When high school ends, the future begins. Like shooting stars, our grads are heading in all directions — college, employment, gap years, travel. Whether you want to help them be comfy on campus, or just look sharp in the real world, here are our very best high school graduation gift ideas.
This is the #1 gift idea recommended by the parents and students we surveyed. There are lots of luxurious, colorful options on LL Bean, Land’s End, etc.
Robe or spa wrap
Make it a fun style with their name or monogram and this practical item can brighten up a corner of the dorm room. Go all the way and stuff it with laundry essentials! Bed Bath & Beyond has many choices.
The old-fashioned approach to keeping track of schoolwork, and life, is back in vogue. Find something gorgeous and unique at shops like Two Hands Paperie.
Your grad will be excited about a gift card to their new college bookstore or a restaurant or shop in town. Fast food and grocery card gift cards are also highly appreciated!
- New luggage, overnight duffel (monogram it!) or gym bag
- Scarf or throw blanket in the college colors
- Laptop with a protective case and backup hard drive
- New bed linens — X-long twin if they’ll live on-campus. Consider including a comfy, allergen-barrier mattress pad.
Latitude & longitude charms
New backpack or messenger bag
Something more sophisticated than they carried throughout high school.
Monogrammed belt buckle
It doesn’t have to be Tiffany’s, but theirs is a classic. Your grad will feel like the “cat’s pajamas” (says one parent whose son’s belt buckle from a beloved aunt was his favorite gift).
Sewing kit, tool kit or “College Survival Kit”
Put together a hand-picked collection of whatever little practical things your favorite grad might need (Post-it notes, a writing style guide, first aid supplies, a cute mug, gift cards, etc.). Consider tucking inside a little journal you’ve filled with quotes, bits of advice, photos, poetry —personal inspiration they can page through whenever they need a reminder that you’re rooting for them.