Graduation season is almost here! A few of my closest friends are graduating, I’m graduating, and there’s generally a lot of graduating going on. If you read just a couple of the thousands of blog posts out there about the best gifts for college graduates, you’ll probably see long lists of things like gift cards and wireless headphones. This makes total sense – most grads are (hopefully) getting into the swing of adulting, and they’ll likely need a few basics to help them get started off on the right foot post-college.
Of course, those basic items are definitely useful and I’m confident any college grad would truly appreciate receiving them. However, you might be in the mood to give a gift that’s a little more out of the box. Here are a few thoughtful and practical options that, in my opinion as a graduating college student, the college grads in your life will love and use as they start their next adventures in life.
Best Gifts for College Graduates
1. Business Card Holders
I can’t tell you how many times during college and throughout my working experience I’ve met someone I’d like to connect with professionally only to spend at least a full awkward minute digging a business card out of my wallet or bag to give to them. You know what would have saved me in those situations? A designated business card holder. You know what would make a perfect gift for the college grad in your life? A designated business card holder.
This is one of those little things that you might not think of when you’re considering gift options, but it will really come in handy for any graduating college student who’s on the hunt for a job or who just wants to build out their professional network.
I suggest going with something classic like a leather business card holder. These can often be monogrammed, which is never a bad idea to add on when it comes to a meaningful college graduation gift. There are plenty of other options out there, too, if you’re looking for something at a lower price point. Stainless steel business card holders are generally pretty affordable, and sometimes they can be personalized as well.
2. Nice Towels
Okay, this gift option is a little bit basic – I know. In my experience, though, most college students pick up a set of cheap bath towels from Target to get started with, and they pretty much use those throughout their time at college. I think a set of nice towels would make a great gift for any college grad, especially if they’re moving into a new apartment or home after graduation.
If you feel like splurging and spoiling your grad a little, you can’t go wrong with a set of super-plush bath towels from Brooklinen. They’re really a great investment since they’re so absorbent and they last for years if taken care of properly. There are also some reasonably priced sets available on Amazon that have great reviews!
3. Blank Cards
Blank cards aren’t something college grads will likely use on a daily basis, but they will definitely use them at some point, whether it’s something immediate like writing thank you cards for graduation gifts or something a little farther down the road like sending a note to follow up after a job interview. Blank notecards are amazing because they can be used for any occasion, and they come in pretty much any color and pattern you can think of. That means you can choose a set of blank note cards for the college grad in your life that fits their personality perfectly.
Not sure what colors or patterns your college grad is into? No problem – go with something timeless like Papier’s classic border notecard set. These notecards are a little on the pricier side, but I think it’s fun to get a college grad something fancy that they may not have spent the extra money on for themselves. Plus, you can personalize them for free! If you think your college grad will have lots of notes to write and send, though, I suggest giving them a bulk set of blank cards from Amazon.
4. Tool Kit
I got a tool kit as a gift a few years ago, and I still think it’s one of the most useful gifts I ever received (number one is my step ladder – thanks to my grandmother). A basic tool kit is something your college grad will use for years to come, and it can double as a housewarming gift if they’re moving into a new place after graduation!
When it comes to tool kits, you can get really fancy and find a kit that contains everything from pliers and hammers to hacksaws and wrenches. An all-inclusive tool kit like that might cost a little more, but it’ll have almost everything a college grad could possibly need as far as basic tools go. I think a simple tool kit with the essentials will work just as well, though, especially for a college grad who’s just starting out on their own.
5. Lunch Box
If the college grad in your life is anything like me, they’re still using some random lunch box they’ve had since high school whenever they need it. Bonus points if said random lunch box is plastered with pictures and stickers of the boy band or show they were obsessed with when they got it. I’m sure any graduating college student would appreciate an upgrade, particularly if they’re about to start a new job and they’ll be taking their lunch and snacks to work on a regular basis.
I personally am a huge fan of lunch boxes with compartments– they make keeping my snacks, utensils, and lunch organized so much easier. Pair the lunch box with a set of Bento-style containers and you have a practical gift that your college grad will actually use in the new chapter of their life.
Ultimately, what you decide to give your college grad to celebrate their accomplishments is up to you and what you think they’ll appreciate and use the most. That could mean choosing one of the gifts that I’ve listed above, or it could mean something else entirely. Remember: Regardless of the material gifts college grads receive, the best gift is often simply love and unwavering support from the people around them.
To read more from Savanna check out her author archive!