Did you know that there’s a developmental stage between a teenager and a full-blown adult?
It’s called emerging adulthood – which is right where college graduates are. According to the psychological theory, it’s the time in their lives where they’re trying to find their spot in this crazy world.
And while money can help with that, it’s not the most exciting gift to give. If you don’t want to send a fat check, then check out our college graduation gift ideas.
We’ve organized them (loosely) from least to most expensive, for your convenience.
College Graduation Gift Ideas
The classic gift for college graduation is money, and they need it more now than they did in high school. But it’s likely most everyone will send them that.
Here’s how to be more creative.
Gift #1: Adulting: The Book
There’s a crazy-helpful book called Adulting: How to Become a Grown-up in 468 Easy(ish) Steps by Kelly Williams Brown. It’s the perfect gift for graduates because they’re probably scared beyond belief.
Will they find a job? Where will they live? How do you file taxes? This book addresses all these fears and it’s under $10 on Amazon.
Gift them this book with a reusable water bottle or some sort of “adulty” gift card, like gas or groceries. It’ll be the gift they didn’t know they needed.
#2. An Electric Wine Opener (and Wine)
As your college graduate starts to move out of the college living and into more adult-friendly housing, they’ll need gadgets. And that involves maybe buying wine that you can’t purchase, you know, at a gas station.
Show them you support their growing palette with this electric wine opener. It’s a classy gift and you can either pair it with a bottle of wine or a nice set of glasses.
This gift will set you back around $30 – depending on the wine you choose.
#3. The Best Self Co. Journal
This fourty dollar-ish journal is totally worth the price, and the hype. It’s a cool system where you plan goals backward (from small to large) and can help struggling postgrads.
They can plan things like finding their dream job (with a salary!) or saving to buy a car. Add to this a good pair or pens – or if you really want to impress them – a session with a life coach.
Just make sure they’re the kind of person who will actually call the coach (or that you can transfer it to yourself). Only if they don’t use it of course!
#4. A Nice Keurig (Or Nespresso)
A lot of kids went to college with that one-serving Keurig machine where you pour the water in the top. It’s probably taken some beatings with all the years and the moves from college house to house.
Surprise them with a new model of Keurig and some reusable accessories. Keurig cups are really bad for the environment, so if you’re going this route – please try to encourage reuse.
You can find a selection of reusable accessories here. It’s like a challenge coin for them – how energetically can they help save the earth? Learn more.
#5. A Good Set of Headphones
Now, you can spend anywhere from twenty dollars on some dinky Skull Candy like headphones all the way up to $300. The Bose Quiet Comfort Noise Canceling set are about $350.
But your budget can be anywhere in that range and as long as they’re above $50, they’re usually good enough quality.
If this is the gift you want to give, look on places like Next Egg and Amazon lightning deals to find some well-priced options.
You can always search eBay for “refurbished” brands of headphones, just make sure the seller is high quality.
#6. A Travel-Themed Gift
There’s a cool set of maps that have been going around social media, where you somehow mark off countries you’ve been to. These maps let you scratch off the countries you’ve visited, to reveal different colors.
But don’t stop there – you can add in things like an RFID blocking passport cover or even a nice suitcase. The big brand name right now is Away – which boasts fans like Queer Eye’s Johnathan Van Ness.
Okay, yes, this isn’t the most exciting gift. But keep in mind your college graduate probably can’t start putting away money for retirement yet.
You can help them start a little nest egg with Acorns, which is a really cool passive investment strategy. They offer gift cards, which you’ll load with your chosen amount.
Then, the graduate can decide how they want to move forward. They can choose to put in a certain amount (even just $5) a week or round up their purchases.
So if they bought groceries and the total was %34.52, then acorns would take the remaining 48 cents and invest it. It’s a pretty cool and non-overwhelming way to invest in their future.
Personalized Graduation Gift Ideas
If none of these strike your fancy, you can always go the check or gift card route. But if you do choose to get them a gift card, get them something they’ll actually use.
Like a restaurant they like or a gas card. Gas is so expensive now, so they’ll absolutely use it (as long as they drive).
It’s scary to come out of college and face the world, so we tried to recommend college graduation gift ideas that help calm their fears.
If you’re low on cash, you can always send them a letter (yes, on paper) that says how much and why you believe in them. Everyone needs to hear that!
Looking for some more holiday friendly gift ideas? Click here.