Thoughtful Graduation Gift Ideas for High School and College Grads

Empty Nest Blessed by Suzy Mighell

If you’ve got a high school, college, grad school, law school, or med school graduate, congratulations! 👩‍🎓👨‍🎓 Most people want to celebrate their graduate’s success with a special graduation gift, but sometimes they wait until the last minute or can’t think of any good gift ideas and end up just gifting cash or a gift card because they aren’t sure what to buy. No worries! If you’re looking for thoughtful (and useful) graduation gift ideas that will be much appreciated, we’ve got you covered!

We’ve put together all the gift ideas you need to celebrate your high school or college graduate. This year we decided to put them on the Empty Nest Blessed Amazon page, hoping that would make things super-convenient for you! If you’re gifting nephews or nieces (like I am!) this year, Amazon Prime makes it so easy to send those gifts directly to the graduate! (BTW, a gift of an Amazon Prime 3-month or 12-month membership would be an ideal graduation gift!)

We’ve put together two complete graduation gift guides: one for high school grads and one for college (and other upper level) grads. It’s pretty exciting! There’s a bit of overlap between the two gift guides, but not much, so it might be worth checking them both out. Also, if you’ve got family birthdays 🎂 coming up, these gift guides will give you some great ideas!

High School Graduation Gift Ideas

When it comes to buying a gift for a high school graduate, I think the best gift is a gift with the future in mind. Give them something that will set them up for college life, help them succeed, and let them know that you believe in them. This gift guide includes thoughtful, practical, and fun gift ideas they are bound to love!

Shop the Empty Nest Blessed High School Graduation Gift Guide HERE.

Some of my favorite high school graduation gift ideas include:

  • The Hatch Restore is a sunrise alarm clock, bedside reading light, and sound machine. It’s designed to help you create a personal sleep routine. This clock is perfect for anyone who wants to get higher quality sleep, which is essential for high school grads heading to college!
  • Beats On-Ear Headphones would make a great gift for anyone entering college. These are some of the best headphones on the market and help block out outside noise (and those ever-present college distractions), so your grad can focus on the important stuff.
  • If they’re taking a bicycle to college, this Handlebar Phone Holder is a must-have! It will allow them to use the map or have their phones accessible safely.
  • A Single Serving Coffee Maker would make an excellent gift for those entering college. It’s perfect for late-night study sessions or early morning classes!
  • HOKA ONE ONE Sneakers are THE best sneakers for long, cross-campus walks. They’re not only comfortable, but also super in-style with college students right now.
  • A College Pennant would make a great graduation gift! It’s a fantastic way for them to spruce up their dorm room and get excited about their new school!
  • Everyone has times when they just want to work or relax from bed! This Laptop Stand will allow them to use their laptop and have some snacks while staying comfortable.
  • A Mini Movie Projector would be such a fun gift that will allow them to watch movies with new friends without everyone having to crowd around a laptop.

For more high school graduation gift ideas, check out the gift guide HERE.

College Graduation Gift Ideas

If you’re giving to a college or higher level graduate, consider giving them something that will help them get established in their new “adult” life. For example, they may be setting up their own apartment for the first time, which can get expensive! It’s fun to gift them something they couldn’t afford on their own or that they wouldn’t splurge on for themselves. Or maybe they’re starting a new job, pursuing more study, or taking some time to travel. No matter what your college grad is up to, we’ve got ideas—at a wide variety of price points!

Shop the Empty Nest Blessed College Graduation Gift Guide HERE.

Some of my favorite college graduation gift ideas include:

  • A Hardside Spinner Luggage Set is a must-have for any college graduate. If you’ve got a young adult in your life who plans to travel, gifting quality, user-friendly luggage will be such a blessing.
  • A Homesick “New Job” Candle would be an affordable (but memorable and long-lasting) gift for any college grad. This would also be a great idea to give alongside a larger gift.
  • If they’re moving into their own place, it would be so nice to treat them to high-quality kitchen appliances. This classic KitchenAid mixer or this Keurig Duo Coffee Machine (which can make single servings or brew 12 cups) will thrill them.
  • If you’re looking for a unique gift idea, this Fireproof Document Bag would be great for anyone moving into a new place. It was designed to withstand intense temperatures, allowing them to protect money, documents, jewelry, and passports, in case there is a fire.
  • If they’re starting a new job out of college, they will love new work accessories, like Italian dress shoes and a leather briefcase for him, or a stylish work bag for her.
  • Another great gift idea is a diploma frame. They will keep this forever, and it will allow them to display this important symbol of their hard work and success in an office or bedroom.
  • If you can splurge, a new Apple MacBook would make an amazing gift. This is another one of those gifts that they may be unable to purchase on their own, so receiving one would be a huge blessing. (Especially because most young adults use MacBooks for so many things.)
  • A classy watch is another great gift idea that they will use all the time. If your grad is more into tech or wellness, an Apple Watch would make a great gift too!

For more college graduation gift ideas, check out the gift guide HERE.

Do you have a go-to graduation gift? Fill me in on your great ideas in the comments below!

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Suzy Mighell

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