20 Useful Graduation Gift Ideas {from Graduates Themselves!}

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20 Useful Graduation Gift IdeasIt is graduation gift season, and chances are you probably have a few seniors on your list to buy for. Want to get something they can REALLY use? We polled graduates to find out what their most useful gifts were, and here are 20 items that topped their list.

But before we get started, let me tell you more about my top choice. It’s not the most exciting gift I ever received, but it’s useful. 

When I graduated high school, I had a summer student position working will all adults. Some of my co-workers gave me graduation gifts, and one present has stood the test of time. I have refilled it and still use it today. I like to use it as a gift inspiration for the high school graduates in my life that are going to college. It is number 1 on the list.

  1. A plastic bin with over the counter medicine (cough syrup/drops, allergy medicine, pain medicine, band-aids, a thermometer, etc.). You can get creative with the contents, but think about this – what would a sick student most likely need to save a trip to the drug store?
  2. A good garment bag (useful for traveling back and forth)
  3. Embroidered/personalized towels (helpful especially if they get left in the communal shower to return to owner)
  4. Luggage (for those weekend trips home) 
  5. Walmart/Target gift cards (you can get lots of useful things there)
  6. Can opener (not all cans are pop top)
  7. A simple tool kit (trust me, it will come in handy)
  8. A shower caddy (even if there is not a communal shower, it’s a great way to keep all toiletries together)
  9. Jumper cables (just in case the car won’t start)
  10. A car emergency kit (better safe than sorry)
  11. Gift cards for restaurants in the area the student will be living (because there will be nights that they are just not feeling the dining hall food)
  12. Swiss army knife (might need to check with college regulations first)
  13. A nice set of pearls (a timeless classic)
  14. A tub with Christmas decorations (it’s fun for them to decorate their room for the holidays, and it’s probably something they don’t want to spend their own money on)
  15. A toiletry bag (great for traveling)
  16. Laundry bag (even multiple ones to help transport all.the.laundry.)
  17. Trunk with lock (there will be some things they may want to keep securely tucked away)
  18. One of those wrap around towels with velcro or a bathrobe (especially handy in roommate or hall bathroom situations) 
  19. An umbrella or poncho (no one wants to get caught unprepared in a downpour)
  20. A business suit (there will be times they will need to get dressed up and look professional)

Happy graduation season, y’all! Do you have any other suggestions to add to the list? What was your most useful graduation gift?

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Born and raised in Mississippi but making Columbia her second home since 2008, Tabitha is a sociologist, doula, college instructor, and sorority house mom. She knows more details about pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding than most people care to talk about and loves her three chihuahuas (Toto, Gumbo, and Shrimp). She is currently working on her dissertation for her Ph.D. and dreams about the day when she will be finished. Tabitha crafts but not that great, and if she used Pinterest more, she could probably be on a Pinterest fails page somewhere. She’s an avid reader but mostly reads things related  to her dissertation these days. As a house mom, she never knows how her day will go when she wakes up, but she mentors and guides over 200 women on a daily basis and loves accompanying them on the path to full adulthood. She volunteers often and tries to make the world a better place. 

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