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Special Occasions

ParentingSpecial Occasions

The Best Advice You Can Give Your Graduate


As graduation approaches, your high school grad will be preparing for a whole new world. While they may be excited about the possibilities that lie ahead, it’s also normal for them to feel overwhelmed. After the commencement speech is over, reality hits, and it’s likely they are going to need a lot of direction in the coming months. As a parent or mentor, the best advice for the graduate is likely going to come from your own life experiences, but in case you draw a blank, here are a few pointers!

Help them make new friends with Adventure From Scratch.

Whether your graduate is moving on to college or into the workforce, their friend group is going to change substantially. Making friends as an adult, and learning to maintain adult friendships, doesn’t come easily to everyone. Give your favorite grad a leg up by gifting them Adventures From Scratch: Friends Edition for graduation! AFS is loaded with more than 50 adventures and activities specifically designed to nurture adult friendships. We even include space to document their adventures and conversation prompts to help new friends get to know each other better! It’s a pretty perfect graduation gift if we don’t say so ourselves!

The Best Advice You Can Give Your Graduate

Every graduate is different and while some will need help with making friends, others totally have the social calendar in the bag, and they need tips on saving money and managing their responsibilities. The best advice isn’t a generic quote, but a personalized recommendation based on their character. You know your grad best, and you will likely know what to say when the time comes, but here are a few of the best tidbits!

1. Assess yourself.

According to Psychology Today, one important lesson is that there is no universal solution for building a fulfilling life. It is crucial to understand your own personality, preferences, and values in order to cultivate a happy, healthy, and productive lifestyle. Knowing yourself is the first step towards making informed decisions about your career, relationships, and personal growth. Encourage your graduate to make a list of their deepest values and what they really want out of life.

2. Mistakes will happen.

Help your graduate get prepared for the truth of the real world. Mistakes happen, and they are going to choose the wrong road once or twice. They should understand that principle going into adulthood. It’s crucial not to let these mistakes consume you. Let them know that very few mistakes are without solution, and that it’s okay to experiment with what you want. When they fall, be there to pick them up and encourage them to turn the negative situation into a positive outcome. They will come out stronger and wiser on the other side.

3. Save for your future now.

Remember the excitement of getting your first job and a real paycheck? The tendency is to overindulge in buying stuff. Immature adults generally buy things they don’t need, unaware of how quickly old age is going to sneak up on them. Help your graduate see into the future a bit, and suggest that they open an investment account. We, as a society, do a terrible job of teaching financial responsibility. Suggest that your graduate begin speaking with a financial advisor as soon as they snag that first real paycheck to help them create a well-rounded portfolio and secure their future personal finances.

4. Don’t be consumed by stuff.

The notion of “less is more” is a philosophy that we all should probably contemplate more often. Learning to put your money where your true passions are, makes for a much happier existence for most people than piles of material goods. Everyone loves nice things, but young people can overdo it and neglect responsibilities as they are not great at money management yet. Let them know there is nothing wrong with nice things, but it’s important to be mindful of your possessions and make sure they don’t dominate your life.

Writers note: When my wife and I decided to travel full-time, we downsized our possessions significantly. This experience helped me realize the truth behind the concept that less really is more. We had accumulated so much unnecessary clutter that served no purpose in our lives, and we don’t miss it.

5. Keep connected.

As people transition to college or pursue their careers, they may find themselves separated from their high school friends and family. Maintaining strong relationships with others is essential to happiness. This can be achieved by attending events such as reunions and weddings, remembering birthdays, and conversing with friends through group text chats or video calls. Scheduling yearly dates or creating regular traditions with your family members can help prevent fallout as well. Warn your graduate how quickly and easily old relationships can falter if they aren’t nurtured, and help them put some preliminary statutes in place to prevent it.

Check out our “15 Ways To Reconnect With Old Friends” for some great ideas on how to rekindle lost relationships.

6. Make new friends.

Transitioning to the real world can be a daunting and isolating experience, which is why it’s crucial to cultivate friend-making skills. The hardest part is getting out of your comfort zone and striking up conversations with new people. Encourage your graduate to join social media groups for their hobbies. We all know that after high school is when most people truly find themselves and their people. Encourage them to test out new social groups, try new hobbies, and attend every social gathering they can until they find their spot. Branch out, so to speak.

If you don’t know where or how to start, take a look at “How To Make Friends As An Adult (And Why You Should!)

7. Learn patience.

It can be difficult to cultivate patience in a fast-paced, instant-gratification culture. Whether it’s dealing with a difficult coworker, navigating a complicated project, or waiting for the results of our efforts to bear fruit, life takes lots of patience. Prepare your graduate for a long road, reassuring them that all the best things in life take some time to accomplish.

8. Respect everyone.

Respect is a fundamental aspect of human interaction that can bring about positive change, not just in yourself, but in a community as a whole. In a professional setting, showing respect to superiors can lead to career advancement and growth as well. Treating others with kindness, empathy, and dignity takes practice and diligent effort. Liking someone and respecting them as a human being are different concepts, and it’s important that you prepare your graduate to approach all humanity as equal and worthy of respect.

