5 Smart Graduation Gifts You Should Ask For

It’s the moment these last four years have been leading to—the long, windy road known as high school is finally coming to a close. But before you make the jump to your college campus there will be one last pit stop on your way to collegiate life, and it’s a good one. Yup, we’re talking about graduation. The cap, the gown, and of course the best part of it all—the gifts.

While a card full of cash is the standard congratulatory present, there’s always something to be said for thinking practical. With college only a few months away, why not pick out some goodies that you’ll put to use freshman year?

Here are our top grad gift picks for the college-bound senior.

1). Premium Music Streaming Service  – Chances are you’ve used at least one music streaming service at some point, but have you ever considered an upgrade? Paying a few bucks a month will cut out all the boring ads, give you a higher audio quality, and let you endlessly stream on all your devices.

This is might be of those things you would never buy yourself, but it’d be a pretty awesome gift to receive. There are tons of providers and plans for any budget, making this a perfect option for cash-strapped loved ones.

2). Smartphone Accessories – Let’s face it, if you have a smartphone you know sometimes it can seem like an extra appendage. As your go-to tool for nearly every day-to-day activity, it makes sense to tack on a few handy accessories.

If you’re a budding photographer, there are some seriously cool gadgets out there to help you capture beautiful shots. If your phone is your all-in-one music collection, scoping out a wireless speaker is the way to go. And for those of you that are in need of a little extra battery life, a wireless charger should definitely be on the list.

3). Solar-Powered Swag – These days most handheld devices run on a rechargeable battery, but that doesn’t do you much good if you’re running low on juice and there’s no power outlet nearby. When those occasions arise it’s time for a souped-up setup.

Solar-powered backpacks have become one of the most popular tech products in recent years and for good reason—not only can you carry your phone, e-reader, and tablet but you can charge them as well.  Scaling things down bit, a solar-powered watch or keychain flashlight  can also come in handy. And as for the ladies out there looking for a more fashionable option, these sleek cell phone-charging clutches may not be solar-powered, but they just may be more your style.

4). Bathrobe – Between scurrying from the showers to your room you’ll want to keep covered. Stop worrying about that towel slipping and replace it with a comfy bathrobe.

Now we know the image of wearing a bathrobe might be reserved for grandpas and lounging poolside at a hotel, but take it from us, it’s well worth asking for. It’s perfect for a chilly morning, and as mentioned above, it’ll help you avoid any revealing situations to and from the showers. Besides, wouldn’t it be fun to walk around like a super-fly Jedi or wizard?

5). Toolkit – At first glance this might seem like a gift better suited for your dad, but it can prove far more valuable during your freshman year than you realize.

Hanging your framed pictures? Good thing you have a hammer. Putting together your work desk? Thank goodness you have the right wrenches and screwdrivers.

See where we’re going with this?

There will be all kinds of unexpected moments when you’ll need the right hand tool, so being prepared is key. Don’t fret if you’re unfamiliar with every piece of the kit, there are plenty of instructional videos out there—besides, not a lot has changed since they first came out.

Be it from your favorite relative, family friend, or good ole’ mom and dad, grad gifts are the perfect way to celebrate your big day. If someone seems stumped on just what to get you, suggest some of these ideas for inspiration. Who knows, you might even get something you were never expecting.

Have a grad gift suggestion of your own? What kind of gifts would you like to receive for graduation? Share your thoughts in a comment.

written by
Sean Castillo
April 23, 2013

10 Responses to “5 Smart Graduation Gifts You Should Ask For”

  1. Jeri
    April 27, 2013 at 7:08 am #

    Rolls of quarters for the laundry room may not seem like an exciting gift but will definitely be appreciated when they are needed.

  2. Will
    April 27, 2013 at 10:20 am #


  3. Nakkid
    April 27, 2013 at 10:47 pm #

    Yeah, these are pretty good suggestions. Though, I’m not going to lie, that cellphone clutch doesn’t look too good. =P

    Also, the paid subscription for music isn’t always necessary. There are many music services out there that allow you to listen to music for free (legally too!), no ads or anything. You just have to have an account, and they might make you download their player or something.

    Btw, silverware or pots and pans (for those who cook) can be a handy present as well…unless you want to be that kid who washes and reuses paper plates. ;)

  4. Andie
    April 28, 2013 at 11:47 am #

    I agree with Nakkid; I want my parents to give me cookware! I always feel so gross when I eat off of paper plates. At picnics, at church functions, just no. I would much rather have my own dishes and silverware.

  5. Empress
    April 28, 2013 at 6:13 pm #

    I wouldn’t mind having cookware, but I don’t mind paper plates either. I wouldn’t want to be the one having to worry about washing dishes only because I’ve done it for the last 10 years.

  6. Skyerie
    May 16, 2013 at 3:46 pm #

    What you should definitley ask for is flashdrives, plenty of them. It gets so confusing to have all your shcool work on one flashdrive.
    Oh, and there is one type of ‘cookware’ like object that would be a great idea: reusable silverware. They come in little pouches and should have chopsticks, a fork, spoon and knife. They’re perfect for the enviroment and unexpexted food moments.

    • Kristina
      May 24, 2013 at 6:38 am #

      Use DropBox, SkyDrive, iCloud, Google Drive, or some other client. NOT a flashdrive, which can easily be lost.

    • Emily F
      October 28, 2013 at 9:49 am #

      Flashdrives, yes!! Like one for every class? Or every year? I’m asking for the fashion ones so they have some style to them.

  7. Abi
    May 27, 2014 at 6:37 pm #

    Another good idea is a tee shirt or sweatshirt or other memorabilia from the school the grad is attending. There’s no better way of getting into spirit on the first day of the semester than in your new snazzy school-brand attire!


  1. 5 Smart Graduation Gifts You Should Ask For | Chegg Blog - April 23, 2013

    [...] Check out how to smarten up your graduation gift list over on Zinch’s high school blog. [...]

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