It seems like so many people we’ve been speaking to are still scrounging for graduation gifts. We put our heads together and came up with a great roundup of last minute graduation gift ideas that won’t seem last minute at all.
Mini-fridges, extra-long twin sheets, jewelry—high school graduates have been receiving these gifts for as long as they’ve been throwing their caps into the air. Instead of giving the same, stereotypical graduation present as everyone else and their sister, why not think about meeting some practical needs of recent grads in fun and memorable ways? These gift ideas might even last longer than the boyfriend or girlfriend they’re leaving back home.
Clockwise from top left:
Gift cards for dinner: Cafeteria food gets old after the first few weeks, and sometimes it’s nice to take a break from pizza delivery. Treat your graduate to a dinner for two—remember, they’ll need a ride to the restaurant and most campuses don’t allow freshmen to bring their cars. Gift cards to local restaurants like M Burger, foodlife, and Chipotle (if in Chicago). If they’re going out of state, do a quick Google search to find some nearby establishments. Present them in a cool wallet like these from Kate Spade or Coach.
Expresso Machine: When college students need to stay awake all night to cram for exams or write five papers in one sitting, they don’t have the time and rarely have the funds to run back and forth to the coffee shop to keep their caffeine up—but if they have an espresso machine on hand, they’ll have plenty of lattes to stay awake and study—and maybe even develop some wicked barista skills in the meantime.
Digital picture frame: You want them to remember home, but you also know they don’t have a ton of space for decorating—let a digital picture frame save the day! This model comes with a motion detector, personalized settings, and the option to display photos, show videos, or play music.
Wireless Speakers: Everyone knows that kids want to fill their room with powerful sound and the latest tunes. Jawbone’s Mini Jambox packs a powerful punch and comes in a multitude of great colors.
Weekender Bag: They’ll be coming home on the weekends, going away on road trips, and maybe even attending conferences, so a leather overnight bag is a must.
Ramen Fork and Spoon: Of course, when all else fails, they turn famously to ramen—and even this quintessential dorm room cuisine deserves some enhancement by way of proper silverware and china. Try out this ramen fork and spoon and serve it up on unbreakable Corelle wear.
Gift card to resume writing service: At some point, this kid is going to need a resume, either right out of the high school’s double doors or for an internship over the summer. It can be hard enough to write a resume even if you have a decade of work experiences under your belt, so give them a head start with the help of a resume writing service. At chicagoresumeexpert.com, “The Student Special” is priced at$199, which includes a resume and a cover letter.
Personalized stationary When you give the gift of personalized stationary, you not only encourage folks to return to a more personal style of communication, you also ensure that there’s no excuse to not get a thank-you note in the mail. Even better: go local. Chicago artist Jennifer Ackerman designs stationary at her shop, PostScriptPaper, which can be suited perfectly for both guys and girls.
Chicago Art: One of the perks of having your own place (or dorm or suite or what have you) is deciding how you’re going to make the space your own. A great way to be reminded of home and Chicago roots is to hang up pictures or mementos of the Windy City. This rustic wall hanging is make with reclaimed pallets from all over the Chicago area—it doesn’t get any more Chicagoan than that.
Laundry Service: (No photo needed) College kids are notorious for Febrezing their jeans and going out to buy new underwear to avoid washing clothes for just a few more days. Help the kid out: if they’re headed to a Chicago campus, send them to Star Cleaners in University Village. If they’re headed elsewhere, do a yelp.com search for the best dry cleaning and laundry service in the area and make arrangements accordingly.
Star Cleaners in University Village, (312) 738-0669. 1501 W Taylor St. Chicago, IL 60607