9. Never stop learning.

Learning new skills has never been easier. You can literally learn anything on YouTube. As graduates step out on their own, they usually find out very quickly how inept they are at huge chunks of life. Some of the best advice for graduates is to learn to be a problem solver and have the confidence to try something new, even if you fail. Never stop learning. There’s always something new to tackle!

10. Don’t compare yourself to others.

Comparing yourself to others is a natural tendency, but it’s important to be mindful of how it affects you. While it may provide motivation to work harder, it can also lead to negative emotions like jealousy and stress. Everyone has their own journey and timeline, but it’s hard to see that when you are young. Remind your graduate not to compare their beginning to someone else’s middle or end, but instead to pay attention to their own progress and growth, and appreciate the small wins along the way. It’s important to set realistic goals and celebrate achievements, no matter how small they may seem.

11. Stay positive.

Having a positive outlook can be a powerful tool in overcoming challenges and achieving success. Research from the Mayo Clinic shows that positive thinking may lead to increased health benefits as well, including longer life spans and improved immunity. Laughter and gratefulness have been shown to reduce stress, which wreaks havoc on the body. Plus, everyone loves to be around a positive and encouraging person. Inspire your graduate to be that kind of friend. It will serve them well.

12. Take care of your health.

According to Psychology Today, throughout their numerous interviews with successful and creative individuals regarding happiness and habit, one recurring theme is the significance of maintaining a regular exercise routine, coupled with adequate sleep. Many of these individuals also express regret for not adopting these habits earlier. Feeling fatigued or sluggish makes it challenging to be productive and content. By learning to prioritize exercise and sleep early, your grad will be ahead of the game!

13. Help others.

Helping others can bring immense joy and fulfillment into our lives. Whether it’s volunteering at a local charity or simply lending an ear to someone in need, we can make a positive impact on those around us. In a generation of self-absorption, help your graduate stand out by encouraging them to view others as important, alongside themselves.

14. Learn a side hustle.

It seems everyone has a side hustle these days! With so many ways to bring in some extra cash, especially with passive income, it seems a shame to put all your eggs in one basket. While it’s important to choose a full-time job that fits your interests and your talents, side hustles are all about passion. Whether it’s through being a blogger, selling things on Amazon, or turning an artistic talent into a side business, there are endless possibilities to supplement income! Whatever it is they are passionate about, encourage them to find a way to make money at it. It never hurts to have a little extra in this economy.

15. Explore various career paths.

Too many college students get pushed into a major too early. Most 18-year-olds don’t know what they want to do for the rest of their life (I’m 40, and I still don’t know). The best career advice you can give is to encourage them to explore the different options available to them and take courses from multiple majors until they find one that fits.

If your grad is not going to college, suggest they take a year off to travel and explore the world, if possible. If not, encourage them to branch out in their job search. Attend job fairs. They are invaluable for helping young people find the perfect job and expanding their knowledge of what’s out there. They could also sign up for short internships, or work a couple of part-time jobs and see what they like best.

16. Create a budget.

A proper budget is a powerful tool that far too many people do not take advantage of. Implementing a budget early on establishes healthy financial habits and curbs spending. It equips you with the necessary padding to adapt to changes in your financial situation, such as starting a new job, buying a house for the first time, or starting a family. By taking control of their finances, they can make informed decisions and work towards their goals with confidence. There are tons of great budget apps out there. Perhaps, suggest one and help them set it up, or show them how you handle your personal budget.

17. Expand your library.

Remember that whole life-long learning thing? It generally requires at least some reading. Suggest a few books on money management, time management, starting a business, etc. Recommend your favorite author, or give them a copy of the most useful book you’ve ever read.

18. Live your own life.

“The American Dream” has planted the idea in our heads that all have to follow this pre-cut path… a family, a house, a typical 9—5 job, and so on. While there’s nothing inherently wrong with this lifestyle, it may not be suitable for everyone. If your graduate is a bit unorthodox, encourage them to follow their own path!

Writers note: I’ve discovered that there are countless ways to live a productive life. I started my career as a school teacher, but then left it behind to travel the world and work as a digital nomad. You can experience so much more if you are willing to explore possibilities beyond the norm. My previous life was fine, but traveling and stepping out of my comfort zone have taught me that life has so much to offer, and happiness can be achieved through various means.

19. Live in the now.

“First I was dying to finish high school and start college. And then I was dying to finish college and start working. And then I was dying to marry and have children. And then I was dying for my children to grow old enough for school so I could return to work. And then I was dying to retire. And now I am dying, and suddenly I realize I forgot to live.” – Anonymous

It’s effortless to allow life to slip by unnoticed. Without realizing it, years (or even decades) can pass us by. It’s crucial to be present in the moment, and enjoy the current stage of your life. Insist that your graduate slow down and enjoy this season of life, not putting too much pressure on themselves to achieve.

20. Believe in yourself.

Although it may sound cliché, self-belief is critical as they embark on this new chapter of their life. They are sure to encounter odd experiences, meet difficult individuals, and have some tough moments in the near future. However, having faith in themselves can help them power through difficult times. Becoming more self-assured is a challenge, and your young adult might need a little help. Start with a list of all their incredible characteristics and point out a few ways those traits will help them succeed!

Ready to talk?

