What to give the recent graduates in your life is a difficult decision. What to tell people if asked what you want for graduation can be equally difficult. Gifts that can actually be used and appreciated are probably the best bet.
While it may not seem very original or creative, money may be the most practical gift because it can be put towards whatever the recipient actually needs. It does not have to have a set dollar amount, so people can give what they can afford and the graduate can put it towards whatever he or she needs.
Jimmy Ulmer, a 2014 CSU business administration graduate, said the most useful gift one could give is “money towards buying something useful and necessary to help make the transition from student life to full-time working adult life.” For him, he said that was “money towards buying a car.”
A well-functioning laptop or computer is so necessary for today’s lifestyle that it also makes a great graduation gift. While laptops can be pretty pricey, they are something that a graduate will probably use on a daily basis and will last for years to come.
If a recent graduate is taking some time off before diving into his or her future career, travel is a great gift. Help them embark on a unique journey unparalleled by others. Not much can teach you more than being thrown into a culture completely new to you and learning to understand the world.
Janelle Mayorga, a senior double majoring in economics and political science, said the most useful graduation gift for her would be “a plane ticket to Australia.” Any gift to aid in travel would be a very useful gift. Plane tickets, travel journals, train tickets or luggage are all viable options.
Another suitable gift is anything that can help a graduate in the future. “Overall, the most useful gifts are things that will aid you in your post-graduation journey,” Mayorga said. For example, if someone is going into a corporate career, business casual or business formal clothes could be useful, or a briefcase could be helpful for someone going to law school.
While not all of these options are super expensive, some of them are far out of the average person’s price range. One way to help with the cost is to split it with friends and family. Giving one useful gift from a group of people may be more appreciated than giving a bunch of gifts that are not very useful. Remember that the most useful gift is going to be different for each person. Sometimes, it may be more practical and, other times, it may be more sentimental.
This article was created for the 2014 Fall Graduation Guide produced by College Avenue Magazine staff.