Graduating high school is a big step in a young adults life!
It’s a transitional period, and that probably has you scratching your head for high school graduation gift ideas.
Sure you know what your graduate likes, but what could they really use in this pre-college time in their life?
I say that the practical route for gift giving is perfect for this occasion. Celebrate the big day by picking a gift that will come in handy for the next big step life: college!
Right below, you’ll find 12 practical gifts ideas for high school graduates.
Looking to gift more of an experience than a “thing”? THIS gift would be perfect!
P.S. There are free, printable gift tags at the end of this post!
12 Practical High School Graduation Gift Ideas
1. A Weekender Bag
Think of all the short, little trips they’ll take in college! And how a weekender won’t be on their dorm packing list.
A gift like this is perfect for the high school graduate who’s interested in traveling and adventure.
Personally, I think this particular one is really chic. Plus, it’s not overly expensive!
2. Portable Power Bank for Charging
When you’re a busy college student running around campus, you just don’t have time to stay by an outlet long enough to get a decent charge. That’s why a portable power bank (for charging) would make a great practical high school graduation gift.
It will get so much use, as they can charge phones, laptops, tablets and anything else that uses a USB port.
They are convenient to have for MUCH more than just school. Think camping and traveling in general, too.
I have one and I’m always glad I have it when I need it!
This one has great reviews and can charge a device up to 2 times before it needs to be recharged. This one has a lot more charging power and can charge up to 4 devices at once.
It has 4 charging ports, which saves time when charging multiple devices. And it can hold a ton of juice!
3. Books for College Prep
A good, informative book can help ease nerves about college and make the transition go a little more smoothly.
Any of those would be a gift a young adult starting a life journey would be glad to receive.
4. An Area Rug
Moving away from home after high school for the first time means a lot more freedoms. Especially when it comes to decorating!
When a student moves into their first dorm room or apartment, they are going to be hurting for decorations and the money to buy them.
A fluffy rug is an easy way for them to personalize their new surroundings, making it a nice idea for a high school graduation gift. And if their dorm has a cold linoleum/tile floor…
…it’ll make getting out of bed A LOT more inviting.
This one looks sooo soft. What college bound girl wouldn’t want a super plush rug?
5. Cool Lighting
Speaking of decor:
You can help your graduate create the perfect atmosphere in their dorm room by gifting them cool lighting!
A fun lamp or dreamy, string lights (REALLY popular with college age women) can really transform a blank room into something more inviting.
Not a Amazon item, buuuut –
I absolutely adore this Unicorn light! Think of how great of a conversational piece it would be.
6. A HelloFresh Subscription or Gift Card
Most young-ins leaving the nest after graduation have little experience when it comes to cooking.
Something like a HelloFresh subscription would not only provide them with three meals per week (what young adult doesn’t love free food?), but also teach them new cooking skills.
Each box comes with all the ingredients for the meal and step by step instructions for preparation. Even my mom, a 40+ year old woman, has learned new techniques from these boxes.
It’s a way to try new foods students may not otherwise attempt on their own. There are new recipes to choose from on a weekly basis – including vegetarian options.
All in all, I think it makes a pretty stellar high school graduation gift idea.
With a gift card, your grad will get a taste without having to commit to a weekly subscription. Win – win!
7. A Hammock
This high school graduation gift idea seems a little random, but –
Everybody loves laying in a hammock! Well, maybe not everyone, but they are pretty popular.
If your graduate is into outdoor activities, a hammock could be the right gift.
Hammocks are easily portable which makes them useful when camping or hiking. The nice part about them is that they’re versatile; they can be hung anywhere with a little creativity.
In a college environment a hammock could be used in a dorm, a park or other places that would make a relaxing study area.
I think the portable, camping style hammocks would be the best option. They’re ready for anything!
Time management skills can be a real issue for college freshman. Help your high school graduate get a head start on a good habit with a planner!
There are toooonnns of options out there. From simple to colorful, to planners that can plan EVERY aspect of each day.
Pick one that fits the personality of the giftee, or maybe let them choose it themselves.
There are planner options for EVERYTHING planners to minimal ones.
9. Dry Erase Board
Dry erase boards are a great way to keep track up due dates, assignments and other important information.
And we already know that:
Being organized in college is a common skill students struggle with. This gift is uber practical.
It’s half dry erase board and half cork board, doubling the functionality of it.
And, it already comes with markers, magnets & push pins.
10. Noise Canceling Headphones
In college, you don’t always get paired up with you ideal roommate. More often than not, roomies are on different wave lengths.
In such instances, a pair of good noise canceling headphones can be a real life saver.
They allow students to handle noisy, annoying situations with ease. Distracting, loud roommates will become a minimal issue during study time.
Either way, your high school grad with thank you for such a practical gift.
11. Water Bottle or Tumbler
It’s important to stay hydrated, especially during late night study sessions.
Give them something they’ll use practically everyday, like a water bottle or a tumbler.
I myself am fond of Nalgene water bottles. They’re durable and hold a sizable amount!
12. A Gift Card
When in doubt of what to give for a high school graduation gift, gift cards always make nice gifts. (Did I say the word “gift” enough times in one sentence? ?)
A Walmart gift card would be a good choice because that store is in almost every town, and they carry supplies needed for college.
Lots of food is sold at Walmart, and what college bound kid doesn’t need food?