Providing words of encouragement and guidance to a new high school or college graduate can be a challenging task. However, it is essential to convey a message that instills confidence, promotes self-discovery, and sets realistic expectations for the future. Recognizing their accomplishments and the hard work that led to their graduation is an excellent way to start! Did you find the advice for the graduate in your life that you were seeking? Let us know which piece of advice was most helpful in the comments. If you have more incredible advice, drop that in the comments too!

If you need ideas on the best graduation gifts look at our “40 Practical and Perfect High School Graduation Gifts for Him and “32 Sweet and Sensible High School Graduation Gifts for Her.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best advice for a high school graduate?

The best advice for a graduate is to do an assessment of your values and the things you truly enjoy. Then, pursue a life and career that line up with those values!

What every graduate should know?

Grads should know that all their relationships are about to change. Making new adult friends and keeping old connections is hard. Help them out by gifting them Adventures From Scratch: Friends Edition!

What advice do you give a graduating senior?

Some of the best advice for graduates is to respect others whether you like them or not, get early guidance on financial planning, and learn how to foster adult friendships.

How do you motivate a new graduate?

It’s easy to get lost after graduation and not know what to do next. To motivate a graduate, encourage them to make a list of their passions and suggest a few paths that align with their passions.

How do you inspire someone to be successful?

Encouraging your graduate to believe in themselves is key to becoming successful. Start with pointing out their good characteristics and a few ways those traits will help them succeed.

Special Occasions

40 Practical and Perfect High School Graduation Gifts for Him


Reaching high school graduation is an important achievement for any young man. Graduation signifies the culmination of years of hard work, dedication, and growth. It’s a momentous occasion that deserves to be celebrated in a memorable way. Whether you’re looking for a practical gift or a lifelong keepsake, we have compiled 40 perfect high school graduation gifts for him with something for every kind of graduate. Let’s find the perfect gift to celebrate his achievement!

Keep them connected with friends.

After graduation, your grad may not live close to their best friend anymore. When they do get the opportunity to hang out again, help them make the most of their time together with Adventures From Scratch: Friends Edition! Our one-of-a-kind activity book is packed with fun and creative ideas to strengthen the bond between pals. Simply follow the key, scratch off an adventure, and take the plunge! We’ve even included conversation starters and a designated scrapbook section to help capture and cherish shared experiences. With 50+ adventures, they’ll have everything they need to create unforgettable memories during their brief but precious reunions!

The Best High School Graduation Gift Ideas for Him

No matter what gift you choose, remember that it’s not the price of the present that matters, but the thought and sentiment behind it. Choose a gift that reflects his personality and interests, and that will serve as a meaningful reminder of this special day. We’ve included gifts in all price ranges, so whether you are a casual friend of the family or a parent of the graduate, you can find the best gift right here!

1. Custom Design Minifigure

Looking for a unique way to celebrate a graduation milestone? Consider a commemorative mini-figure from LEGO! These figures come in attractive packaging, making them a perfect keepsake or paperweight for their new desk. An extra special gift that is customizable will surely bring a smile to the graduate’s face for years to come.

2. Graduation Coffee Mug

Everyone needs their own coffee mug, but make sure no one steals or drinks out of his. There’s no better way to mark his territory than to plaster his face all over it. The mug is black when cold but when it gets hot enough it turns white and reveals his smiling face. Every morning as he chugs his brew, he’ll get a good chuckle and be reminded of you.

3. Fan Apparel

For a unique graduation gift that your new grad will adore, look no further than Fanatics. As the premier destination for officially licensed clothing and accessories—from over 500 colleges and pro-teams—this site has everything from t-shirts and hats to hoodies and sneakers. So whatever team your grad cheers for he will be looking good in his new fan gear.

4. T-shirt Quilt

A high school graduation t-shirt quilt gift for him is a lifelong keepsake that also serves a practical purpose. Consider selecting a t-shirt that features his school’s logo or colors, as this will not only serve as a sentimental reminder of his time in high school but also as a symbol of pride for his alma mater. Additionally, you could choose a t-shirt that features a motivational or inspirational quote that speaks to his personal goals or aspirations.

5. Bedding Bundle

If your graduate is moving into a dorm room, then they are going to need some twin bedding. Be sure to check out Pottery Barn Teen. This bundle includes a cozy comforter, a matching sham, and a Twin sheet set, making it a perfect gift to help any guy prepare for college. Plus it comes in a range of dark colors, so when your college kid doesn’t wash his sheets for a month, at least they won’t look disgusting.

6. The Naked Roommate: And 107 Other Issues You Might Run Into in College 

For college students, navigating the ins and outs of campus life can be daunting. Fortunately, there’s a guidebook that’s been tried and tested by thousands of students and has become a New York Times bestseller. The Naked Roommate, written by Harlan Cohen, is the closest thing to a “college instruction manual” out there. Drawing from his own experiences as a student, as well as insights gained from speaking to students and administrators across the country, Cohen offers practical advice on everything from academics to social life. If your graduate seems a bit nervous for moving out and taking on the real world, this book is a great option!

7. Portable Phone Charger

An Anker portable phone charger is an ideal high school graduation gift for the tech-savvy student who’s about to embark on the next chapter of their life. With a portable charger, your grad can stay connected and powered up on the go, whether they’re attending classes, traveling, or exploring new places. It’s a gift that’s both practical and convenient, and it shows that you’re thinking of their needs as they start this new journey.

