High school graduation is a momentous, defining moment in one’s life. After more than a decade of formal education, graduation means it is finally time to venture out into the adult world where the path one paves can lead to many thrilling opportunities. Graduation is an exciting time for any student, whether they are headed straight to college or a year of travel and self-exploration. Even if the graduate has no solid plans, it feels good to have accomplished something. At the very least, it just feels fantastic to be done with formal schooling.
The best high school graduation gifts, whether in the form of money, a gift card or useful items that can be used at college or in the workforce, are essential to help set the stage for success. Even gifts that are humorous or just for fun are unique and are sure to be a hit.
With his handy list of ten great graduation gift ideas, you will have plenty of sure-fire wins. Using the tips and gift ideas found here, you are sure to pick an item that will excite and ready your graduate for life after high school. Let this list help you be the cool parent, grandparent, or aunt, even if just for a short while.
Best High School Graduation Gifts Buyers’ Guide
Why You Should Recognize Someone’s Graduation
High school graduation is one of the most important times in a young adult’s life. Often, they worked extremely hard to graduate high school. Whether they graduated with honors or they barely squeaked by, graduating means they now hold a diploma. In today’s workforce, someone who doesn’t have a high school diploma is not likely to get a decent-paying job. So what better way to recognize this distinguishing accomplishment than with a gift to show how proud you are of your family member or loved one?
What Kind of Gift Should You Give High School Graduates?
Generally speaking, new graduates tend to get the most expensive gift they receive from their parents. Parents usually purchase costly technology, like laptops or desktop computers that their child will need for college or university. Grandparents also tend to bring out their checkbooks in a big way for their grandchildren. However, if the elders of the family have many grandchildren to consider, the cost of the graduation gift they choose may be dependent on how many grandchildren they have to buy for.
Relatives that are further removed, like aunts, uncles, or cousins tend to purchase a less expensive gift, or they send a card with money that can be used for college books or travel.
What to Consider When Purchasing The Best High School Graduation Gifts?
When buying a high school graduation gift for a family member or otherwise, it is important to know what they are planning to do after graduation. If they are going to college, will they be living in a dorm or staying at home? Gift items that can be used in a dorm or for studying are crowd pleasers for college-bound students. Money is also a significant contribution, as the graduate can use it on whatever they will need, or they can set up a savings account.
If the recent graduate is planning on a year or more of travel, money is also a great gift idea as travel is expensive.
Travel items, like adaptors, travel guides, or even luggage, is a fun, perfect gift idea for a new graduate traveler ready to see the world.
Even if a graduate has no set plans for what they are doing after high school doesn’t mean that they don’t need to begin building a nest egg or that they shouldn’t be recognized for their hard work and perseverance. Consider what your family member enjoys and contribute to whatever that is, however small. Perhaps, the graduate will be starting a trade job for the first time or will be immediately be entering the workforce in the real world. There are still plenty of items a new wage-earner will need and want. The best gifts reflect the person, and how much attention you pay to who they are, likes dislikes and all.
Ten Best High School Graduation Gifts Reviews
Written by Harlan Cohen, this is like the bible for college freshmen. The college experience is nothing like high school, and this book is a great way to prepare a college-bound newbie for the good, the bad, and the my-roommate-leaves-dirty-underwear-everywhere.
The book gives advice on everything from what to expect from college classes to what to do when there are disagreements with dorm roommates. This is a great gift idea for graduates who might be apprehensive about going to college. Nervous about college or the dorm life or not, this book is an excellent gift for any graduate.
- Well-laid out chapters makes for a quick, easy read
- Humorous stories by real college students
- Content covers every possible eventuality of college/university life
- The title makes it appear to be too scandalous for Grandma
Survival kits as gifts are just fun, and for a new college student, it just may be what gets them through one of their toughest years yet.
This kit has two Folger’s coffee singles (essential), a dry erase board, mug, highlighter, index cards, sticky notes, a survival multi-tool, first aid kit, a stress ball, book light, earplugs, and Colgate wisps- basically everything a college student would need for an all-nighter study session. All the above items come in a basket that is shrink-wrapped and topped with a bow. This is a handy gift that is already gift-wrapped and ready to go.
