High school graduation is a huge step from adolescence to adulthood. High school graduations are taking place right now, and you might be getting ready to attend a graduation party at some point in late May or June. While it is tempting to stick some cash in a card (after all, green suits everyone!), if the new grad is close to you, you might want to give her something a bit more personal. Here are a few ideas:
- Gifts for the Dorm or Apartment. If the young adult in your life is heading off to college or her own apartment, you can certainly stock her up on items that she’ll need. Everything from toiletries and bathroom caddies, to pots and pans, to a toaster, to sheets and towels will be needed and appreciated. Take into consideration what she is likely to already have, as well as what her living arrangement will be. If you’re buying small, personal items, buy them in her favorite colors; larger items, such as small appliances, should be purchased with neutrality in mind.
- Stocks and Bonds. It might not be glamorous or romantic, but buying stock, particularly in a company that means a lot to the graduate, can get her on the right track to saving and investing in the future. You don’t need to spend a lot of money; ask your broker about low-cost stocks that will likely rise over time. Another option is to get her a savings bond; it will mature when she’s a few years into her post-college life, and she can use the money toward items for her home, her wedding or any number of grown-up things.
- An Experiential Gift. With the responsibilities of adulthood looming, the new graduate might really appreciate the gift of an experience that she’s now old enough to enjoy. Spring for a ride in a hot air balloon, or offer to take her parasailing or swimming with the dolphins. You just might enjoy reliving your own youth, especially if you haven’t done anything like this in a couple of decades (or more).
- Good Reading. Are there any books that meant a lot to you when you were transitioning into adulthood? If so, pick up a copy for the new graduate, and feel free to make notes on any particularly meaningful pages. If not, browse in your local bookstore; right now, they have several appropriate books displayed, filled with wisdom for new graduates.
- A Wardrobe Addition. If you know her style and size, pick up a new outfit that you know she’ll love; otherwise, gift her with a gift certificate or, even better, take her shopping. Money is often tight for college students, so a new outfit or two is something that she might not be able to buy for several months once she starts school.
The most important thing is to remind the new graduate that even though she’s now an adult, you’ll still be there for her! A listening ear and regular phone calls and emails will help keep loneliness at bay while she’s away, and will also let her know that she’s loved and cared for even as she enters the world of being an adult.