8. Handheld Steamer

Let’s face it. Most people do not like to iron, and college guys are at the top of that list. Try the next best thing in a Conair handheld steamer. Your grad will still be looking sharp even when he is living out of a pile of laundry on the floor (we’ve all been there). If you are lucky enough to have a high school grad who doesn’t care to look like a bum every day, a steamer is a practical and useful tool.

9. Packable Blanket

For the college-bound guy, spending Saturdays lounging on the quad’s grass is practically a rite of passage. That’s why a packable, water-resistant blanket is a great gift item for his dorm room. The Rumpl blanket is not only machine-washable and dryer-safe but also designed to withstand the elements. Whether he’s picnicking with friends or catching some rays, this versatile and durable blanket will serve him well.

10. Slim Backpack

For a super practical graduation gift, think no further than a slim backpack. This backpack has a professional and sleek design that looks far more professional than a standard book bag. It’s an excellent option for college students who will soon transition into the workforce as diligent employees or entrepreneurs. The backpack includes multiple compartments that assist in maintaining organization, is waterproof, and includes a cushioned area that safeguards a laptop.

11. Custom Keychain

For a budget-friendly, personalized gift, consider a wood keyring with engraved inserts. The solid walnut used in this keyring is sustainably sourced and hand-finished with natural wood oils to bring out its unique color and grain. Plus, you can add a special touch by engraving your graduate’s name or a short message onto the back of the keyring.

12. Coffee Maker

If your grad is a bonafide coffee addict, make them the envy of the dorm with this high-quality Ninja coffee maker. This thing is serious business with a glass carafe, a built-in milk frother, an espresso maker, and all the bells and whistles. It’s a serious coffee pot for a serious college student! Go on and get yourself one while you’re at it. You know you want to!

13. Dorm Fridge

A dormitory refrigerator can be extremely useful when dining halls are closed, during inclement weather, or when you need to stock up on Sprite for that first dorm-wide stomach bug. With a capacity of 2.4 cubic feet, this energy-efficient fridge is the perfect option for cramped, under-bed spaces. Let’s just hope they only store Sprite in it!

14. Noise-Canceling Headphones

Trying to study in a loud dorm can be very frustrating. To beat the noise try the Soundcore by Anker Life Q30 Hybrid Active Noise Canceling Headphones. With advanced noise-canceling technology, 40 hours of playtime, and pressure-free comfort, they can stay focused and ace that test every time.

15. Sentry Safe

Let’s face it, you never know what type of roommate your graduate will get. HUANLANG Portable Safe Lock Box with Combination Lock is the perfect grad gift to keep his valuables locked away safe and sound. This safe is portable and perfect for adventuring too. Its waterproof design means he can take it for a weekend excursion to the beach or a camping trip too. With the wire cord, he can secure his stuff to a beach chair or tree limb and go for a swim or a hike without worry.

18. Tool Set

This 39-piece tool set includes all the accessories your graduate might need in his dorm this year, as well as in future apartments. Dad’s not going to be around anymore to fix all the stuff. Make sure he’s ready to tackle it himself.

19. Monogrammed Wallet

As he enters adulthood, it’s time to say goodbye to his Spiderman wallet and swap it for a more mature look. A new leather wallet would make an excellent gift, and it can even be personalized with a monogram for added sentimental value.

20. Echo Dot (5th Gen)

The 5th generation Echo Dot is an indispensable tool for college students. Alexa can provide your grad with helpful information on weather, time, and sports scores. It can also play his favorite music, audiobooks, and podcasts. It might even help him cram for that test at the last minute!

21. A Great Streaming Device

The Roku Ultra is a standout choice among other streaming device options. It offers exceptional 4K and HDR support, speed, reliability, and an extensive collection of streaming services such as Netflix, HBO Max, Rakuten Viki, and many more. Furthermore, it includes headphones for private listening, making it a perfect gift for graduates who wish to watch TV on a big screen without disturbing others.

22. A Multicooker

If your guy isn’t the best cook or is short on time, then the Instant Pot is an excellent kitchen appliance as it enables anyone to prepare delectable meals regardless of their level of expertise or spatial limitations. Additionally, it includes an app with hundreds of user-friendly, step-by-step recipes, such as roast chicken and mac-and-cheese. Your grad will be the favorite roommate in no time!

23. A Nice Watch

A watch is a timeless and practical gift for a new high school grad. It not only serves as a fashion accessory but also helps them stay punctual and on top of their busy schedule. The Citizen stainless steel watch is an excellent choice, thanks to its Eco-Drive technology that eliminates the need for battery replacements. The watch is powered by natural or artificial light, and the battery stores excess energy, enabling it to run even if kept in complete darkness for an extended period. It’s pretty much dummy-proof!

24. A Smart Suitcase

The first year of college requires a few weekends at home to console mom. A great gift for your traveler is a proper carry-on suitcase. The July Suitcase has gained immense popularity for several reasons, including its lightweight build, diverse color options, 360° wheels, and built-in ejectable battery for charging all electronic devices. If a new grad is headed beyond a car’s drive after high school, a high-quality suitcase like this one would be a thoughtful gift that he’ll get use out of for years to come.

