We are a reader-supported education publication. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission to help us keep providing content.
Graduating high school represents a significant milestone in life. It deserves celebration — and a gift.
What should you get for your lucky recipient? Here are 11 of the best gifts for high school graduates that are sure to bring smiles.
1. Small Kitchen Appliances
It doesn’t matter if your graduate plans to head off to college in the fall or begin their career. They need to eat, and young adults striking out on their own don’t yet have the tools to do so.
Help them out with gifts like an air fryer oven to reduce the fat in their favorite dishes or an upgraded blender for mixing healthy morning smoothies. If they’re headed off to school, a small dorm room microwave or miniature fridge makes the perfect gift.
2. An Entertainment Streaming Stick
Cable television is a luxury that most dorm dwellers can’t afford. That doesn’t mean they don’t want to kick back in front of something besides their computer screen now and then.
Why not get them an entertainment streaming stick, such as an Amazon Fire Stick? They can use all their favorite apps like Netflix right on their TV. If you feel extra generous, throw in a year’s worth of their favorite channel.
3. Online and App Subscriptions
There’s an app for nearly everything these days — but many of them don’t come for free. An annual subscription for $99 is a far better deal than monthly payments of $12 or more, but most new graduates don’t have the extra cash to score these bargains.
Apps like Grammarly can help future college students polish their papers before submission. Are they studying foreign languages? You’ll find no shortage of learning apps designed to help everyone from novices to advanced learners hone their native speaking skills.
4. A Classic Watch
A watch is a perfect way to mark many milestones. Your recent high school graduate needs a stylish timepiece for job interviews. Look for something that will last and select a style that will complement nearly any outfit.
5. A Kindle Paperwhite
If your high school graduate intends to go off to college, they’ll have their share of heavy textbooks to lug around campus. Why not get them something more portable?
A Kindle Paperwhite slips into even smaller purses and carry-on luggage without adding much weight. Best of all, the screen doesn’t emit much blue light, making it perfect for reading in bed.
6. A Monogrammed Portfolio
Anything monogrammed is a thoughtful and personalized gift. A portfolio is ideal, especially for artistic-minded graduates who need to take samples of their work to various interviews.
Other ideas include a monogrammed briefcase or passport wallet. If you have a little more green to spend, why not get them a complete set?
7. A Set of Inspirational Books
Going out into the adult world is stressful. The right inspirational read can lift your graduate’s spirits when it all gets too much, and they yearn for their more carefree childhood days.
You can find books for nearly any taste. Aspiring interior designers might enjoy Marie Kondo’s minimalism reads. Those afraid of taking risks can find courage in volumes like “100 Days to Be Brave” by Annie Downs.
8. An Ultra Luxurious Water Bottle
It doesn’t matter if your graduate goes off to work or school after turning their tassel. They still need to stay hydrated. Why not elevate their experience?
You can find water bottles that change colors when it’s time to take a sip or models with a built-in Bluetooth speaker for those lazy days laying out at the pool. Look for an ultra-insulated model that will keep cold beverages chilly and hot ones warming their bellies on frigid winter days.
9. Dorm Room Decor
If your graduate intends to go off to college, they’ll need to decorate their dorm room. Help them make it the classiest-looking spot on campus with a few supplies.
Many dorms feature concrete block walls, so a set of adhesives like Command Strips make a practical gift. You can also add poster frames that keep the edges of their favorite concert memories from fraying. Cute photo frames and stickers help them decorate their walls with collages that stave off homesickness.
10. A Set of Noise-Canceling Headphones
Dorm life can sometimes get noisy. If your graduate finds noise distracting, the right headphones can help them make the grade.
You can find inexpensive earplugs anywhere but opt for quality. Look for professional brands like Jabra used by top telecommunications companies in their customer service. Some models that adjust to outside noise, changing volume as the room gets rowdier.
11. A Bed Tent
Sometimes, you want to enclose yourself in a private world. You rarely get that luxury in a crowded dormitory.
A bed tent makes it possible for your graduate to get their Zzzs when their roommate pulls an all-nighter, keeping on the lights. It also serves as a private retreat where they can read, relax or just shut out the world for a while.
12. Office Equipment
The world of work has changed. Chances are, your graduate won’t report to an office replete with all the furnishings and equipment.
Help them get a handle on their work-from-home lifestyle with the gift of office equipment. From a new printer to a desk, you can outfit their telecommuting location in style.
12 Best Graduation Gifts for High School Graduates
Graduation marks a significant milestone you should celebrate. Delight your high school graduate with one of these 11 best gifts.