Gifts Grads Can Actually Use


Ed note: When I graduated high school, I got a lot of picture frames and small mementos. Years later, what’s stayed with me? A set of tools. The rest of it is gone. It may not be glamorous, but the practical gift is one that keeps giving. Shannyn Allen has more suggestions for gifts that both high school and college grads will love.


Weekender Bag / $5 College Cookbook / MagLite / The Last Lecture /
Method Laundry Detergent + Quarters / Tile App / I Will Teach You To Be Rich

Graduation is such an exciting time for students who are starting a new chapter in their lives – exploring, learning, beginning a new job, traveling and maybe even starting over in a new city!

Practical gifts are the best gifts to give, as they’re not only helpful but also thoughtful. Consider the grad’s needs or shortcomings. Maybe they tend to eat junk food? A subscription to NatureBox, for healthy snacks, or Plated, with fresh ingredients for meals, might be perfect. Perhaps they never have laundry detergent or toilet paper at the right time. Introducing them to Amazon Subscribe and Save might be a winner.  There are also subscription services to help upgrade their professional wardrobe, expose them to new beauty products or keep their bookshelves full. No matter what you choose, subscriptions can come in handy, and you’re guaranteed to be a hero month after month!

Other overlooked, yet practical gifts are everyday basics. Most people forget to get a flashlight until the power goes out – chances are they could use a good one! Also, many underestimate the need for items like quarters for the laundromat if they do not have a washer and dryer in their home.

For the traveler who might be simply trekking off-campus for a quick getaway or for those taking some well-deserved vacations, a classy weekender bag is a great gift that can grow with the grad. Additionally, it can be packed with a few good books, new towels or travel-sized toiletries that will help with their upcoming trips.

If you know a grad who always seems to be forgetting something, Tile is a helpful app to ensure they never lose their keys, phone or wallet again! This little tool will help them track down anything they may have misplaced via a handy GPS tracker that is connected to a smartphone.

Lastly, one of the most useful gifts I can recommend is an Amazon gift card and/or an Amazon Prime membership. The membership will entitle them to free shipping and a plethora of free movie and music downloads. It’s a great gift that both stretches your dollar and gives them a lot of value.

You’ll be a hero with any of these gifts. Both thoughtful and useful, a graduate will be thanking their lucky stars someone thought ahead for the unexpected needs they’ll encounter when they start venturing into adulthood.

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