Of all the events that people celebrate in their lives, high school graduation is one of the best! Graduation often marks the passage from childhood to adulthood, and is frequently a chance for friends and family to say “Bon Voyage!” as students head off into life.
If you’re looking for a meaningful or helpful gift for a graduating high school Senior who is headed into college, here are some suggestions:
Prepaid Phone Card/Phone
If the student is going out of town or away from family for the first time, a pre-paid calling card or pre-paid phone is a great gift. Whether it’s simply to keep in touch with family back home or emergency calls to a parent (“Do I wash black socks and white t-shirts together, Mom?”) the gift of communication is meaningful and helpful.
Bookstore Gift Certificates
College books are expensive, and students often don’t realistically account in their budget for how much they might cost. A gift certificate to a college bookstore or a reputable online source is a great gift for students. Want a more meaningful gift? Consider asking the student for his/her complete book list and spend the summer tracking down book bargains to help offset the cost of college, and sign each one with an encouraging message to the new college student.
For students moving away to college, the cost of simple household items can quickly add up. Things as simple as a coffee maker, ironing board, or a microwave are taken for granted when you’re living at home with your parents, but can be sorely missed when you’re suddenly on your own.
A Cleaning Kit
Alright, it’s not necessarily the most meaningful gift, but it certainly is helpful! Collect a wide array of cleaning products (mop, bucket, tea towels, laundry detergent, bathroom scrubber, etc) and package it all up for the new college student. They might think it’s funny but they’ll certainly appreciate it by the beginning of October when they realize that their parents are no longer around to keep their house clean!
Grocery Store Gift Cards
We’ve all heard stories of students who run through their term funds too quickly and are reduced to eating ketchup soup in December. A gift card to a national grocery store chain can help ensure that the student in your life is well-fed, or give them a little boost for something fancier than cafeteria fare.
If the high school Senior in your life is facing a financial shortfall for college, cash to be applied towards tuition and fees can be the most meaningful gift of all. Every dollar you give might be one less dollar the student has to take on in student-debt. Giving the gift of a debt-free future after college is truly meaningful and helpful; even if the student doesn’t realize it for years to come.