Thursday, 17 May 2012

Best Graduation Presents for 2012

As the school year begins to wind down, many students are looking forward to graduating and moving on to the next stage of life. While this can be a traumatic experience for students (not so much for parents!), choosing the best graduation presents can not only be a special recognition of their child's achievement but also a way to help students face the unknowns of the coming year.

Here are some of the best graduation presents for any student:

1. A Tool box

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This may not seem like it should be at the top of a list of best graduation gift ideas. Your son or daughter may look at you in disbelief as their dreams of a new car are quietly dashed. However, they will soon be thanking you when they run into trouble and need the set of jumper cables you had the foresight to include in the toolbox. A set of tools is also a great way to meet new people. As quite a number of students won't have come prepare with tools, they will become very popular amongst their dorm mates.

This will quickly become an extremely one of the best graduation presents you could ever have given them.

2. A Sturdy Luggage Set

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A standard in the list of presents for graduation, a luggage set is always useful as students prepare to cram the entire contents of the room they grew up in, into a room the size of a matchbox. The sturdier the luggage set the better as it will be used (not so lovingly) many times in the years after.





3. Dorm Room Appliances

Always useful and not too expensive as a graduation gift anymore, appliances like microwave toaster ovens and single cup coffee makers can be very useful on those long study nights when students can't get to the cafeteria or just need something quick before heading off to class.

4. U-haul Rentals

Purchasing the services of a U-haul rental van or trailer may seem like one of the stranger presents for graduation. But for a student on limited finances who needs to travel with all their items to get to their university or college, a U-haul reservation can be extremely useful and save the student a lot of money. Renting one of these can help the student get everything they need packed into one trip. The great thing about this graduation gift is that they would never have thought of it themselves until the very last minute.

5. Off to college survival kit

This could include:
  • Laundry supplies - Include a basket, soap, money, and laundry tips.
  • Snack attack supplies - A basket (preferably that they can use for something else later) filled with their favorite candies, snacks, and gift cards to their favorite restaurants.
  • Cafeteria survival supplies - A hot pot for cooking those famed Ramen noodles, their favorite cereal and snacks, and a hand-compiled recipe book of simple things they can make with limited kitchen resources.
  • Towels - Towels that look modern, cool and chic will always be handy and well appreciated by students who wouldn't usually think of going out and buying them for themselves
  • Medical supplies - Cold and flu medicine, tylenol and other medical supplies are always necessary . . . but not always there when you need them. Putting a few of these things in the kit will be appreciated when that stress cold hits and they can't make it to the store.
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A survival kit is probably one of the easiest but also one of the best graduation presents you could get for the new college student.

6. A Really Good Umbrella

Always useful on rainy days when you have to dash from building to building across campus. You want to invest in a really good umbrella that will last for years. One mom said that her child loved the umbrella so much, she decided to go out and invest in a really good one herself. Not bad for a simple graduation gift.

7. School Supplies


This may be a bit of a drier presents for graduation gift but with money tight, school supplies sold on campus can seem very expensive. Staplers, glue, scissors, printer ink and other office supplies can be very useful to students. Another idea is to give them a gift certificate to the University Bookstore. That might help sooth the sticker shock most students will experience when they get to buying their first set of books. Even you are paying for their books yourself, the certificate can always be useful in case something unexpected comes up.

8. Signature Jewelry and Memory Books


Moving away from home can be very scary and unsettling. Gift ideas that are more personal to remind them of where they came from or somewhere to record their experiences can make some of the the best graduation presents.

Some examples of jewelry could include:
  • Pearl studs - Classic! If they don't have a pair, this is the perfect time to gift them with the real deal. She'll think of her family and, in particular her mother, every time she wears them.
  • Pandora bracelet - These are the modern-day equivalent of the more traditional charm bracelets. Choose beads to reflect their high school colors or the college they'll be attending.
  • Hand-me-down - Pass along a piece of vintage jewelry significant to you. Sharing the story of the piece is just as crucial as the jewelry itself.
One graduate we talked to has repeatedly told us that this One Line a Day: A Five-Year Memory Book is probably one of her favorite presents for graduation ever. She's not a writer, so the one line a day format is perfect!

9. Some Technology


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Face it. Anything we put in here will soon be outdated. Having said that, a laptop, mp3 player, netbook, tablet, digital camera will never go amiss. Most students have probably enjoyed the use of their families technology equipment and, now that they are setting out on their own, are probably needing something to do their work on and with. Technology is pretty inexpensive today for what they will need. Now, if they are planning to do a lot of gaming, then maybe they will need to help chip in for this graduation gift.

10. Inspirational or Self-help books


Presents for graduation that includes books to inspire or help the graduate, may sit on the shelf in the dorm room gathering dust, but they will be there when needed giving inspiration and help to your student as they attempt to navigate the rocky shoals of life on their own. "What Colour Is Your Parachute?" is a classic book filled with job-hunting techniques, resume building tips and other helpful articles. However, there are other books like "This Is Water", "The Elements of Style", and other books to help students in their work or to see life differently now that they are outside the embrace of their parents. Even cookbooks could be useful.

No matter what good graduation presents you give, they will always be special and wrapped in the memory of a special and significant event. Even the more utilitarian of gift ideas will bring memories of where they came from and the love and support that got them to where they are.

Ian Hancock is the founder of iWishfor.

Looking for a easy way to share gift ideas with family and friends? Check out our wish list app for saving and sharing gift ideas!!! iWishfor will save you time and pain and help you buy the perfect gift every time!