Dates & Events

The High School Grad Gift Guide

As we did in our College Graduation Gift Guide, let’s begin with the obvious: grads love money best because money is what they need most. For high school grads on the brink of anything-is-possible, gifts of $100 or $50 from relatives and friends can subsidize the many transitions ahead and will be much appreciated. To make your gift memorable, tuck that cash into something lasting or imaginative.

A few ideas:



backpack Brand new book bag, $85
Brook Farm General Store, $85
This waxed canvas tote carries gadgets, textbooks and a timeless look. No doubt the high school backpack has pretty much disintegrated, so it’s a good time to freshen up for the next phase.
the naked roommate The Naked Roommate
amazon.com, $20
Don’t be fooled, this book isn’t all tongue in cheek. It is filled with good advice delivered with irreverence and candor. It will make your grad smile, and help develop a more open mind and heart to make for an easier transition to campus life.
suitcase Victorinox Spectra Extra Capacity Carry-On
ebags.com, $ 299
High school grads can use their very own luggage in the months and years ahead, shuttling between school and home or even across the ocean to explore or study abroad. This great looking carry-on is light, holds plenty of gear and is made to last forever.
snacks Naturebox subscription
naturebox.com, $ varies
If your favorite grad is enrolling in college next semester, consider this stellar gift of healthy care packages. College freshmen are often sustenance-challenged in their first year away from home, which can lead to some revolting habits. Your gift of a Naturebox subscription comes to the rescue, in monthly care packages filled with snacks created only by Naturebox, a wholesome snack brand. Instead of reaching for late night honeybuns or pizza congealing on the counter, they’ll have healthy options on hand, like praline pumpkin seeds, dark cocoa almonds, and south pacific plantains.
new climate gear DIY, new climate gear
$ varies
If your student is heading to a totally divergent climate from the one in which she lives, a terrific DIY gift is the gear to help her adjust. For warm weather climates, create a gift basket stuffed with a big beach towel, flip flops, sunglasses and sunscreen (lucky!). For colder zones, take a new rain coat and tie it up with some galoshes, an umbrella and a big box of chocolates.
laundry bag UniversityParent laundry bag
amazon.com, $30
We can’t resist plugging one our own products, and that’s because the UniversityParent laundry bag really is an outstanding essential. Our free standing, heavy duty laundry bag has a two-compartment system and shoulder straps that make clothes easy to sort and transport. For better or worse, the rest is up to him.
nordstrom gift card Wardrobe boost
Nordstrom gift card, $ varies
As she starts a new phase of life, your favorite graduate is about to embark on umpteen first impressions. Give her a confidence boost by helping her spruce up her look. A Nordstrom gift card is the perfect choice, with everything from edgy junior attire to more professional clothing, outerwear, shoes, make up and more.
student id holder Sophisticated Student ID Holders
Fossil, $ varies
Student ID cards are used non-stop on campus, often functioning as a pass to the rec center, library card, meal card and more. Many schools give freshmen a nifty lanyard at orientation, but those who wear it quickly notice that the only other students wearing theirs are freshmen too. A rock solid wallet or wristlet from Fossil will keep that ID card handy, secure and rookie proof.
multi tool with hammer Wood Multi-Tool & Hammer
Rejuvenation, $25
We searched high and low for a compact tool kit with some basic dorm room essentials. This one fit the bill with a hammer, flathead & Phillips screwdriver, bottle opener, saw blade, file, pliers and wire cutters. Comes in super handy for small jobs and, unexpectedly, for meeting lots of new people who will certainly want to borrow it.
state art State Art
Map My State $ 15
If your grad is moving out of state for school, heck even if she’s staying in state, this is some solid dorm room décor.
phone charger Charging Snooze dock
Distilunion, $35
Doubling as a bedside stand and charging station, what your student will love most about this dock is how quickly he can slap his iPhone into snooze mode. Made for iPhone 5/5C/5S or 4/4S.
dormify Dorm décor
dormify, $ varies
As a good basic send off, a gift card to Dormify is a head start in making small living spaces homier.
cloud 9 Experience
Cloud 9 Living, $ varies
Somewhere between the last day of finals and watching your student walk across the stage you’ll have an opportunity to commemorate the triumph and mark the transition. Check out Cloud 9 Living which offers a surplus of local experiences – big, bold and memorable. You no doubt have your own ideas too. Anything thoughtful will leave a positive impression, even simply a special dinner.

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