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.
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!
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
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.
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.
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!
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!
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!