Grad Gifts

This week my baby sister graduated from high school!!!  Which of course is totally surreal for me as I am supposed to be celebrating my 10-year reunion this year— but I digress.  She isn’t getting a gift from me for a couple of months (I want to determine what she REALLY needs right before she leaves for college), but I know lots of people are purchasing these sorts of gifts right now.  The challenge here is always to maintain some sort of budget, be unique and of above all else: functional.  I know, not a super glitzy word, but so essential when purchasing for either the high school or college graduate who is stepping out into a new phase in life.  So, after polling friends and family members, I have assembled some of the perfect gifts for any alum.

Stanley 65-piece General Homeowner's Tool Set ($44.59),

A Tool Box. I know, strange.  But moving out of your parent’s home or college dorm means its time to start hanging things on walls, fixing shelves and a whole host of other fix-it problems.  I received one when I graduated high school and I can’t tell you how often I used the hammer or had a neighbor borrow a screwdriver.  Seriously useful and clever…


Western Digital 1TB External Hard Drive ($69.99),

An External Hard Drive. Because their computer will crash.  And it will happen just as they finish a twenty-page research paper or their first big project at a new job.  But, instead of crying tears of despair, they will be crying tears of joy.  After all, your gift will have saved them.

TimeSmart Self-Setting Alarm Clock ($39.95),

Self-Setting Alarm Clock. Now that mom is no longer around to wake them up for class on time (I am particularly worried for my sister!), they are going to need an alarm clock.  This is so fantastic, because it sets itself when you plug it in and if the electricity goes out it resets itself.  Which means they’ll have no excuse to miss their 8am class/breakfast meeting.

"Where's Mom Now That I Need Her?" By: Kent P. Fransden ($15.21),

“Where’s Mom Now That I Need Her?” by Kent P Fransden. This is perfect for the pampered grad.  The one who has never cooked a meal or done laundry.  Not only is it a recipe book, but it also offers advice on how to get rid of stains, grocery shopping on a budget and so much more.  This way your grad will know that even if their pepperoni and mushroom pizza represents the food groups it isn’t necessarily nutritious!



  1. I love this list! It’s so practical! I remember when I graduated, I got all sorts of gifts that were kind of puzzling. I mean, what am I supposed to do with a decorative candle holder? One of the best gifts I got was a digital alarm clock!

  2. It’s got to be the book! I had a similar book when I left home for uni – It certainly helped me to not set fire to the kitchen whilst cooking!

    Love C x

  3. I love your picks! I definitely needed a toolkit when I was in college and especially when I moved into my first apartment. I love the poster print! I just went to a graduation over the weekend. Congrats to your sister!

  4. Okay, I feel like I need to graduate from something so that somebody will buy me these gifts. They’re great ideas. Anyone would love these!

  5. This list is definitely hs grad approved! 😉
    The external hard drive being my favorite idea there is no telling how many computer mishaps I’ve had in hs- i doubt it will be as easy to recover in college. 😛

  6. Great ideas. I have one of those tool sets, and I *need* that hard drive. I graduated a long time ago – but I think that still counts, don’t you? :-)

  7. Happymother says:

    What a great idea! I like the book very much, but I think the hard drive is very important. Congratulation to Ariel!!!

  8. That tool kit is essential. I got a hot-pink set when I moved into my first place.

  9. I love these. They are very outside the box. It gives me something to think about as my oldest will graduate next year.

  10. Happyaunt says:

    Love the creative pics and your great website! Your sister could also share any duplicate gifts with me……… don’t have to be a grad to appreciate these!

  11. Hahaha! I love the title of that book. ONE of my little brothers graduates from High School next week too. Can’t believe it. Although he’ll probably just want gas money.

  12. These are amazing choices! I need an external hard drive…

  13. Great, original ideas! I never would have thought of those!

  14. Great advice! My niece is graduating from high school this year. She’ll be heading to Brown (She’s the smart on in the family) and I’m sure she could use some of those things. The external drive is a brilliant suggestion.

  15. A tool box was one of the first things I bought after college, but I sure could have used one in college! Congratulations to your sister!

    Live Life in Style

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