Graduation is finally here! After years of hard work, your favorite student will finally earn their degree. While life during the pandemic is tough, it is still important to show our pride and appreciation for all of the hardworking students in our lives. What better way to do this than to give them a graduation gift they love? And while formal ceremonies are being canceled or postponed, there’s always room for creativity when it comes to celebrating such an important milestone.
Check out our top graduation items to help your new graduate get through quarantine — including yeti collegiate cups, tech gadgets, and more — in our latest article. Plus, check out our tips for throwing a quarantine-friendly graduation party as well as our guide on helping college graduates both locally and across the country!
Our Top 10 Gifts for Graduates
Gifts Your Graduate Can Use While Social Distancing
Consider purchasing a fun yet practical gift for your graduate. Maybe they need a new set of cooking tools. Or they want a comforter for their new apartment. Anything that can help with the transition from college to “adulthood” will be greatly appreciated! Make sure they can also use it while abiding by social distancing rules.
1. Yeti Collegiate Cups to Keep Drinks Warm
Want to give your graduate a unique, yet practical gift that reminds them of their college days? Yeti collegiate cups are perfect for long hikes or relaxing in the backyard. Made of durable 18/8 stainless steel with double-wall vacuum insulation, Yeti collegiate cups are built to protect both hot and cold beverages. Located on the side of the MagSlider Lid is a magnet that acts as an additional barrier to prevent heat or cold from escaping.
Yeti collegiate cups also come in a variety of designs that sport different universities across the country. Make sure you purchase a tumbler with your graduate’s alma mater proudly painted across it so they can take it with them on game days — once football stadiums open back up of course.
2. A Planner or Journal to Stay Organized
Is your graduate an avid bullet journaler? Do they find great satisfaction in crossing off an item on their to-do list? Consider purchasing a planner or journal for them. Planners and journals are great for focusing on goals, daily tasks, and activities. If your graduate is creative and prefers making their own designs, purchase a blank journal for them to add their own style to it. But if they want a little more structure in their planning, a planner containing a monthly and weekly calendar will probably be a better fit.
People have found a variety of uses for journals, including:
- TV show tracking
- Birthday countdowns
- Meal planning
- Following goals
- Managing stress
- Time blocking
Keeping a journal is also great for one’s mental health — something we should all take care of during a stressful time like this. For instance, many people keep a mood journal for tracking their emotions throughout the day. This allows them to pin down their feelings and reflect on the events that caused them.
3. A Coffee Maker to Wake Them Up in the Morning
When they move out of the house, a coffee maker is going to become their best friend. Not only is it more cost-effective to make coffee at home rather than going out to buy it, but it also makes it easier to follow social distancing rules! Don’t forget to purchase their favorite coffee bean pack or Keurig cup too. After they finish making their coffee, they can pour it into their Yeti collegiate cup to help start their day off right!
4. A Tool Box and Emergency Kit for Unexpected Situations
Before you know it, your college graduate is going to be living on their own. Even if they don’t consider themselves a DIY home building master, it doesn’t hurt to have the basics of constructing and repairing various parts of the house. Purchase a toolbox for them to keep on hand should anything break or go astray in their new apartment.
Make sure they also stay prepared with an emergency kit. All basic disaster supplies kits should have at least:
- First Aid Kit
It is important to make sure the kit you purchased is stocked with all the supplies necessary for getting through an emergency or natural disaster. Since the start of the pandemic, the CDC has recommended that people include cloth face coverings in their kit to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
5. A New Bag or Purse to Travel With In-Style
Treat your favorite graduate with a stylish bag or purse. You can order one online for delivery or pick-up as social isolation rules begin to ease up. Choose a large one that will fit their laptop and notebook to head to business meetings with or a casual across-the-shoulder bag to take on neighborhood walks. Add a wallet and mini bottle of hand sanitizer as little gifts.
6. Wireless Headphones to Study or Take a Walk to
Wireless headphones are perfect for taking a jog around the neighborhood or studying for graduate school entrance exams. As technology advances, wireless headphones come in a wide variety of styles and abilities fit for any need.
Earbuds and over-the-ear headphones offer their own respective pros and cons. Earbuds are portable and easy-to-store. Headphones are usually more affordable and are better at blocking outside noise.
We recommend looking for wireless earbuds or headphones with:
- Noise-canceling technology
- Durable protection
- Playback capabilities
7. A Cooking Set and Recipe Book to Wean Your Graduate Off Take-Out and Meal Plans
Even though your favorite graduate won’t be able to enjoy your home-cooked meals as often, you can still send them out in the world with a sleek new cooking set and fun recipe book. Pots, pans, dishes, and silverware add up quickly, so any item is helpful. Consider purchasing them a crockpot or rice cooker for the foodie graduate in your life. Whether your graduate is a beginner cooker or a seasoned veteran, a new cookbook is always a fun and handy addition to anyone’s bookshelf.
8. Lunchware for the Office
As of now, everyone is still working from home. But it doesn’t hurt to have a couple of Tupperware containers for left-overs and meal planning. Plus, your college graduate will be ready to go once the office opens again! Pair a plastic bento container with an insulated lunch box for the perfect gift set.
9. Scented Candles to Spruce up the Apartment
There’s nothing better than a scented candle to enhance the presence of a room. Purchase a white vanilla candle in an intricately-designed holder or a sweet lavender candle in a spa bundle. Add a couple of bath bombs and soaps to turn it into a complete gift basket.
10. Career Books for Guidance
Up until now, your college graduate’s life was completely planned for them. Elementary school, high school, and college all followed each other in smooth order. But now that they are out on their own, your college graduate might need a little guidance.
Here are our favorite books for college graduates:
- “Becoming” by Michelle Obama
- “The Defining Decade” by Meg Jay
- “Option B” by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant
Ideas for Celebrating Graduation in 2020
The New Graduation Ceremony is Here to Stay for a Little
Unfortunately, most if not all graduation ceremonies are being canceled this year. As a result, some people have gotten creative with how they choose to celebrate graduation. It’s understandable to feel disappointed and even angry. But it’s also important to remember that, while you can’t control everything that happens to you in life, you can control the way in which you react to it. That’s why many graduates are making the most of what they have at the moment.
Some people are having drive-by graduations while others are holding video conferences to celebrate their collegiate accomplishments together. Former President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama are holding a 2020 virtual graduation ceremony. Universities are also holding their own online ceremonies.
While it doesn’t completely replicate or replace the real graduation, virtual graduations are important for reminding your graduate how far they have come and how much potential they have.
How to New Graduates Navigate Uncertain Waters
Times Are Uncertain — Here’s How You Can Help
Graduates are entering a rocky climate and a job market that hasn’t been in worse shape since the Great Depression. No one thought they were going to be pushed out into the world in the midst of a pandemic. Empathy will play a critical part in helping everyone — not just college graduates — get through the pandemic.
Even if you are just a shoulder to lean on, you can be a pillar of support for your college graduate. Whether you look over their resume or help them write a killer cover letter, this can help them immensely. Consider donating to COVID-19 relief funds dedicated to helping vulnerable members of the community too.
Celebrating graduation is definitely going to be different this year, but it doesn’t have to be any less enjoyable or satisfying. It is more important than ever to stay united with your loved ones and keep morale high. What gifts are you planning to purchase for your college graduate? Tell us in the comments!