The Ultimate Graduation Gift Guide Made by College Graduates

June 4, 2019

Graduation season is upon us, and you may be wondering what to get your soon-to-be college graduate friends and family. Maybe you just plan on giving them the wonderful gift of your presence! Either way, these are some gifts that college graduates have said they value quite highly:


Photo: Jason Leung on Unsplash  


Charles W., a graduate from Reno’s University of Nevada received the wonderful gift of his tuition being paid for by his parents:

AM: What was the best gift you received when you graduated?

CW: I didn’t get a gift. (laughs)

AM: That’s gotta’ be rough.

CW: My Pops said ‘your tuition is your gift’. (laughs again)

AM: So nobody got you anything?

CW: No, I don’t think so. (doesn’t laugh)


Juanda S., a graduate from California State University Northridge appreciated her family being at her graduation:

AM: What was the best gift you received when you graduated from college?

JS: My siblings. They all came to my graduation and I couldn’t have been happier.

AM: That sounds wonderful!

JS: It was! Having my eldest siblings there was amazing!


Rosiebelt M., a graduate from Alinari and Centro Cultural de las Americas (Guatemala) appreciated a friend buying her a graduating class ring, and valued a trip with her classmates:

AM: When you graduated from school in Guatemala, what was the best gift you received?

RM: There were two gifts: one was my graduation ring that a friend bought me while the other was a national trip with my classmates.

AM: Where did you all go?

RM: We went to a place called Tikal in Guatemala. It was a great trip, and we all had a very fun time.


Carley S., a graduate from Australia’s Charles Sturt University in New South Wales, found lunch after graduation, being with her parents, and a flight voucher within Australia to be the best gift she received:

AM: What was the best gift you received when you graduated from Uni?

CS: When I graduated, my parents took me to a restaurant in Bathurst, New South Wales where my university was. They congratulated me and passed me an envelope with a flight ticket voucher for traveling flights in Australia; ideally for a trip with friends to celebrate my graduation. I ended up taking a couple of girlfriends to Noosa, a beachside town in Queensland. We just ate and drank, and were merry for the entire time. Receiving that voucher kind of vindicated the hard work I’d done and their appreciation of my completion of the course really touched me. Honestly, I wasn’t really expecting a gift, nor did I complete the course for any kind of reward. Having my graduation certification plaque to prove my hard work was enough. Being with my parents and seeing how proud they were was a very good feeling.


Abigail R., a fellow graduate from California State University Channel Islands said that she valued the lunch she had with her family after her graduation ceremony:

AM: I have to ask, what was the best gift you received when we graduated?

AR: I didn’t get a gift, but I went to Waypoint Café in Camarillo and had mimosas with my parents.

AM: Mimosas are always nice.

AR: They were amazing. What was your favorite gift?

AM: I got a lawn chair, a Hawaiian shirt, and a $20 In N Out gift card from my Aunt.

AR: That’s very Californian of you. (laughs)

AM: The gift card was very useful. (laughs)


There you have it: the consensus being that spending time with loved ones on graduation day, trips with friends or family, and gift cards to local fast food restaurants are what some graduates have valued most. Perhaps those you’re pals with will value them as well.


Alec Mackenzie is a writer from the San Francisco Bay Area and currently lives in the Greater Los Angeles Area. He has been writing creatively since high school and throughout his college career, with versatile experience in fiction, non-fiction, journalism, and screenwriting. When not working at his day job, he enjoys being outside, staying active, cooking, and writing.


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