Wondering what would be a good graduation gift?

by Chef Wards

If you are wondering what to get your college grad, it helps to think about what will help them embark on their next adventure, whether that be a new job, moving across the country, advanced degrees, or more. They’ve just finished a rather huge chapter in their life, but this is just the beginning of the story. Now there is life after college. What can you give them that is not only memorable, but practical for where the road is about to take them next? 

Sure, you could go with the traditional paperweights or engraved ballpoint pens here (and hey, those have their time and place!). But with a little thought, you can find something that is far from mass-produced and is a graduation gift your loved one is sure to remember for years to come. 

New graduates hold their diplomas and celebrate.

Graduation Gifts Ideas They’re Sure To Love (And Use!)

Is Your New Grad a Caffeine Addict? Buy Them A Personalized Coffee Mug. 

Let’s face it, graduation is symbolic of one thing (or at least, we hope it is): getting a job. And there is nothing that fuels a new career path and gets it off to a trailblazing start than coffee. According to the NCA, 7 in 10 Americans drink coffee every week. So a coffee mug is just about a guaranteed winner for a practical gift. But more than that, it will keep you top of mind. Every time they take a sip, they will remember their big day and that you were there for them every step of the way. It’s almost as good as them taking you to the office with them! 

To go with your coffee mug, you can even throw in a gift card to their favorite coffee store. A few of my favorite local Austin coffee shops include Houndstooth Coffee, Civil Goat, and Trianon Coffee.   

A woman enjoys a cup of coffee in the office.

Meal Delivery Services

It is almost par for the course to have a diet that consists of crackers, ramen, and oatmeal in college. These are the foods that fuel late-night study sessions for final exams and such. But after finals are over and life after college sets in, it is easy to keep those bad habits going.  We love a good peanut butter and jelly sandwich as much as the next person. But 100 of them?  

If you want to give your college graduate something truly valuable, why not get them weekly cooked meal delivery? It is the ULTIMATE personalized graduation gift. Personal chefs across the country offer personalized weekly meals that are delivered straight to the door. All your new graduate needs to do is pop them in the oven; they don’t even have to dice or slice or prep anything. If you live in Austin, we offer meal delivery services that focus on healthy, seasonal ingredients. Our chef-prepared meals are made to suit any dietary restriction or need and are far healthier than any frozen dinner. 

Personal meals like these, delivered weekly, are a thoughtful graduation gift.

Sentimental Gifts for Graduate

Another gift that falls into the personalized graduation gift category is something with a bit of nostalgia and memories of your new grad’s alma mater. Some people might adore a new hoodie with their college logo emblazoned on the front. Those moving into a new space might adore a decorative college map that they can hang on the wall. From reusable water bottles to tee-shirts to class rings, you are sure to find tons of options at your local college’s gift shop. If you are local to Austin, check out Austin’s University Co-op for ideas. 

New high school and college graduates celebrate.

What is the best graduation gift for high school? 

Journal 

Senior graduation means a lot of things for people. It is a moment that most of us never forget. Give your graduating senior something special to remember it all by… literally. A journal will help them collect their thoughts of this pivotal time in their lives. 

If you want to shop local, I recommend Iona Handcrafted Books. Their one-of-a-kind journals are simply stunning. 

Travel Items

Many seniors graduating from high school have quite the travel itch, which is no wonder. High school symbolizes not only freedom from school hallways, lockers, and cafeteria food, but it is also a rite of passage into a big, wide world. Give them a travel item for their graduation gift and go along for the adventure. From travel passport wallets to new luggage sets, your options are endless. 

Many new graduates want to travel, so luggage and journals like these are a great graduation gift.

Advice for living their best 20s

The 20s are a pivotal decade, and it is easy to get lost while navigating through those tricky waters of gaining career chops while simultaneously enjoying all that newfound freedom. Give your new graduate a gift that will help guide them through it all. There are many lists of best books to read before you are 30, and I suggest you check them out. I personally recommend maybe even a few books, covering topics such as finance, life inspiration, and building a career they will love.  Oh, and don’t forget a good cookbook or two

Woman reads an inspiring book on a dock by a river.

What is a good graduation gift for a girl? 

Personalized Jewelry 

A gift of jewelry is classic and one that any girl is sure to love. Just make sure you keep it personalized to her. You could go for birthstone jewelry, the sentimental favorite of a class ring, classic diamonds, or even a watch! 

Gifts To Indulge her Pinterest Wish Board

For many women, graduation means moving into their first apartment. Give your graduate a gift card to their favorite shop and let them decorate their new space to their heart’s content. 

Graduation Gifts for Your Wife

When it comes to your wife’s graduation, this is a time to celebrate a milestone for your relationship! How about surprising her with a getaway to celebrate all her hard work? A mini-vacation might give her just the breather she needs after finals.  

Hire A Personal Chef For A Night

How about hiring a personal chef for a night? You could invite your new grad’s best friends over to celebrate with you over a perfectly cooked meal made just for her. The combination of delicious food and a privately catered dinner planned just with her in mind is the ultimate college graduation gift! 

Hiring a personal chef for a night is a great graduation dinner idea.

What is a good inexpensive graduation gift? 

But before you resort to buying your new graduate a new keychain, ask yourself: are they actually going to enjoy this graduation gift, or is it just clutter? Is this $10 purchase I am about to make ultimately going to end up in a landfill?

The perfect gift might just be one you don’t buy at a store. Making something yourself costs little and shows a lot of thought. It could be making them their favorite dessert, a knit hat, a painting, a poem, a letter. Only you know what you have a talent for making.  

Handmade gifts make perfect graduation gifts.

The Best Graduation Gift

Graduation is a momentous time in a person’s life: an unforgettable rite of passage, a time in their life your new grad will never forget. It can be hard to know what to get someone to mark the occasion. I hope that the graduation gift ideas here give you a launchpad for finding the perfect, personalized graduation gift for your loved one.

If you are interested in hiring a personal chef for long-term meal delivery or just for a private dinner for one night, we would love to help! You can see some of our sample menus online on the blog here.  Please contact us if you have any questions!

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