- Fun, creative idea
- Easy and minimal effort
- Excellent value- many items included for the price
- No color preference options
- Unable to personalize
A humorous and helpful advice book written for male college freshmen. The author, Andrew J. Sotis, tells it like it is while offering candid tales of his own personal college experience. Any ready guy (or not) for college will benefit from reading this book and having it on hand all throughout their years in college. The advice in this guidebook is a gift that keeps on giving because the advice won’t just help your graduate out during college, but for the rest of their adult life. This book is like a portable life coach.
- Well-written and honest
- Positive reader reviews
This whimsical mug, with the quote, “And so the adventure begins!” can be personalized to add that extra touch to an already nice-looking, trendy cup. When ordering, you can choose a color and what name and year you want to be added to the mug. You can also choose between 10 or 16 ounces (for those late nights and early mornings), as well. There is a quality guarantee from the distributor as an added bonus.
- Can be personalized
- Two size options
- Quality guarantee
- Fast shipping
Only the coolest college kids have one. Echo Plus will not only play music with its new Dolby 360 series speakers, but your college student can use Alexa to ask questions about their studies or call you with almost zero effort. With so many uses, other than just a way to listen to music, the Echo Plus is a great gift that will enhance the studying experience of the busy student.
- Easy setup
- Controls compatible smart devices
- Good sound quality
- Supports Bluetooth
This is essential with a capital NEED for any college student in today’s world. Almost any college student will have an assortment of smart devices on them at any given time that will need an extra charge throughout the day. Sometimes, an outlet is not available, and no one has time to mess with tangled cords when they are in public. A power bank is a solution to charging devices while on the go.
- Free 18-month warranty
- Capable of charging smartphones up to six times, tablets up to two times.
- Charges three devices at same time
- Devices charge quickly
- Comes with carrying case and charging cord
- Not super compact
LG Gram Laptop- 14” Full HD Display, Intel 8th Gen Core i5, 8GB Ram, 256GB SSD, 23.5 Hour Battery Life
A powerful, compact laptop that is reliable, lightweight, and stylish is practically part of the college dress code. This LG laptop fits the bill and will make any college kid satisfied. One of the useful features of this laptop is its metal alloy body that makes it feel more high-end, while at the same time, it is super light without feeling cheap. This laptop has great battery life and a decent amount of speed for a college kid needing it for research and writing papers. The fingerprint sensor on the power button is an added touch that distinguishes it from other brands.
- Backlit keyboard
- Superior battery life
- No touchscreen
Whether for walking across campus or for a long-haul flight, these wireless headphones are on every young adult’s wish list. Your college student or world traveler will have enough cords- from cellphone chargers to laptop charging cords- to deal with. They will love these wireless beauties. The case is also wireless and enable the Airpods to charge (the case is charged with a wireless charging mat or its included connector). Your graduate will love to take these to college or on their next big adventure.
- Siri enabled
- Quickly charges
- Easy setup
- Always on and connected
- Might be uncomfortable in sensitive ears
This humorous shirt that will appeal to video game lovers is a great graduation gag gift that the graduate will be proud to wear. This shirt can be customized according to color, style, and fit (choose men, women, or youth). The solid color shirts are 100% cotton, and the heathered styles are a mix of cotton and polyester. With ten different color choices, it will be easy to find just the right shirt for your video game-loving graduate.
- Solid colors 100% cotton
- Machine washable
Any graduate will be grateful for a coffeemaker or any sort, but this coffeemaker is the one everyone in the dorm is going to want too. The Ninja is a force in the small appliance world, and their coffeemaker is a power player. With custom brew choices, you can choose a classic or rich cup of java. There is also the option to brew a full carafe- for the study group or a small batch- for when your graduate is running late to class. The Ninja coffeemaker is a great option not just for the college student, but any graduate who loves a good cup of coffee.
- Removable water reservoir
- Easy to clean
- Reusable filter