Help a college graduate celebrate their achievements and prepare for the next stage of their journey with these thoughtful gifts.
Graduating from college is a milestone and a proud moment in anyone's life.
As all those months and years of exams, lectures, writing essays, burning the midnight oil, and meeting tight deadlines have finally paid off.
And you're ready to move on to the next stage of your life, whatever that might entail for you.
So make sure you help a college graduate celebrate and mark their achievements with a graduation gift that they will both enjoy and find good use for.
And to help you do that I've come up with the following list of graduation gift ideas that will please them, whether they are diving straight into their new careers, moving to a new city, or taking some time out to travel the world.
1. Give Them The Cash
Cash is king when it comes to a graduation gift for a college student, with a recent survey from the National Retail Federation finding that 51% of people that were planning to give cash as a graduation gift in 2020.
And it's the most wanted gift by the graduates too, with 55% of them wanting some kind of financial help as a graduation gift.
Which makes sense for both parties really.
As giving them the money gives them the freedom to use your gift in whatever way they see fit.
So they're covered whether they need clothes and shoes for future job interviews, help wth the rent on their new apartment, want to top up their travel money fund, or simply want to treat themselves to something nice.
And you'll be happy knowing you're giving them a gift they'll be getting some real value from.
2. Get Them An Amazon Gift Card
Gift cards were another popular choice for college graduates, with 32% of people planning to give them as a graduation gift in 2020 (National Retail Federation).
So if you don't fancy giving them the cash, gifting them an Amazon gift card is a great alternative.
As you can pretty much buy anything on Amazon nowadays.
And while gift cards can sometimes feel like a bit of a cop out, getting them the gift card in the special graduate gift box above makes for a nice little gift that feels tailored just for them.
3. Buy Them A Top Class Pen
Buying a college graduate a top class pen is a graduation gift tradition for many people.
And while fountain pens are not as commonly used nowadays, getting a graduate a lovely rollerball or ballpoint pen is a really nice gift idea.
As it's a lovely keepsake that they can also use as they embark on their post college career, and it'll command respect in the office and during business meetings.
So look out for great pens from the likes of MontBlanc, Visconti, or Pilot, as they come in all sorts of styles, designs, and colours.
And for an example of a great pen to give as a gift, check out the Waterman Carène Contemporary rollerball pen.
As this one both looks and feels great, and comes in a nice gift box too.
4. Gift Them A Quality Watch They Can Wear With Pride
Graduating from college is a coming of age as you get ready to join the workforce and make your way out on your own in the adult world.
So the gift of a nice watch is a great choice, as it's a memorable timepiece that will be proudly worn for years to come.
And it's also a real treat to let them know how proud you are of all their achievements.
Now you can go crazy expensive with watches depending on your budget and wishes.
However, a classy example of a mid-range watch that makes for a super graduation gift for guys is the Raymond Weil Freelancer Swiss watch.
And for women you could check out something like the TAG Heuer Aquaracer ladies watch.
But whichever one you go for, a quality watch is a graduation gift that will last and is something they'll get a constant reminder of every time they check their wrist.
5. Get Them A Leather Work Bag
Joining the corporate world means looking the part.
So a new college graduate will need an array of things to prepare them for their new professional career, such as smart work clothes and nice shoes.
And another thing they'll need is a work bag to carry their things safely with them on their commute to the office.
So treating them to a leather work bag, tote, or satchel is a decent graduation gift idea.
And a good example of this is the Kenneth Cole Reaction leather business satchel.
As this one looks and feels classy with it's Colombian leather, is easy to carry, and has separate compartments to keep all your valuables safe, secure, and organised as you travel to and from work.
6. Buy Them Smart Luggage For Future Trips
As they leave college and move into the professional world they'll need to upgrade from their weekend sports or duffel bag to some classier luggage when taking short trips, especially when traveling on business.
So you can solve this issue before they even realise they have it by getting them the Away Travel carry on case as a graduation gift.
As this one is big enough to carry everything you need with you for a few days, but also small enough to be able to take as carry on luggage for flights.
While the tough outer shell is great for protecting your stuff and the wheels mean it's easy to roll along with you.
And it has separate compartments inside to keep things organised, secure, and easy to find.
7. Treat Them To A Pair Of AirPods Pro Earphones
Another cool college graduation gift idea is to treat them to a set of Apple AirPods Pro earphones.
As they have probably been lusting after a pair of these while in college but haven't had the money to buy for themselves yet.
And they are great for them going forward, as they can use them on their future work commutes to listen to music, podcasts, or audiobooks.
As well as when exercising in the gym or when out and about on walks and runs.
8. Buy Furniture And Items For Their New Apartment
Graduating from college means moving away from campus and maybe even moving to new city to find a job and start a new career.
And for many this means renting their very first apartment.
So if this is the case for your graduate then it opens up a world of graduation gift options for them.
As filling a new apartment with furniture, gadgets, and appliances is an expensive business.
So think about the essentials they'll need to get started with and treat them to a few of those things so they can use their own money to spend on their rent instead.
And to give you a few ideas I've listed some items below that make top gifts when someone is moving into a new place.
9. Sign Them Up To A Meal Subscription Service
As a college graduate makes the step up from living on campus to renting their first apartment they will also want to step up their dinner game.
Because a diet of noodles, pizza, ramen, and processed junk just isn't going to cut it in the real world.
So a graduation gift that can help them get into the habit of making healthy and nutritious meals for themselves is by signing them up to a meal subscription service such as HelloFresh.
As with this they'll be able to choose the meals they want to cook and the ingredients and recipe will be delivered straight to their door.
So there's no need to trudge around supermarkets after a long day and no excuses for living off of crap!
10. Book Them A Round The World Plane Ticket
Not every college graduate wants to dive straight into their new careers.
As they may want to take some time out first to travel the world and have some adventures and experiences as they work out what they want to do with their life.
So if your graduate has the wanderlust and is itching to get out and see the world, giving them a round the world plane ticket as a graduation gift will be wonderful for them.
As not only does this take care of a big expense for them, it frees up their own money so they can use that to stay at nicer places or take more trips and tours as they travel.
And if they've already bought their plane tickets, then giving them the cash instead to top up their travel funds will be just as well received.
11. Give Them A Backpack To Use On Their Travels
You could also buy them a backpack to use on their world travels if you prefer to get them a physical graduation gift rather than cash or a plane ticket.
And you have a couple of options here.
As you could get them a huge backpack that they can use to carry all their worldly possesions around on their backs for the next few months.
Or if your graduate is a bit more of a minimalist then you could treat them to the Kelty Redwing backpack instead.
As this one is 40 liters so is still spacious inside and can fit all the essentials.
But the big advantage is that it's small enough to take on to the plane as carry on luggage, so they can take advantage of cheaper flights as they travel around.
And there's no long waits at the baggage carousel or dealing with the disaster of an airline losing your luggage either.
Graduating from college is a proud moment for both the graduate and their family and friends.
So mark the occasion with a college graduation gift that they'll remember and will help them move forward with the next chapter of their life.
And I hope I've given you some ideas of what to get them here, as these are all gifts that a new college graduate will really appreciate.