Meaningful Graduation Gift Ideas For The Recent Grad

It can be tough to come up with graduation gift ideas that don’t revolve around handing your grad a fifty-dollar bill and saying “get yourself something nice.” You want a gift that’s meaningful if not downright useful. We’ve got you covered with this graduation gift guide.

The Gift Of Home

Your recent grad is probably considering what they’re going to do with their life, where they’re going to go. Maybe they’re already set up to leave for college, travel, or a new apartment. Even if your grad isn’t going anywhere immediately, they’re still taking a step into the real world and that in itself can leave someone feeling homesick.

Make sure your grad always has a piece of home to take with them: give them a care package full of things that comfort them and make them happy. Scented candles, their favorite sweets, a warm blanket or good book—whatever your grad enjoys when they’re relaxing.

Meaningful Graduation Gift Ideas For The Recent Grad

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Meaningful Graduation Gift Ideas For The Recent Grad

College Survival Kit

If your grad is heading out to college, then it’s a perfect opportunity to saddle them up with a college survival kit! Different from the homey care package, this kit is full of things that may not necessarily make your grad feel cozy, but these are things they will definitely need once they get started at college.

Pens, highlighters, notebooks, a USB drive, emergency cash, maybe some headache medicine and caffeine for those long nights of studying. This gift will be a laugh when your grad first gets it and a life-saver when they actually use all this stuff later!

Meaningful Graduation Gift Ideas For The Recent Grad

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Meaningful Graduation Gift Ideas For The Recent Grad

Photo Journal

One of the best parts of starting a new chapter of your life is making memories. Your grad will need something to capture all those memories with (besides their phone that may be lost or broken). One good way to do that is to write and paste photos into a photo journal.

You’re welcome to offer up a Polaroid camera with the photo journal or simply explain to your grad that they can hook their phone up to a printer or photo kiosk whenever they’re ready to start pasting photos. Otherwise, this type of journal is open to anything your grad wants to do with it: writing, adding stickers or keepsakes, sketching, etc.

Meaningful Graduation Gift Ideas For The Recent Grad

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Meaningful Graduation Gift Ideas For The Recent Grad

Open When Letters

Similar to a care package, “open when” letters are an affordable way to make your grad feel loved no matter the mood or situation. You can get creative with the exact “whens” you want your grad to open a letter during: “When you’re stressed about tests,” “when you’re missing home,” “when you fought with a friend,” etc.

These letters can contain anything from heartfelt advice, to jokes that will make your grad laugh, to small items that will fit in an envelope (stickers, money, keepsakes) to make your grad smile and remember someone always has their back.

Meaningful Graduation Gift Ideas For The Recent Grad

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Meaningful Graduation Gift Ideas For The Recent Grad

A Quirky Coffee Mug

Whether your grad is a coffee or tea drinker, chances are they’re going to need caffeine in the years to come. Nothing says “I’m rooting for you” better than a giant, smart-ass mug for them to pour their caffeine into and snicker over. There are phrases for any (and I mean any) type of person or humor out there, so you can make it as specific to your grad as you like.

If your grad is some strange anomaly that doesn’t drink caffeine, cocoa, juice, or any other drink you could possibly pour into a mug (?), then tell them it’s a pencil cup. A smartass pencil cup.

Meaningful Graduation Gift Ideas For The Recent Grad

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Meaningful Graduation Gift Ideas For The Recent Grad

Coffee or Tea Subscription

Alternatively, you could directly give your grad the gift of caffeine. There are countless coffee and tea subscriptions to choose from, and many of them offer the option of purchasing a one-month subscription or (if you’re feeling generous) a six or twelve-month delivery of coffee or tea, ready to show up at any address of your choosing.

Personally, I’m a fan of Bones Coffee Company, a quirky business that understands each coffee flavor should be wildly unique (and each bag designed with killer art). Bones, like other online-based coffee and tea companies, offers the option to send a friend subscription coffee that is either paid for up-front or allows you to pay as you go.

Meaningful Graduation Gift Ideas For The Recent Grad

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Meaningful Graduation Gift Ideas For The Recent Grad

An Inspirational Book

All the advice in the world can be thrown at someone and still not stick because, well, we can’t remember everything and sometimes hindsight is better than foresight. But maybe you can give your new grad a shot in the dark at creating the life they want for themselves: give them the gift of inspiration. In book form because what better form is there?

The type of book is up to you as long as you believe it will inspire your grad. Is it an inspirational memoir? A self-help book? A fiction book about someone their age overcoming hardship and persevering? A book of inspirational poetry?

Whether your grad identifies as a bookworm, encourage them to read your gift. All the Instagram photos in the world won’t be as inspiring as novel-length words of wisdom.

Meaningful Graduation Gift Ideas For The Recent Grad

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Meaningful Graduation Gift Ideas For The Recent Grad

A Keychain

Wherever life takes your grad, you want them to be prepared for anything and ready to take on their dreams. Remind them you’re with them every step of the way with a motivational keychain they’ll see every time they get in their vehicle. It can say something witty, something sweet, or feature a favorite quote of theirs from a book or movie, as long as your grad has something to take with them on the road.

Whether they’re going to class, out with friends, to a job interview, or somewhere quiet to study, they’ll see your gift and think of you.

Meaningful Graduation Gift Ideas For The Recent Grad

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Meaningful Graduation Gift Ideas For The Recent Grad

What graduation gift ideas are you considering for your recent grad? Are you going to try any of these gifts? Tell us which ones in the comments!

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