listening, unlimited skips, the ability to play any song instantly, and high-quality audio.
Price: $9.99 per month
(Because school is expensive, and your graduate is probably broke.) Simple but reliably satisfying, this option is another classic gift for graduates. If you’re creative, consider incorporating a DIY art project to spice up your delivery method. (Pro tip: Hit up Pinterest.)
Price: Up to you!
The Graduate Survival Guide: 5 Mistakes You Can’t Afford to Make in College
This lifesaving book and video combination will help your college-bound young’un navigate the world of “adulting.” It features advice in topics like student loans, credit cards, budgeting, and saving money, and it highlights the common traps that college students often run into.
For crafty types with a sentimental side, this DIY gift is perfect. It’s relatively inexpensive but priceless gift that may just bring a tear to your 2017 graduate’s eye. Again, definitely check out Pinterest for some tips or artistic inspiration.
Digital Picture Frame
Although this particular brand of digital picture frame is more expensive than most, it does come with some pretty sweet additional features. Controlled through a smartphone app, it’s clever enough to be able to pick out your best photos (no blurry shots, no NSFW shots) and display them with basically no effort on the user’s part. Pretty cool!
If your graduate is heading off to the workforce – or to any place where she or he might want to make a good first impression – a more upscale watch might be just the gift to give. Classic and classy.
Personalized Graduation Mug
This website create special, personalized coffee mugs that your graduate will treasure forever. These mugs feature the following personalized features: a graduation photo, year of graduation, and the name of the school. And, rest assured, they’re microwave and dishwasher safe!
CliffNotes: Graduation Debt
If your 2017 graduate had to pay their way through school, they will greatly appreciate a copy of this handy guide to escaping school-related debt. This second edition includes updated information in addition to money-saving tips from the expert authors.
Littmann Cardiology IV Stethoscope
In the minds of graduates who plan to pursue a healthcare-related career, the Littmann Cardiology IV Stethoscope is possibly the very best gift they could ever hope to receive. Commonly quoted as the favorite stethoscope of nurses and doctors alike, this high-performance, acoustically-optimized stethoscope is a gift your graduate would treasure and use constantly (thinking of you every time!).
Price: About $190
Inspirational Rustic Wood Sign
Give this rustic wood plaque as a message to your 2017 graduate to enjoy life while they’re still young. It’s easy to get caught up in a hectic schedule, deadlines, and projects, but this charming sign will remind your graduate that it’s okay to have fun every once in a while, too!
CollegeHumor Guide to College: Selling Kidneys for Beer Money, Sleeping with Your Professors, Majoring
This hilarious guide, courtesy of the writers of the popular website CollegeHumor.com, will give your graduate the low-down on university-style responsible shenanigans. (Because admit it: sleeping with a professor is wayyyy better than, say, joining a murderous cult). Both entertaining and informational, this book includes unique advice on topics like food, clothing, parents, dating, sex, drinking, and roommates.
The New York Times: 36 Hours 150 Weekends in the USA & Canada
Traveling is high on the to-do list of many graduates, and this brilliant guide can help make road trip dreams a reality. It includes a variety of destinations, restaurant and hotel recommendations, plenty of photos, detailed maps, and even a color-coded organization system. If you’re lucky, your 2017 graduate might even be grateful enough to invite you to come along one weekend!
Coffee Shop Gift Card
Given the alarmingly large number of students who depend on coffee to get through the day, this option is an almost guaranteed winner. Starbucks, Biggby Coffee, a local café…lots of places to choose from.
Price: Your choice!
Massage, Spa Day, Manicure, Pedicure….
Reward all of your graduate’s hard work with a well-earned personal pampering session! Whether their preference is a massage or a manicure, they’ll be delighted to receive a little TLC, and touched that you thought to give such a nurturing gift. Bonus points if you send them along with a friend (or significant other) for a “spa date.”
Premium Linkedin Membership
Give your graduate a leg up in the competitive business world by providing them with the benefits of a premium membership on the Linkedin career networking site. Benefits include a boost up to the top of a hiring manager’s list, access to a list of people who’ve viewed your profile, the ability to contact people you’re not directly connected to, and more!
Price: $29.99 per month
Hamilton Beach FlexBrew Single-Serve Coffee Brewer
This versatile single-serve coffee brewer is perfect for young people who need a caffeine boost ASAP in the morning (or at any other time of the day!). It works with ground coffee, single-serve packs, and soft coffee pods – and it can even brew tea! This straightforward design can accommodate both traditional coffee cups and travel-sized mugs, a handy feature. Your graduate will love it.
Gas Station Gift Card
If your graduate lives far from home – or will soon be moving far away – this might be a good way to convince them to return to visit more often. Even if not, gas is expensive, especially for someone with an entry-level salary, so your graduate will definitely be glad for your help in this department.
Price: Whatever you’re willing to spend
Food Storage Containers
It may seem simple, but having the option to store food can really increase your young graduate’s quality of life from a culinary standpoint. Whether they live in an apartment, campus housing, or with friends, this will decrease food waste and help them spend less money on meals. Practicality for the win!
Personalized Tote Bag
A cute and practical personalized tote bag is a great idea for a graduate who wants something a bit more “adult” than a backpack. Hint: Personalize the text to say anything you like!
Designed to be water-resistant, portable, and student-friendly, this is the perfect alternative to a “traditional” laptop. Its sleek, stylish design will earn you major cool points in the mind of your graduate, too!
Create a Personalized Care Package
Package Penguin’s create-a-package service is an awesome idea if you’ll be celebrating with your graduate from afar but still want to send a gift. The site offers plenty of options to choose from, including gluten free options for those with special dietary needs.
Price: Variable; minimum $20
Obviously a perfect gift for a graduate! This website also offers a “build your frame” option.
Price: Varies depending on choice of frame
Whether the destination is home or a tropical island, a vacation is probably exactly what your graduate needs after all of their hard work.
Energy Conserve Socket
This is a super cool gift option for the environmentally-conscious graduate. It also decreases electricity costs and makes for a safer living space. Wins across the board!
Back-Up Phone Charger
This back-up charger is compatible with any lightning port iPhone and provides hours of additional battery life. Perfect for graduates who are always glued to their phones.
You Are Doing a Freaking Great Job. (And Other Reminders of Your Awesomeness)
This adorable inspirational book is full of uplifting, encouraging quotes, words of advice, etc. for those days when your graduate needs a boost. A great motivator!
Meal in a Mug: 80 Fast, Easy Recipes for Hungry People
Like the book says, all you need is a mug and a microwave for these brilliant recipes! This is the dream cookbook of anyone who lacks the time, patience, or supplies to cook a “traditional” homemade meal.
Here’s one last fun gift option that’s easy on the eyes (pun intended!). This special lantern features four lighting modes, so your graduate can choose from bright white, dim white, slow color change, or fast color change. (Variety is the spice of life, no?!)