Gifts for the High School Graduate
A couple of weeks ago on Facebook, I asked for your best gift ideas for graduating high school seniors. Graduation season is almost over, but here are some last minute gifts that might help your graduate make the transition to college smoother (these are all Amazon links, but no affiliate kickback):
- A Kindle. While not every textbook will be on Kindle, a few will be, and most libraries have some kind of option for digital lending of required novels or non-fictions pieces. Some schools even offer article bundles for class as a Kindle purchase. So much easier than dealing with those giant piles of photocopies that I used as a college student. You can pre-load the Kindle with a fun novel to get them through the summer, and
- Tina Quick’s The Global Nomad’s Guide to University Transition: This introduction to the first year of college is perfect for TCKs. It addresses the typical first year issues found in any guidebook to college, but goes into depth on the things that affect TCKs more than other typical freshman. Quick has some great insight into how to make the first weeks smoother as well as how to hold on to the community of friends and family that are now even further away from you than before.
- Hal Runkel’s Choose Your Own Adulthood: This is a bit of a self-help guide, it walks you through the process of making decisions both big and small, and how your choices will have effects on who you are as an adult. From the publisher: “Choose Your Own Adulthood helps you approach these choices from a more thoughtful, curious, and ultimately self-aware perspective. You’ll learn why responding is so much better than reacting, how loyalty is really overrated, which risks are worth taking and which are best avoided, and so much more.”
- A gift card to the college bookstore, or to a popular food chain close to campus. Most campus book stores are run either by Follett or Barnes and Noble, but your graduate’s school may be independent. Check the website to figure it out. This would be a great send-off gift in August, or any time throughout the year.
- A tourist guide to their new college town. Go for either the classic top sights to see in town, or a book of ideas for little off-the-beaten path getaways and give them some ideas to escape their everyday on a long weekend.
- Every traveler needs their own set of luggage, but dorm space is often pretty tight. Consider the ever-popular duffel bag from LLBean or the ultra-light Samsonite for things that are easy to stow under beds or on the top shelf of the closet. If you’re extra-inspired, get it in their school colors.
- A Peel-and-Stick Dry Erase board. They don’t have to confine their door messages to a tiny magnetic frame any more, they can turn their whole door into a fun message and inspiration board.
- A basic Tool Kit, this one includes a couple of items I am always looking for. Your always prepared graduate will be popular with their fellow dorm dwellers who are trying to DIY something and just need a level or screwdriver.
There are also lots of great things from your life abroad that would be fun gifts for your graduate. In many ways, college students are making do with less “stuff” than they used to, but they always enjoy personalizing their space. Lightweight wall hangings, fun ceramic mugs, an unusual pencil cup… anything that isn’t breakable can remind them of their home-away-from-campus, and give them a little connection to you that they see every day.