Most stereotypical graduation gifts are boring and expected. Grads expect to get a framed diploma or a monogrammed something-or-other from Etsy. They expect gaudy wall art printed with flowy script stuff like “Dream” and “Not all those who wonder are lost” with ten consecutive sets of ellipses. If you just graduated, would you want these things? Bust through these tired expectations like a plate glass window and give your grad something they will actually enjoy AND find useful.


A New Bag

Don’t send your recent high school or college grad out with a torn-up JanSport—get them a bag that means business. Young man or woman, your grad will not want to buy themselves a briefcase or purse with their bundle of cash, so be their bundle of cash-by-proxy. A conservative, subtle, tasteful bag will do wonders for the recently-graduated—they’ll have the confidence to stride into an interview and they won’t fumble for their things like a there’s-got-to-be-a-better-way infomercial.

Commemorative Jewelry

The one classic piece that still makes sense in the modern age, a commemorative piece of jewelry celebrates the accomplishments of a graduate in style. Whether you buy them a delicately crafted wristwatch or intricate ring, this piece will stay with your graduate for years. Not only is it a useful statement to your graduate’s ensemble, it shows that you are willing to spend stacks on their major life event.


If your graduate breathes, they subscribe to a service of some kind. Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Nature Box, Birch Box, Red Box, Dollar Shave Club—no matter what it is, they’re probably not going to cancel even though they’re about to be saddled with near-insurmountable debt. Why not give them a bit of reprieve for a few months to a year?


A pair of good-looking, professional shoes are the Dark Knight of graduation gifts – not the thing they want or expect but something they deserve. Most graduates don’t understand the importance of a well-made, reliable and clean pair of shoes. They’ve bopped around in Chucks or Keds for the past however-many years and have gotten by just fine and hopefully have learned that they can’t wear sneakers to every event. Once they reach college or at the very least once they’ve graduated from it, they’re going to need a pair of shoes that will fit into their adult environment. 


Check out this article from for more ideas!