25. A Microwave-Safe Ramen Cooker

Late nights come with hunger pains, and they are usually quenched with affordable and delicious ramen noodles. If they’re going to indulge in it anyway, why not make it quickly and flawlessly every time with a dedicated ramen cooker?

26. A Nice Toiletry Bag

When using a shared bathroom, leaving your belongings scattered around is not an option, and you often have to pack everything up and travel down the hall for a shower in male dorms. That’s why a toiletry bag is an excellent solution for keeping everything organized. Personalized gifts are always appreciated in public spaces as well. No one can steal your nice leather bathroom bag and get away with it if it has your name monogrammed on it.

27. A Blazer

For most college students, a blazer is a nice commodity to own for job interviews, internships, or fraternity formals. If your favorite grad is foregoing college and hitting the workforce, then a nice blazer is even more necessary. A Coofandy men’s casual blazer would be an excellent investment to make a lasting impression and see your money utilized wisely, as it can be used repeatedly for years to come.

28. A Card Game

Contrary to popular belief, classic card games are still a favorite pastime among college students. Spending evenings with friends playing Cards Against Humanity can be a great way to unwind after a long day of classes.

29. A Custom Map Print

When your high school graduate moves away from home, give them some tasteful yet meaningful decor for their dorm room that reminds them of their hometown or a special place. Finding suitable decorations for a teenager’s room can be challenging, but this custom map print gift is sure to be a hit!

30. Stylish Button-up Dress Shirts

A high-quality dress shirt is a timeless essential in any wardrobe, suitable for numerous occasions, and one of the finest options available is from Brooks Brothers. What’s more, this particular dress shirt doesn’t need ironing! Simply wash, dry, and hang it immediately, and it will retain its crisp and immaculate appearance. Perfect!

31. A Custom Tumbler

If he’s into the outdoors, these customizable Yeti mugs are an excellent choice as they offer powerful insulation that lasts through a long hike or a full day of classes. Plus, they can withstand the rigors of campus life, and stainless steel is a natural bacteria fighter, which is a good option for someone who probably isn’t going to wash it that often. Additionally, with over 180 colleges to choose from, he can show his school spirit while enjoying his favorite beverage.

32. Bluetooth Speaker

The JBL flip 6 portable Bluetooth speaker is designed to withstand whatever comes its way, be it accidental spills or rough handling, making it an excellent investment for a rough-and-tumble guy. He’ll appreciate the convenience, compact size, high ratings, and durability that allow him to listen to his favorites no matter where the road takes him today.

33. iPad

Most college students will choose to take notes on an electronic device or some sort. However, carrying an Apple iPad pro with a keyboard accessory, instead of a laptop, can be a significant advantage, as it is much lighter and easier to transport, Also if your grad already has an iPhone the iPad gives him all the convenience of the Apple system without the price of a Macbook.

34. An Amazon Prime Membership

An Amazon Prime membership is a gift that can make life significantly easier for a new grad. From free shipping to a variety of streaming services like Prime Video and Prime Music, it’s a multi-use gift. In addition, they can borrow books through the Kindle Lending Library, access unlimited photo storage, and more. This gift is especially helpful if the recipient plans on ordering items for their dorm or purchasing books for school, as they can save a considerable amount of money on shipping costs.

35. Mattress Topper

Let’s face it, dorm beds are not very comfortable. The Lucid gel memory foam topper is a very practical gift that your student will end up being very thankful for. A good night’s sleep is worth every penny spent.

Writer’s Note: While it might sound like a boring gift, I can personally attest that in my college experience, my mattress topper was the most cherished item in my dorm room. That bed was awful!

36. Comfortable Pants for Lounging

Sweatpants are pretty much a college guy wardrobe staple. Whether he’s working from home or living in a dorm room, these personalized sweatpants are the perfect option. Perfect for unwinding after a long day of schoolwork, or taking on the fellas for a late-night game of b-ball, these lounge pants are a must-have for any college student.

37. A Cozy Fleece Pullover

This ultra-comfortable Patagonia fleece makes for an excellent upgrade to his old hoodie or sweatshirt. Ideal for relaxing or layering underneath a coat in colder environments, this pullover comes in various colors and patterns to choose from.

38. Bedside Caddy

Dorm rooms are notoriously tiny, and saving space is a must. That’s why a bedside caddy is a useful gift that a high school graduate will eventually appreciate. This versatile caddy has a spot for electronic devices, a water bottle, books, a TV remote, and much more.

39. Grubhub Gift Card

Eventually, ramen noodles get old even for college students. A gift card to Grubhub gives them the option to order takeout every now and then, which is a nice change!

40. Host a Graduation Party

If you are looking for a non-monetary gift that will be special for your graduate, then host a graduation celebration for them. Make the night all about their favorites, and send them out into the real world with a bang!

Which will you choose?

We’ve covered an exhaustive list of graduation gift ideas. We hope that you have found the perfect present or at least got inspired by our suggestions. Keep in mind that the best graduation gifts are not necessarily expensive or hard to find. They should be thoughtful and personal. If you’re still unsure, don’t hesitate to ask the recipient what they want—it’s perfectly okay! After all, not everyone enjoys surprises. Remember, gift-giving should be enjoyable, so don’t stress too much.

