Gifts for Female Graduates

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Last week an email landed in the FC inbox asking for advise on what to get for a graduate.  The emailer’s sister is graduating this August, with a degree in Early Childhood Development.  God bless the people that want to get on the front lines of helping youngters develop into productive adolescents and adults.  But our emailer has no idea what to get his sister.

I’m going to make a few assumptions before tackling some suggestions.  First off, I’m assuming that sister is of normal graduating age, early 20’s, although it’s becoming more normal for graduates to be much older.  But for the sake of simplicity, early 20’s.  I’m also going to  assume that sister has been living the dorm life, or at least near campus housing, possibly sharing space with other people.  And lastly, I’m going to assume that his sister won’t be making much at her first job.  Why is it that some of the most important jobs come with the lowest pay?  I digress, let’s move onto some gift ideas.

Tiffany Passport Cover

A classy way to transport a passport

Lots of grads, before the big bad world of adulthood swallows them whole, choose to travel a bit.  Whether it’s backpacking in Europe, or seeing some of the US, many grads take a bit of downtime between school and work.  If that’s the case, a gift to make her trip more enjoyable can be perfect.

Gift cards might seem impersonal and generic, but if you need the monetary help, they come in pretty darn handy.

If she’s been living in a dorm, or shared housing for the past few years, she probably doesn’t own any household goods of much worth. Her kitchen knives are too dull, too many of the plastic plates from Target have suffered through some sort of melting trauma, and the plastic, sparkly tumblers that were “too cute!” when she was 18 may no longer float her adult boat, especially for entertaining.  If she is social, and likes to cook and hang out in the kitchen, helping her upgrade might be right up her alley.

Yes, a lot of these sound like wedding gifts, but plenty of women appreciate these things before Mr. or Mrs. Right comes along.  These would be odd gifts for some girls, but if she’s a foodie and loves to cook, she probably wants to step up the game in her kitchen.

Santa Cruz by SeptemberWren

Santa Cruz by SeptemberWren

Moving into a new place can be a lot of fun, but if she’s doing it on a budget, she’s decorating on a budget. Help her out by purchasing a piece of fine art for her. Hopefully this is a gift that will appreciate in value as well. I’m not talking about a $3,000 painting. There are incredible art pieces to be had for a steal, and can be a great place to find them. If you know her taste, and can find a piece that really resonates, the gift will be super memorable, and likely in her collection for a lifetime! There are many art mediums to shop:

Coming back to budget, life right out of college can be rough.  Figuring out a new household budget on a new income, and having to pay student loans, can put any college grad into a tailspin.  During this time period, “fun” outings, like going to the movies, can seem like a splurge. So you can help her out by providing a gift card that will get her several visits to a favorite place of amusement.

  • Movie gift card
  • Salon gift card (you boys are missing out avoiding the pedicure)
  • Museum or Theater pass
  • “Promissory” note for tickets to a future concert

Of course, if she’s searching the country for a job and might be moving, a salon gift card or Museum/Theater pass might be out of the question if you don’t know her new locale, but good old Regal Cinemas seems to be nationwide. And a promise to pick up concert tickets, or actual concert tickets to a show you know she wants to see, can make for a memorable gift.

Then there’s always the standby gifts, like jewelry (again, Etsy is the place to go) or a card case.  There’s also electronics, like a new point and shoot camera, a smart phone, or an MP3 player that is not attached to a phone, so she can actually listen to music without being interrupted. Cash is always nice, but it’s best to leave that to mom and dad. If you still can’t settle on a single item, how about an Amazon Gift Card?  One can find virtually anything on Amazon, and she can spend it how she wants.

Congrats to all those grads out there, and good luck to those shopping for them!

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