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High School Graduation Gift Ideas

Updated on November 11, 2013

Best High School Graduation Gift Ideas

Are you stuck trying to come up with high school graduation gift ideas? Leaving high school is one of the largest transitions in a young person's life and there are tons of great gift ideas that can be practical and meaningful.

The first thing to think about when picking out a graduation gift is what the individual is going to do next. Someone going off to college dorms will have different needs than someone who will be remaining at home while attending a junior college or someone entering the work force. There are tons of fun ideas for any high school graduate!

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Time Organization

It can be tough to keep track of all the things that need to get done. Many high school graduates don't have a good time managment system in place. After all, the school and their parents took care of much of it since they were kids. Dry erase calendars are a convenient idea to help someone keep track of where they need to be.

Board Dudes 18" x 22" Home Decor Magnetic Dry Erase Calendar with Cork Strip (84015UA-4)
Board Dudes 18" x 22" Home Decor Magnetic Dry Erase Calendar with Cork Strip (84015UA-4)

This white board calendar has a cork strip at the bottom so buy a box of thumb tacks to go with it! Then important paperwork or invitations can be tacked to the calendar to keep track of them.


Dorm Organization Ideas

Many high school graduates will be moving into college dorms. With such a small space, organization is a must! Organizers for the desk, closet, and even under the bed can help extend the use of any space.

Shower Caddies

Many traditional dorms feature a bathroom that is down the hall, so students will have to haul their toiletries with them when they are getting ready. A good shower caddy can be very helpful for keeping items in one place and ready to go.

Bathroom Personal Organizer and Shower Tote 8" x6" (assorted colors)
Bathroom Personal Organizer and Shower Tote 8" x6" (assorted colors)

This caddy is a great choice because the mesh sides allow things to dry (mildew is bad). It collapses to store flat if it isn't in use and has three large compartments to separate items and keep things organized.

Plus, it comes at a really good price. You can't beat that.


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Creative Gift Baskets

Gift baskets can be put together for nearly any occasion. There are many prepackaged gift baskets that would be perfect choices for a recent graduate. For instance, a laundry gift basket (and rolls of quarters) is a great idea for someone going off to college.

A gift that is always appreciated by busy students? Coffee! Many high school students have begun to drink coffee and could probably use an introduction to great coffee products. Think about a coffee gift basket as a graduation gift (it will certainly be appreciated by any college freshman!)

Introductory Cookbooks

It's amazing how many 18 year olds leave home without learning how to cook. However, at some point the graduates will have to learn how to feed themselves! There are many cookbooks designed to be an introduction to cooking or that cater to college students learning how to cook for the first time.

Microwave Cookbooks

While the first thing most college kids use their microwave for is popcorn, did you know that you can cook entire healthy meals with just this one appliance? This is a great cookbook for someone who likes to eat well but won't have access to a full kitchen.

Small Appliances

A first apartment is going to need kitchen tools! While most dorms have restrictions on exactly what kinds of small appliances you can bring, many will at least allow a microwave. If allowed, a toaster oven is a great purchase because it can cook anything from frozen pizza to full meals for one.

Coffee is a College Staple

A coffeemaker is always a useful gift for someone heading into a new home or dorm. After all, not only is it useful for making coffee, but it can heat water for everything from tea to Cup of Noodles.

Amazon Gift Cards

Still looking for more high school graduation gift ideas? When in doubt, just give an Amazon gift card. Since you can buy almost anything on Amazon, this will ensure that the graduate will pick out exactly what they want! $25 Gift Card in a Greeting Card (Birthday Balloons Design) $25 Gift Card in a Greeting Card (Birthday Balloons Design)

You can buy these cards in almost any amount or design!


When I graduated high school, there was a lot of variety in my gifts. I received books with personal inscriptions that I still treasured. And I received a Furby (I still have no idea what the thought process behind that one was). The best gifts are ones that are personal and meaningful. Share your best and worst graduation gifts to give others an idea of what works... and what doesn't!

Best and Worst High School Graduation Gift Ideas

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    • LittleLindaPinda profile image

      Little Linda Pinda 5 years ago from Florida

      Many of these gifts are great for college graduates as well. My daughter is graduating tonight after a long haul.

    • glenbrook profile image

      glenbrook 5 years ago

      I'd give something a little more sentimental or meaningful. When I graduated high school my parents gave me a top of the line Remington 870 Wingmaster shotgun. I still have it and take it out about once a year. It reminds me of all the good times I had hunting and fishing with my dad while I was growing up.

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 5 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      These all look like good, practical gifts for the high school graduate.

    • SheGetsCreative profile image

      Angela F 5 years ago from Seattle, WA

      I agree - the best gifts for marking a graduation milestone are meaningful.

    • parmaggie profile image

      parmaggie 5 years ago

      I received an electric typewriter. This was way before home computers.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Nice ideas. I personally think the Bedside Caddy would come in

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Nice selection of graduation gifts! Who wouldn't love a car! ;))

    • profile image

      MaggiePowell 5 years ago

      I received a charm for a necklace that said -class of 19**- never wear it..anyone want it?