If you have a budget to adhere to, don’t worry, we understand. You can still impress with your gift by following the suggestions on our list of “Amazing Gifts Under $100!”

Need a gift for a female graduate too? Check out our list of “Practical and Perfect High School Graduation Gifts for Her.”

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an appropriate graduation gift for a boy?

Consider something that is practical, but also personal, like a custom Yeti, monogrammed toiletry kit, or a custom key chain.

What do you give a guy for graduation?

For the perfect graduation gift, think about things that can help ease him into the next phase of life like a well-made blazer, a classic watch, an iron-free dress shirt, or a new iPad Pro.

Should you buy someone a graduation gift?

If you attend a graduation ceremony or party, then a gift is customary. Consider a GrubHub gift card or a new tech gadget like an Eco Dot, a Bluetooth speaker, or a portable phone charger.

What is a quick graduation gift?

If you forgot about getting a graduation gift, don’t worry! Gift cards, Amazon Prime memberships, or an Adventures From Scratch: Friends Edition for weekend excursions with new pals!

Why are graduation gifts important?

Graduation day is an important milestone that happens once in a lifetime, so give your grad something special like custom fan gear or a book of adventures to share with new friends!

Special Occasions

32 Sweet and Sensible High School Graduation Gifts for Her

high-school-graduation-gifts-for-herPhoto taken by Juan Ramos

High school graduation is just around the corner… what to buy that special graduate in your life? While it might be overwhelming with all the options out there, the good news is, young adults pretty much need everything. They will soon be heading to college and furnishing a dorm room or starting a trade and possibly getting their own place. Either way, they’ll need practical household goods. It’s an exciting time, a new phase of life, but it’s also a time for remembrance, and high school grads appreciate sentimental gifts that remind them of their high school years, as well. In this list of the best high school graduation gifts for her, we’ve found a host of fantastic options. From personalized water bottles to sentimental keepsakes and even gap year trips, from big to small, we’ve got them all! Let’s find the perfect gift for your grad.

Graduation Gift Etiquette

Are you supposed to get a gift? If so, how much are you supposed to spend? Are there rules about these things? Well, yes and no. If you’re attending a graduation party or have received a personal invitation from a graduate to the ceremony, it’s customary to give a gift. The amount spent on that gift is obviously a personal choice. If it’s an acquaintance, between $10-40 is generally acceptable. Are you a close family member or friend? Then you may want to hang out in the $50-100 range. If you’re grandparents or parents and want to do something extra special, great!

Take all of that with a grain of salt because a very inexpensive gift that has sentimental value or immense practical purpose or that reminds your graduate of a fond memory is priceless. It doesn’t have to cost much at all. The most important thing is that you thought about who they are, what they would like, and what would make them feel special. When all else fails, a little cash never hurt anyone either, but we can do better! Let’s see what we can find.

High School Graduation Gift Ideas for Her

1. Adventures From Scratch: Friends Edition

Leaving for college often means making a whole new set of friends, searching out new adventures, and falling into new hobbies, as well. Help your grad make the most of the transition with our scratch-off adventure book. It contains more than 50 adventures ranging from at-home activities to day trip ideas, and it’s loaded with helpful tips, like conversation starters and journal space to document their experiences with their new crew. Our books are the perfect graduation gift for an adventurous soul!

2. The Gift of Exploration With Let’s Roam

If your favorite high school grad is moving to a new city, help them feel at home with a few fun-filled tours. Let’s Roam provides innovative scavenger hunts, ghost tours, and urban art walks in cities all over the world. Our hunts include informative trivia and fun photo and video challenges. They’re perfect for new friends who want to get to know each other and their new city at the same time! Grab an Explorer Pass and give your new grad the gift that keeps giving all year long.

3. Custom Art Print

These adorable custom prints from Etsy represent your girl grad and her best friends with cartoon sketches resembling their figures and a custom quote of your choice. It’s a unique gift that allows them to keep friends close as they go in separate directions. Plus, it makes a cute decoration for their college dorm!

4. Rose Gold Gift Box

These stunning, custom packages are an awesome gift for a high school grad. You can choose from the basic set with lip balm, jewelry dish, monogrammed stainless steel tumbler, and mirror compact, or you can add additional spa treatments, as well. Pick all the pieces your favorite girl will love!

5. Leather Campus Bag

She’s outgrown the backpack now. It’s time for something with a little more class. This oversized leather tote is well-made, has a luxurious feel, and will last her throughout her college years. Plus, it’s just big enough to be a weekend bag for when she’s feeling a little homesick!

6. A Graduation Party

If you really want to give your high school senior a meaningful gift, forego the material goods and plan a party with all their friends and family. Don’t plan it on graduation night of course, as they will likely have plans with their fellow grads. But within a week or two of the event, plan something truly special and ask attendees to bring a written story of their favorite memory with the grad. These notes can be collected into a memory journal they can take with them wherever they are moving on to. Every time they’re feeling homesick, they take a look at the personal notes from loved ones and remember the awesome going away party you hosted for them!

7. Coffee Fix

If you’ve got a coffee lover on your hands, here’s a great graduation gift! She’ll likely be running late for class or work until she gets the hang of this whole real-world thing, so help her out a bit with a single-serving FlexBrew coffee maker. The Pioneer Woman from Hamilton Beach has the perfect vintage floral pattern, and she’s gonna love it. Plus, it allows her to choose from a small cup at home or a large thermos to go!

