Gift Ideas for the Graduate

Graduation season is here. These days kids seem so attached to their electronics it’s tough to know what kind of gift they’ll appreciate or even use. Patricia Rossi, author of Everyday Etiquette is here to give us some ideas.

1-Small Toolbox. For students moving into a dorm or apartment, a small tool kit for minor repairs, is a great gift. These tools can also be use to assemble furniture or hang items on the wall, and are affordable and easy to find at most hardware stores.

2~ Monogrammed Towels. Most college freshmen have to share room and laundry facilities. Because of this, many of them end up loosing bathroom linens in the craziness of college life.

3~ Personal Safety Device. Personal safety is one of the top concerns for parents, when sending their child off to school. There is now a large variety of personal safety devises available to help with those concerns. One example is a small hand-held device, that is set off by pulling a plug that releases a 130-decibel alarm, sounding like a siren. This device is very inexpensive and can give the student piece of mind while they walk back and forth to classes. It can be clipped to a backpack and is called a Robocopp.

4~ Coffee Maker. Most dorms have cafeterias accessible for students, but giving the gift of a single serving coffee maker is a great idea. These come in handy for late night studying and eliminate the need to leave the room for hot beverages, when the need arises. Purchase several different coffee flavors and a travel mug to complete the gift.

5~ Gift Card. Purchasing bedding and supplies for a dorm room or apartment can add up quickly. That’s why giving a gift card to a store like Bed Bath & Beyond or Target, where accessories can be purchased, is often greatly appreciated.

6~ First Aid Kit. Getting sick is something that no one plans on, but still eventually always happens. Compile a basket full of first aid supplies and over-the-counter medications, for those middle of the night illnesses. Some ideas are a thermometer, antacids, fever reducers, cough drops, tweezers, antibacterial creams, bandages, and anything else that you can think of.

7~ External Phone Battery. Young adults suddenly finding themselves thrown in the mix of non-stop classes, socializing and other around-the-clock activities, mean that they might not remember, or have time, to stop and charge their phone. There are phone cases available that will charge the cell phone, and you can also buy an external battery, which attaches to the phone. Just make sure that you know the student’s phone brand and size.

8~ Noise Canceling Headphones. Because life in a busy dorm can be noisy, a pair of headphones that fit over the ears, to cancel out all outside noise, make a great gift. These headphones, which are available nationwide, allow the student to enjoy their favorite music, or can provide them the ability to study in peace, removing outside sounds.

9~ Logo Items. If you know what college or university the student will be attending in the fall, purchasing them items with the college’s logo is a fun gift that they are sure to enjoy. Even small tokens like a throw blanket, sweatshirt or lanyard, are enjoyed for their new campus life.

10~ Restaurant Cards. Because most college students have limited funds, giving them a gift card to a restaurant is often appreciated. This allows the student a much needed opportunity to enjoy off-campus dining, without the worry of spending money.

11~ Laundry Essentials. Most college students will be experiencing the joy of doing their own laundry for the first time when they leave home. Because this chore is often forgotten, buying the student a hamper or laundry basket, full of detergent and fabric softener, can be a thoughtful gift. An added idea is to throw in some quarters for the washing machine, or a piggy bank, so that they have a place to start collecting their change.

12~ Money. Although you may not think that simply giving the gift of money is very personal, it is something that is always appreciated. Money pulled together can help the student to purchase bigger items like a laptop or bicycle, or can be used to help with groceries or buying school text books. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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