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High School and College Graduation Gift Guides

It really seems like the older I get the more people I know who are graduating high school or college. Sometimes it’s a relative, other times it’s someone who attends my church or a co-worker's child. Have you noticed that too?

Well, if you have you’ve probably also noticed that with graduations come graduation gifts. I admit, when I was the graduate I really liked the gift part! Now that I’m the gift giver I still enjoy the gifts, but sometimes there's not a lot of room in my budget to buy expensive gifts for every graduate.

If you're like me you may have a certain part of your budget designated to buying gifts each year. And with number of graduations happening each year the further that gift budget has to stretch.


To help make this graduation season easier, here are some gift ideas for high school and college graduates that won't break your budget.


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High School graduate gift ideas

These gifts are perfect for high school graduates who are going to be on their own for the first time. They may be going off to college or moving into their own place.

1. Toiletry set

When you’re in college you tend to run out of the basics because you’re spending so much time “studying.” Believe me, getting in the shower and realizing you only have a few drops of body wash left is not fun.

A gift set of toiletries like body wash, deodorant, lotion, toothbrushes and toothpaste can help your high school graduate feel and smell fresh all the time.



2. Shower shoes

These can be either official shower shoes or cheap flip-flops from Walmart. I used the latter. With the dorm communal showers, believe me, your high school graduate will love you if you give these as a gift.

3. Bed sheets

It seems that every sitcom with kids in the cast has an episode where the kid going to college forgets to bring sheets. Bed sheets make a great gift because you can never have too many of them. I had only two sets of bed sheets in college and ended up buying a few more. Partly out of laziness. I liked changing my sheets on a regular basis, I just didn’t like having to do laundry every couple of weeks.

4. Gift card

If you go for the gift card, I suggest getting one for a store, like Walmart or a grocery store, where your high school graduate can buy snacks or last-minute odds and ends.

5. Laundry supply kit

My mom taught me how to do laundry as a child so when I went to college I knew how to sort clothes and work the machines. What I didn’t realize was how overwhelming buying laundry detergent could be. I can only imagine that new high school graduates feel the same.

Gifting them a laundry kit that includes things like laundry detergent, stain remover, collapsible hamper and laundry bags could help make that first load of laundry away from home less overwhelming.

6. Portable battery charger

I didn’t need one of these, and I don’t think they existed, when I was in college. Now that college students have so many different devices that they carry around having a backup power source or charger is almost a necessity. For my personal use I bought a Lumina Compact Portable Charger.

7. School pride decor

Blankets and pillows are really useful in college. So why not let them be ways to demonstrate school pride. Stores like Walmart and Amazon are great places to find school pride decor.

8. Comfy clothes

As a college student you can never have too many comfy clothes. Things like oversized t-shirts, sweat shirts or yoga pants are perfect for pieces for a comfy college wardrobe.

9. Water bottle

College is when I started carrying a water bottle around with me. It was really useful in the warmer months and I was grateful for it during my walks cross campus.

If you get a water bottle get a good one, like the Healthy Human Water Bottle, that keeps the water in it cold for a good length of time.

10. Amazon Prime Student membership

College textbooks are expensive and an Amazon Prime Student membership can help with that. The membership includes free two-day shipping, streaming of TV shows and members and some exclusive college deals.


20 graduation gift ideas | arelaxedgal.com

College graduate gift ideas

These gifts are perfect for college graduates who may be moving into their first place and/or starting their first full-time job.

1. Coffee maker

While I’m not a coffee drinker I included this on the list since I know so many people like to get their work day started with a cup of coffee.

2. Cleaning supply kit

I’ve given this gift myself a few times. And I’ve gotten feedback that the cleaning kit has come in handy. You don’t have to spend a lot of money creating this kit either. You can find several good cleaning items at the Dollar Tree and Amazon.


3. Digital picture frame

With a small digital picture frame your college graduate can keep their college memories close when at work.

4. Portable battery charger

An external battery charger is useful when traveling and a wall plug isn’t available for charging a phone or tablet. I’ve been traveling more so I purchased the Lumina Compact Portable Charger. The portable charger also came in handy when the electricity has gone out.

5. Gift card to Home Goods

Home Goods is like my new favorite store. Here your college graduate can get some great home decor to add style to their first apartment. They can also find stylish desk supplies to add personality to their work space.

6. Tool kit

Tool kits make a great gift because of how useful they are. Even if your college graduate will be living in an apartment they’ll have a need for tools.

7. TV streaming device and gift subscription

Jobs for new graduates don’t always pay a lot so your college graduate may not be able to afford the cable package that mom and dad have at home. To get around this get them a Roku stick and a subscription to a streaming service. The Roku Express stick is great because it’s compact and has multiple options for streaming services like Sling TV.

8. Noise canceling headphones

Your college graduate will thank you for these if they end up working in an open office space and need something to drown out the office noise.

9. Meal delivery service

I don’t like to cook and when I was first on my own I had no idea how to plan and grocery shop for meals. A meal delivery service like Blue Apron can fix that. And by gifting this you’ll know some of the meals they'll be eating are healthy.


10. Pots and pans

While your college graduate may not cook everyday, they may want to host a dinner party for friends every once in awhile.

What was the best graduation gift you’ve gotten or given?

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