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9 Practical Gifts for a New Graduate

Graduation is an exciting milestone that serves as a marker for a new chapter in life. The next steps for high school graduates may include heading off to college—eager to pursue a college degree in the field of their choice. As a college graduate, after years of studying, they’re graduating with a degree in hand. They may be continuing toward a master’s degree or planning on joining the workforce.

As the graduates in your life embark on their next steps, they might need a bevy of new things to get them though. That’s why, as you’re racking your brain trying to think of what to buy a college graduate, it can make sense to gift them something on the practical side, something that might come in handy as they head off on their new adventures.

And hey, no one ever said practical needed to be boring. Here are nine useful gift ideas for the recent graduate in your life.

1. Decorations or Furnishings for Their New Space

Both high school and college graduates might need furnishings for their new space. A high school student who will be transitioning to dorm life might not need furniture, but essentials like washcloths, towels, and school supplies could come in handy.

Something they’ll use frequently, like a shower caddy filled with toiletries, might be extremely useful in a dorm. You could also opt for a more sentimental gift, perhaps a framed photo or fun wall art that will remind them of home.

As college grads move into their own space, they might need furniture and other homegoods like linens, cleaning supplies, and kitchen essentials. Furnishing an apartment could get expensive quickly, so crossing an item off of their shopping list might be appreciated.

2. A Handy Kitchen Tool

It’s possible that a new graduate living on their own will be responsible for cooking for themselves—possibly for the first time. Gone are the days of Mom’s homemade meals or dining hall dinners. With some planning, kitchen gadgets like an Instant Pot or slow cooker can make putting dinner on the table a breeze, something a busy new grad might appreciate.

Some colleges and universities allow students to have gadgets like these in their rooms. It could be a fun gift idea for a college-student-to-be who loves to cook or has specific dietary needs that might make eating in the dining hall difficult. Before you buy, it’s worth checking the housing guidelines at the student’s school to make sure they are approved for dorm use.

3. Professional Clothing for Job Interviews

Both high school and college graduates would likely benefit from a new outfit that is suitable for a job interview or day at the office.

If you don’t want to pick out specific clothes, you could consider gifting them a subscription to a clothing service for a couple of months. Some subscription services curate boxes of clothes based on a style profile that the recipient can fill out.

4. A Tool Kit to Help Them With Repairs

A tool box may feel extreme on the practical gift scale, but when your recent graduate has the hammer required for hanging a frame in their new apartment, they might be thankful that they don’t have to use their shoe again. A small kit could be helpful in a dorm setting as well.

5. A Bag That’s Appropriate for Work and School

A sturdy backpack might be a great gift for getting around campus, especially if you high school grad has a several classes in a row, but an office setting may require a more polished bag. A messenger bag or briefcase with a cross-body strap could be great hybrid choices for carrying supplies and a laptop to class or to work.

6. Amazon Prime Subscription to Get Stuff Fast

A recent graduate, of either high school or college, likely has a laundry list of new purchases. Books and supplies for a new college student, and all of those homegoods for a new apartment. Amazon Prime might be a convenient option so they can get all their necessities delivered within a couple days.

7. Coffee Maker for Late-Night Study Sessions

Learning how to make a good cup of joe is a life skill for some. You might grab the graduate in your life a coffee maker to set them up for countless cups of satisfying coffee. For the high school graduate headed off to college you could consider a single-cup brewing option.

8. An Alarm Clock to Get Them Up On Time

For some college graduates, the next step is securing a full-time job. That might mean working nine to five is their new daily schedule. For the recent college graduate who may be used to sleeping in till their first class at 1 pm, this could be a stark transition. An alarm clock could help. There are a variety of stylish and functional models, some with an analog look and others that use light to wake users up gradually.

An alarm clock could also be beneficial for the high school grad since they’ll be responsible for waking themselves up to get to their classes on time.

9. When in Doubt, Cash Is King

Sometimes, there’s nothing as practical as a cash gift. When you give a physical gift, there is a chance that the gift you select will end up getting returned. A cash gift offers flexibility, so the graduate can purchase exactly what they want or need.

A high school graduate could use the money to buy new books or save it for a tuition payment. A recent college graduate could use the money to help furnish their new apartment or make a student loan payment.

Opening a Checking and Savings Account

Another option is to tell the graduate about SoFi Checking and Savings®. You can give them money to make their first deposit. It’s a great way to spend and save.

With a SoFi Checking and Savings® checking and savings account, your phone is all you need to get the job done, so your graduate will have access to their money no matter where the next chapter leads. There are absolutely no account fees and ATM fees are reimbursed at 55,000+ ATMs worldwide (fee structure and ATM reimbursement is subject to change).

Learn more about a SoFi Checking and Savings account for your favorite graduate.

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