10 High School & College Graduation Gifts They’ll Actually Use


graduates throwing caps in the air, Useful graduation gifts

Spring is in the air and graduation is mere moments away for every senior in college and high school who has been suffering senioritis since the fall. With such exciting changes on the horizon for graduating guys and gals in our lives, it’s a time in their lives that deserves to be commemorated. But the goal is to send a gift that will be useful and not forgotten as they enter into this next phase.

Whether your graduate is heading off to further their education in the fall or stepping straight into the workforce, this list is sure to provide something useful and fun for everyone. As gift givers, the ultimate goal is to send our graduates off on their new adventures feeling prepared and pumped. Graduation is such an exciting time, but it’s also incredibly daunting to step into the next phase of life. A gift they can use often not only adds quality to their everyday life but is also a reminder of the love and support you feel for them! 

Top 10 Most Useful Graduation Gifts

Bluetooth Headphones

I am a huge fan of Wirecutter and use them for most of my tech and home product reviews. A pair of Bluetooth headphones will get used often when walking on campus, commuting to work, or staying in touch with phone calls home.

Monogrammed Bath Towels

Anything personalized immediately makes a gift more beautiful and useful. Monogrammed towels are great for roommate situations, dormitories, or making a new apartment feel a little bit more adult. I’m a huge fan of Pottery Barn for their quality of towel and monogramming. I also love the variety of colors offered from this personalized towel business I found on Etsy. It would be perfect for the high schooler in your life heading off to college in the fall! 


Graduation is a great time to upgrade the everyday essentials in life for your graduate…especially if they have been sleeping on the same sheets for the past four years and are moving into their first apartment as a college graduate! Companies like Brooklinen, Parachute, and Pottery Barn offer variety and quality that cannot be beat.


No matter life’s next stage, a planner is always a welcome gift. Help your graduate organize their time and priorities with a customized planner or gift card to Erin Condren, Plum Paper, or Hobonichi. I also love gifting broader life and goal planners like this Cultivate What Matters Goal Planner to those entering into a new life chapter.


This might not be the most exciting gift to give a graduate, but I assure you that the day will come when someone needs a tool, and they’ll thank you for your forethought! Everyone needs a set of tools to get them through life’s basic fixes. I love this smaller student tool kit that’s easy to store in a small space. I also love this homeowner toolkit

Weekender Bag

With graduation comes the potential to move and travel a bit more! This is a great time to offer a luggage upgrade to your grad. A weekender bag is extremely multipurpose and can be used for an overnight stay, a long weekend, or a quick flight or drive. This Patagonia duffel has rave reviews and could be gifted to both men and women. A super budget-friendly option is this classy duffel on Amazon. I personally love the sleek look of this weekender bag and personalization options.

Commemorative Jewelry

You can’t go wrong with a nice piece of jewelry or a watch for your graduate. It’s another way to add to their more grown-up look and something they’ll treasure for years to come. If gifting a watch, it’s thoughtful to engrave their graduation date or year on the back!

If nothing else, a heartfelt letter from you, offering words of advice, memories, and how proud you are of your graduate is something that cannot be bought. The gift of time together—a dinner out or a day spent celebrating all of their accomplishments and the adventures to come—is another idea that cannot be beat. And when nothing else seems to fit the bill, every graduate will appreciate a little extra cash or a gift card. I hope this list inspires you as you set out to celebrate these special people in our lives! 


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