Skip to Content

20 Perfect Gifts for Graduating Seniors

This year I’ll be celebrating my twenty year high school reunion in the same month that my oldest nephew is graduating from high school. Talk about an emotional double-whammy! With both of those events in mind, I decided to write up a list of ‘twenty’ perfect gifts for graduates. Part of these are from my own memories of what it was like to strike out into the world, part of these are things I know would be perfect for him. Maybe some of these are me living through him…wanting him to have those things that would have been perfect for me. More than anything I wanted him to know that no matter how far away this world takes him, he can always come back home. Happy Graduation!

perfect gifts for grads

20 Perfect Gifts for Graduating Seniors

1. Money. Money, money, money. I can’t stress enough how important this gift is. Whether they’re traveling after graduation or saving for college, high school seniors will be so incredibly grateful for the gift of cash.

2. Let’s not act like they’re money-grubbing monsters, though. When I graduated from high school my mother gave me a copy of the book “Oh The Places You’ll Go,” By Dr. Seuss. I still have it and that little inscription she wrote in the inside cover is something I’ll cherish for the rest of my life. Is your teen not really a book person? Why not give them a sentimental necklace or watch instead? The key is nostalgia, so you already know what kind of gift will speak to your senior.

3. Everytime I hear a song from the year I graduated, I feel like a teenager again. A playlist of songs from the year your senior is graduating is another of those wonderful keepsakes that they’ll cherish more than they realize.

4. You’ve spent the past eighteen or so years keeping your senior close, so for graduation why not send them away? A graduation trip doesn’t have to be a free-for-all blowout on the beaches in Cancun; it can be a trip to the hometown you moved away from, or a train ride through the states. Talk to your senior and figure out what would make them happy. For me it was spending the summer doing volunteer work in a small village in Mexico. That summer was the best summer of my life. That’s the kind of trip you want to give your grad.

5. Whether your senior is headed off to college in the fall or perhaps taking that big trip this summer, they’ll need suitcases. Good ones. Personal ones. And definitely don’t forget about the personalized luggage tags. Those are a must-have.

6. It’s one thing to study at home, another entirely to try to drown out an entire dormatorium’s worth of sound. Noise canceling headphones are the only reason I survived my first couple of years of studying. Trust me, this is one of those gifts your senior doesn’t know they need, but will forever appreciate.

7. Nothing sucks more than traveling and having your cell phone battery go dead. A travel charger can literally be a lifesaver. The difference between a travel charger and regular wall chargers is that because wall currents aren’t regulated sometimes wall chargers will short out. Travel chargers are built to withstand surges and will protect your phone better in those unknown locations.

8. Another great must-have for those graduating seniors is a hidden jump drive. No senior wants to walk around with a traditional jump drive hanging off their keychain because one that looks like a character they already love is so much more personal.

9. Your senior has had you to take care of them and personalize their space their entire lives. Now that they’re going out into the world a gift card to an organization store or home decor store is something they’ll love. Give them the gift of making their new space their own.

10. If your graduate is like my nephew, their phone has been pretty much destroyed since freshman year. That’s why I’m getting my nephew a new DROID Turbo Sapphire Blue. What I love most is that he can go for two full days without stopping to recharge, and when he does need to recharge he’ll be able to get 8 hours of power in just 15 minutes with his Motorola Turbo Charger (how cool is that?!?).

perfect gifts for grads

11. A Moleskine notebook or something similar is a super awesome gift. They’re small enough to fit in your graduate’s pocket and sturdy enough to not rip apart quickly. Sure they can use their phones to take notes, but what if their phone isn’t available? A small notebook is amazing back-up and another thing your senior doesn’t know they’re missing.

12. Phones are amazing (like I said, getting my nephew a DROID Turbo Sapphire Blue), and they can do so so much, but don’t discount the usefulness of having a (good) camera. Whether it’s for travel or a marketing class, or just because, they’ll get more use out of a quality camera than you could imagine.

13. Stepping into the world is a huge part of graduation, but knowing they can come home at any time is a gift in itself. An open ended airplane ticket lets your graduate do just that. Give them the freedom to explore with the security of a safe return.

14. The freshman fifteen is no joke. Help your senior stay in shape by getting them a bike to help them travel around campus (plus they’ll save money by not having to drive from building to building between classes).

15. Speaking of driving, a gas card is an invaluable gift for graduating seniors. Your senior is going to want to explore the open road. A gas card will help them do that without having to break the bank.

16. Your senior is more sentimental than you realize. Maybe the perfect gift isn’t a gift, but rather a cherished piece of family jewelry. Entrusting your now-adult with jewelry that has been in the family shows them you have faith in their ability to take care of things as an adult. That faith will go a long way as they move forward with their lives.

17. A big part of growing up is learning to take care of responsibilities without always having to call mom and dad. Jumper cables are essential for graduates who won’t be as close to home and teaching them how to use them is something they’ll appreciate for the rest of their lives.

18. Dorms are awesome, but a small refrigerator can make all the difference. Without it, your senior will be forced to eat nothing but instant noodles, or other foods that aren’t as fresh. If they have a refrigerator, they’ll at least have the option of eating as healthy as they ate at home (even if there’s a good chance they’ll still pretty much live off of those instant noodles).

19. One of the best parts of heading off to college is showing off school pride. A gift card to the college store will let your student stock up on hats and sweaters that show their spirit. And maybe they’ll even get you a “My Student Is A Fighting Clover Leaf” bumper stickers (if you’re lucky).

20. The last important and perfect gift for your graduating senior is an international calling card. Even if your student has that amazing new phone (like my lucky nephew…no one tell him!), there are going to be times when it isn’t charged, or when (for whatever reason) they can’t use it. An international calling card insures your graduate will be able to call home no matter what. Like I said, it’s great to explore the world, but even greater knowing that they’ll always have a way back home.

Happy Graduation, Class of 2015. May your mark on this world be as indelible as the marks you’ve left on our hearts.

perfect gifts for grads

Want to know more about the DROID Turbo Sapphire Blue?

  • Design: DROID Turbo Sapphire Blue by Motorola is built from unique woven fabrics that set the phone apart, giving it a distinctive look and distinguishing it from other cookie cutter phones.
  • Durability: Premium ballistic nylon, originally developed for military use, provides a durable, scratch-resistant, water-repellant design. Underneath woven materials, DROID Turbo Sapphire Blue by Motorola includes a layer of Kevlar, a material five times stronger than metal.
  • Battery: Go for two days without stopping to recharge or worrying about batter life thanks to the largest battery of any smartphone.

As you can see, there is no wonder why I picked the DROID Turbo Sapphire Blue as the perfect gift for my nephew as he graduates high school.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.