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gift ideas for a college graduate

edited April 2014 in Not Engaged Yet
H's cousin's GF is graduating from college in May.  I'd like to get her a gift instead of cash, but I'm struggling to think of something.  I wouldn't be opposed to a smaller gift and a little bit of cash, either... but I'd like to get her something that she'll either hold on to for a long time, or an experience she'll remember.  and, uh, I'm on a somewhat limited budget (maybe around $50?).  I remember when I graduated, I mostly received gifts around $25, with a few $50 thrown in and one or two larger gifts (from close family).  it's been a few years since I graduated, so please throw out any ideas!!

ETA:  she is planning on going to grad school, so I thought maybe a nice planner or something like that?  or am the only person in the world that would totally freak out at a gift like that??


Re: gift ideas for a college graduate

  • LizzyTish88LizzyTish88 member
    Eighth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited April 2014
    I would think a planner or even a nice bag to carry books/laptop? I would think you could get something for under $50 that's cute. 

    *Edited because I used the word "nice" 5 millions times. 
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  • @KeptInStitches - we are a no-alcohol group.  ;)  I think booze would work for just about any OTHER college grad!! 

    @caseface5 - she was over this weekend so I could tutor her for her Piano I final, and she mentioned her backpack was broken... but I don't know if she is a backpack-only person, or a bag-person (I'm a bag person, myself!)
  • KeptInStitchesKeptInStitches the Northern Plains member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers

    A messenger bag that fits her laptop would be a good gift. Skip the planner - in my experience (STEM, your mileage may vary), most people don't use them.
  • @KeptInStitches - I should have mentioned!  her degree will be a BA in Economics , Minor in Spanish.  the grad program she wants to get into (after take a couple supplemental math classes this summer) will be an Economics program.  I don't think she has a laptop.
  • @CocoBellaF hmm.. I myself am a backpack person too, but when it came to school I don't think I would have been opposed to a bag. Was her backpack huge? Because if she carries a ton around all the time then I can see why she might prefer a backpack over a shoulder bag. 
    friends tv show funy
  • LizzyTish88LizzyTish88 member
    Eighth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited April 2014
    What about something like THIS @CocoBellaF (I'm tagging you because I think this might have been skipped because I posted back to back) 
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  • edited April 2014
    she had a regular sized backpack, but it was a very cute print (tiny flowers in pink/yellow/green/orange).

    ETA:  they have THIS option at west elm, it's convertible... and THIS is adorable!
  • When I graduated college I got a few really cool gifts. I have a pandora bracelet so my parents got me a graduation cap charm...I don't know if she has any charm bracelets but I know Pandora charms run usually can cost around $35.

    I'm a huge agenda freak, I write out my schedule each day in there so a really cute agenda would be a nice gift or a new backpack.

  • she had a regular sized backpack, but it was a very cute print (tiny flowers in pink/yellow/green/orange).

    ETA:  they have THIS option at west elm, it's convertible... and THIS is adorable!

    I think the second option, with the yellow bottom is adorable!!
    friends tv show funy
  • Dignity100Dignity100 Northeastern Ohio member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Anniversary First Answer
    How long before she enters the 'real world'/job market?  If it's not too long or she's going to be interning, I might get her something like THIS

    Or maybe you could get her a nice blanket/quilt and if you still had $$ left a GC to the book store.

  • I think at least another 2 or 3 years before she'll be going for a "real job"...
  • I'm trying to tag you in my above post but it's not working. I'm still not used to this new TK lol. But it's a portfolio from Things Remembered. 
    friends tv show funy
  • thanks, @caseface5 - I see it!
  • I also love having a planner and write out everything! It helps me remember more than just plugging it in my phone. 

    I think the planner that @caseface5 posted is refillable--that would be really nice as opposed to one you can only use for one year! I think that's a great gift. 
  • @CocoBellaF - I actually have the 2nd bag you posted in the blue & white stripe with the red dipping. My SIL got this for me last x-mas and I love it! It's very well made, durable and I use it to travel for work ALL THE TIME! Also - she had it monogrammed with my new last name initial. Cute and personalized. I could totally see it being used as a campus tote/book bag.

    Married 6.22.13

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  • thanks, @allusive007! I thought about getting something monogrammed, but H's cousin is planning on proposing this year and then I think they want to get married in 2015, so I don't want to buy anything monogrammed.  :) 
  • phiraphira Bahstin member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary 5 Answers
    Definitely a sturdy and stylish laptop bag.

    It's too bad she doesn't have a definite grad program yet. When I know someone graduating is going to grad school, I like to get them something with their new school on it (e.g. sweatshirt, mug, etc).
    now with ~* INCREASED SASSINESS *~
  • ShallowSeasShallowSeas Indianapolis, IN member
    Sixth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    I also agree with the laptop bag. When I graduated college, that was one of the first things I bought. I would have LOVED it if someone had bought it for me as a gift.
  • Money or a subscription to the economist (isn't that a magazine?) grad school means she has to like reading haha
    I guess, to tell you the truth, I've never had much of a desire to grow facial hair. I think I've managed to play quarterback just fine without a mustache. - Peyton
  • foxishfoxish member
    10 Comments 25 Love Its First Anniversary Name Dropper
    edited April 2014
    Poppin.com has some really cool grad gift packs or a gift card - she can get a laptop case ( I use http://www.poppin.com/Navy-Yellow-Laptop-Tote-Bag.html and it's built like a tank) if she buys a laptop, fun colored desk items and office supplies, a way cool planner (if that's what she needs), or even monogramed stuff if she's into that. 
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