8. Personalized Pajama Set

For the first time, your graduate is going to be sleeping away from home consistently, roaming the halls of a new apartment or dorm, and she is going to need a real set of pajamas. Hook her up with this super cute monogram t-shirt and shorts combo! They are incredibly soft and comfy and have the perfect mix of cute and elegant, too.

9. Becoming Her Guided Journal

Not only is this journal by Alerra Padgett and Co. beautiful, but it is also incredibly useful. With over 100 pages of guided prompts, monthly and weekly calendars, and meal plan pages, she’ll be able to keep all the details of her new life and her ever-evolving thoughts in order. Starting a full-time job, moving away from home, or the inevitable change in relationships that occurs after high school brings on a slew of emotions, but just having a simple way to document and process them can help immensely!

10. Adventure Travel Journal

Graduating high school and heading straight for university is not the right road for all students. Many will choose to take a gap year instead. If your graduate is going out to see the world, give them a grad gift that will help them keep track of the incredible memories they are sure to make! Our Adventure Travel Journal is a living scrapbook for adventurers. It has road trip ideas, packing list pages, journaling prompts to help them organize their ideas, scratch-off adventures, and more. It’s just small enough to easily fit in their hand luggage, and it makes the perfect gap-year travel companion!

11. Voice Recorder

If your high school grad is heading out for college soon, help them get the best grades possible. Eight a.m. classes come early after a late night, and freshmen are notoriously bad at time management, so a handy voice recorder to catch every word of the professor will put her ahead of the game. Even if she does doze off in class, she won’t miss a second of important information! This one is available on Amazon, contains 48 GB of storage, and is discrete and user-friendly.

12. Practical Gift Card

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with a distinctly practical graduation gift. College students are always broke, and a Walmart, Target, or Chick-Fil-A gift card will come in handy! If you want to make it a little more special, order a small personalized graduation gift, like a monogram makeup bag, key chain, or laptop skin, to add a sweet element to your otherwise practical present.

13. Custom Floral Name Necklace

Ever since Carrie busted out her signature gold name necklace in Sex and the City all those years ago, the simple fashion accessory has remained trendy for young women. These custom pieces have a little vintage floral flair and a vertical orientation that add an interesting twist, and they are all adorable!

14. Fujifilm Instax Mini

The Fujifilm Instax is just good ol’ nostalgic fun! With this little handheld, your girl will be able to instantly capture printable polaroids with her friends and decorate her new space with memories. In a world where everything has gone digital, there is something really nice about a tangible photo, but only one that is available in seconds, of course! It comes in several colors to fit her style, too. Don’t forget the film!

15. Personalized Toiletries Tote Bag

If you’re looking for a simple, budget-friendly graduation present, this is a great option for a girly girl. Set her up to be the most stylish college student in the communal bath with a chic off-white and gold make-up tote. It’s made of easily wipeable material and will keep all her cosmetics organized and ready to move!

16. Alma Mater Fan Gear

If your graduate is moving on to college, they are going to need some game gear. One of the best graduation gifts you can bestow on them is a warm fan hoodie for those cold Friday night football games! If they are going to a popular university, you can find official gear online at Fanatics. If not, you may need to buy from their university bookstore.

17. Weighted Blanket

Nothing is quite as comforting and cozy as a big, heavy blankie. Check out this fluffy, faux fur 15lb blanket. It’s available in vibrant colors for a fun and quirky girl, with a white backside for days when she is feeling chic. This beauty will ensure that her room looks great and that she gets the most restful sleep… whatever hour she finally does go to bed.

18. Lelasilk Long Robe

There’s nothing that makes you feel more luxurious than silk and nothing more comforting than a warm bathrobe after your shower. Make your graduate feel like the queen she is with a deluxe silk bathrobe that is just as beautiful as she is!

19. Personalized Apple Airpods Case

We’d all love to gift our favorite grad with brand-new Apple products, but that isn’t in the budget for everyone. However, these super cute silicone Airpod cases are a nice accessory for Airpods they already have or perhaps a graduation gift from mom and dad. They can be engraved with her name, graduation year, initials, or a short personal message that commemorates your relationship.

20. MacBook Pro Case

Did your graduate get a new MacBook for school? Help her make it her own and keep it protected with a personally chosen case. This marbelized, pink, rose gold, and white one is beautiful, but choose one that fits your girl’s vibe!

21. Portable Charger

Got a forgetful student? Still have to charge their phone for them every night? Send them away with a backup plan! The Anker 313 Power Bank is a slimline piece of equipment with a large charging capacity. She’ll eventually have to remember to charge this too, but at least she can get a couple of full iPhone charges out of it before she’s out of options.

22. Leather Graduation Photo Album/Scrapbook

Give your girl a high-quality, vintage-feel, ringed scrapbook to document her last year of high school or her first year of life in the real world. Whether she is moving on to the workforce or heading for university, this first year out of school will be filled with new experiences that she is going to want to document!

