Watch CBS News

Gift Guide For The College Graduate

It’s been at least 16 years in the making. Someone special is about to graduate from college. After so many years of hard work, patience and dedication his or her trials and tribulations are about to be rewarded with that highly sought-after degree and a lifetime of new challenges and rewards to tackle. So how do you tell that special college grad just how proud you are of such a tremendous accomplishment? There are many great gifts that you can buy or make that are perfect for just such an occasion. Take a little time to come up with just the right gift, and you’ll be telling your special grad how proud they make you, and that you’ll still be there for support no matter what the future brings. Here are a few fun ideas to show just how much you care.

Family Recipe Book

Recipe Book
Photo Credit Thinkstock

Chances are that your recent grad has spent the past four years living on dorm food, ramen, pizza and fast food. Now, as he or she sets out into the real world, this is the perfect time to gift your grad with a book filled with all of the recipes that remind him of home. This may take some time, but it will be a treasured keepsake for years to come. Fill a book with all of the special recipes that have been handed down for generations. If you have some extra creativity, find some family photos of those very recipes being enjoyed. You’ll certainly be gifting something truly memorable and special.

Help in a New City

Photo Credit Thinkstock

Your grad may be moving away to a new city, which means she's probably in need of a few extra items. Moving to New York, Boston or any other big city? Wrap up a map of the subway system and include a recent edition of the Zagat book or other city guidebooks, or even a monthly pass for the public transit system. How about an address book filled with friends and family member addresses that live in the new city, so your kiddo knows who to find should she need any help? These little tokens may not seem like much, but they are sure to come in handy when your grad is starting life in a new city.


Photo Credit Thinkstock

High school grads often wear their rings with pride, but your college grad deserves some bling, too. Get a nice watch and engrave it with his graduation date, or gift a nice pair of earrings, a necklace or even a bracelet. Make sure to personalize it in some way by engraving a date or keeping your grad’s school colors in mind as you pick out the perfect gem stones. Quality jewelry is a gift that lasts forever, and this is sure to be something your grad will wear with pride.

First Apartment Survival Kit

Apt Starter Kit
Photo Credit Thinkstock

Once your grad leaves school and heads off to his first apartment, chances are he's are going to need a few things. This is where a survival kit could come in very handy. Instead of a box or a regular basket, start with a laundry basket to pile in all the goods. Then start adding all those things you wish you had when you first set out on your own. You could add a good cookbook, a couple of pots and pans, quarters for laundry, laundry detergent, a nice filtered water pitcher, a couple of gift cards for groceries and to top it all off, a beautiful frame to display that hard-earned degree on the wall, or just let your own imagination help come up with all the goodies to fill the basket. You could also add some hand-written notes of encouragement, showing just how proud you are of your grad's hard work. 

Family Heirloom

Family Heirloom
Photo Credit Thinkstock

The most meaningful gifts are those that have been passed down from generation to generation, and this is the best time to remind your grad just how proud the whole family is. Consider presenting your student with something truly special from the family like a piece of jewelry, some military memorabilia or even an old diary. You can spend some really wonderful time together going over the memories of that particular piece, and your grad will love having a memento like that, especially if he or she is far away once graduation is over.

Deborah Flomberg is a theater professional, freelance writer and Denver native. Her work can be found at


View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.