23. Live Letter Succulent Kit

Dorm rooms (and first apartments) tend to be pretty bland and cell-like. Help your graduate bring a little life to the place. These succulent kits are easy to keep alive, first of all, so that’s a plus, but they are also really beautiful. They can lay flat on a surface or hang on the wall. The letter design also makes a great door hanger. You can find this one on Uncommongoods.

24. Echo Dot 5th Generation

Got a techy girl on your hands? Make sure she has the world at her fingertips with the brand new Echo Bluetooth speaker with Alexa capabilities and a built-in alarm clock. It features motion detection, its own Wi-Fi router, and an LED screen, along with a modern and small design that allows it to blend in, no matter how squished the new room might be.

25. One Question a Day

One Question a Day for Self-Care is a three-year prompt journal that makes keeping her ideas organized an easy task. It asks just one question a day, prompting her to contemplate ideas she might not otherwise think of and learn to sort through emotions. The prompts mostly focus on emotional well-being and self-care, helping to ensure that your graduate tackles all the new changes with a well-rounded approach.

26. A Volunteer Trip

This idea is for a close family member who wants to gift their graduate in a big way. Paying for a life experience, rather than another gadget, is a gift that keeps on giving. With a teen service trip, your graduate will get to experience a new culture, travel on their own (probably for the first time), explore their own capabilities and interests without parental guidance, and serve in a community project that benefits others. Service trips range widely in location, purpose, and price. Ideas include working with injured primates in Vietnam, helping with English in Guatemala, or working with a cleanup crew in India. These trips are organized by a travel agency that specializes in trips for young adults, organizing the itineraries, guides, accommodation, and security. Check out “The Top 12 Service Trips for Teens” to get a few ideas!

27. Dinosaur Coffee Mugs

Yeah, sure, she is an adult… kind of. She is also likely to live the next year on Keurig and ramen. If you have to buy grown-up stuff like coffee cups, you might as well make them fun. These clay dinosaur mugs are about as grown up as a dinosaur mug can be, and we think they’re awesome!

28. Exploding Kittens

Ridiculous card games are a perfect graduation gift for a budding college student. College has rainy days and snow days too, and she is going to need something to do that’s cheap. Cards Against Humanity, Exploding Kittens, and the like will do the trick. For a fun and easy gift basket, grab several hilarious card games and bundle them up for the ultimate gaming package.

29. Memberships

Your grad is probably pretty used to the benefits of Netflix, Spotify, YouTube Premium, and Amazon Prime. If they are going to be leaving home, hook them up with their own subscriptions for a year. Other options that would be useful are Uber Eats, Starbucks, Audible, or personalized vitamin packs.

30. Luggex Aluminum Suitcase

Luggage these days is made about as well as new appliances. It seems to be built to break within the first use. Whether your graduate is going on a gap year trip or heading for university, hook her up with an aluminum suitcase from Luggex. The metal design, heavy-duty lock clamps, and sturdy wheelbase will hopefully keep her traveling for years to come.

31. Customized Stainless Steel Water Bottle

Keep her hydrated and well-accessorized with one of these monogrammed water bottles. It fits easily in a book bag, looks sleek, and has some natural antimicrobial capabilities, which is good for gross college students.

32. Crochet Storage Baskets

With cramped spaces, you need good storage options. These adorable crochet baskets will do the trick. They are spacious and stackable and will fit into most home decor styles. They are available in multiple sizes, as well. Grab them for bathroom toiletries, jewelry, undergarments, or even throw blankets. Is there ever really a time in life when you couldn’t use another storage basket? We think not!

Closing Thoughts

Did you find something you love on this list of high school graduation gifts for her? If so, please let us know which one you’ve chosen in the comments. Have you had success with a unique graduation gift in the past? Please, drop that in, too! We’re always looking for fresh new ideas.

Remember, your gifts don’t need to break the bank. The most important feature is that it’s useful or meaningful. Think about your graduate, their likes, hobbies, and even their flaws. Ponder the things you wish you had when you first left home. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box to snag that perfect gift! You’ve got this.

Need a gift for a male graduate too? Check out our list of “40 Practical and Perfect High School Graduation Gifts for Him.”

Are you a momma to an upcoming high graduate? One of the most memorable gifts you could give her is some one-on-one time with you in a beautiful location. Check out “The Magic of Mother-Daughter Getaways” to see why we love this idea and for a few possible trip options.

Frequently Asked Questions

What do high school graduates want?

The best high school graduation gifts are useful articles to help them survive in the next phase of life. Think cool coffee machines, Alma Mater fanware, or streaming memberships.

What is a memorable gift for a girl graduate?

For a sentimental graduation gift, organize a volunteer trip for her, grab the Becoming Her guided journal, or have a custom art print of her and her friends in their graduation gowns made.

What is a budget-friendly high school graduation gift for a girl?

For a fun and budget-friendly gift, grab her an Adventure Travel Journal for her gap year or sign her up for an Explorer Pass from Let’s Roam so she can explore her new home city!

What’s a good practical graduation gift?

A practical gift often turns out to be the best option. Grocery store gift cards, cute storage options, new luggage, or a set of fun coffee mugs are great for high school grads!

Are there any fun graduation gifts for girls?

If you have a graduate who’s a people person, snag her a copy of Adventures From Scratch: Friends Edition to help her bond with her roomies and a Fujifilm Instax to document all her new adventures!