It’s that time of the month where a family member, a friend or someone you know will be graduating. Unfortunately, there are some students who have finished university this year but will not get a graduation until next year due to the pandemic. However, graduation or not, getting someone a gift to celebrate their years of hard work is a sentimental and appreciative thing to do. So, here is a list of presents that you can gift someone.
Keyring – Now some may think that a keyring is a boring gift or a cheap cop-out of getting someone an ‘actual’ present. However, there are many forms that this gift can take. Firstly, you can have the date of their graduation printed or engraved onto the keyring. It is a very important date in their life and it will be bittersweet to have a constant reminder of such a happy day. The next thing you can do is use a photo from that day. This will mean that you won’t be able to give them the present until a later date, but it will be understandable when you explain (without spoiling what it is) and it will be much appreciated once they have it. It could be an image of just them in their graduation outfit, however, some people may find it weird if they have an image of themself on their keys so use a group photo instead.
Mug – Again, something that can be seen as a basic present but who doesn’t love a new mug? Similar to the keyring, you can get the date printed into the mug to make it look like a calendar, or simply written out in bold text across the side. Or, even though it will have to be a late present, you can get an image of their graduation day printed on the side. If you do it on the internet, some places allow you to create collages and add text, so you can have a mixture of both. To make the gift even more sentimental, you can compile a gallery of images from their time spent at university and create a collage from those.
Personalised message – These are super cute presents and would be good if you are close to the graduating student. The cutest message I have seen is one you can get in a glass bottle, the size of the bottle can range from the size of a middle finger to a wine bottle. You can get the message printed on the outside of the bottle and then have something filling the inside, like fairy lights, chocolates or bath bombs. Alternatively, the message can be printed or handwritten on a piece of paper, rolled up and put inside the bottle with a painted design on the outside. What the message says is entirely down to you. It can be an inside joke you have shared over your university experience, a ‘congratulations’ message or even a picture. However, note that the bigger the bottle, the more money you are going to have to spend. This is in the ‘under £10’ section for the smaller ones.
Personalised clothing – Many universities sell customised hoodies, tops and sweaters that have ‘Year of 2021’ printed on them. However, some students do not buy them due to the price and the colours can be a little basic or not to one’s taste. So, why not gift them one? You could buy a plain jumper, one you know they will like, from a clothing store and have something printed on it. It is more meaningful to buy them a jumper from a store you know they like, and to then go to the effort of paying for something to be printed on. There are other places than the university that will sell these types of clothing specifically for university students, so have a look online.
A bottle of alcohol – A more simple gift compared to some but if you do not know what to get someone, or do not feel as close to them but still want to get them something then this is the perfect present. Since it is their graduation, think about getting them something a little more expensive, it is a special time for them. If you do not want to get them a fancy bottle of alcohol and opt for the cheaper version, buy some chocolate or sweets and create a hamper with them.
Wall art – If they have not done so already, when someone graduates they are most likely ready to move out or have been planning to do so. A nice gift that will remind them of how they got there, would be some wall art based on their graduation day. There are countless types of wall art you can get them, you just need to scour the internet. For example, you can get them a piece that is a map of where they graduated, or like the keyring idea you can get some art that looks like a calendar date of graduation day. It could be some art of a graduation cap and gown or even better, you can pay an artist to create a piece using a photo taken on graduation day.
Personalised photo frame – Another present on the list that you will have to gift the person late, however, it will be worthwhile. First, look online at photo frames that can be personalised, find the frame before printing off the photo as you do not want to limit yourself to a certain size. With personalised frames, you can have sentimental messages written on them, such as “Happy Graduation Day!” This is a present that they will look at and smile at, all the while doing the cliche movie thing of picking up a photo frame, laughing with a huff and setting it back down.
A planner – One of the most crucial essentials once someone enters the job world, a planner. When they finish university they are going to have interviews planned, workshops, courses or inductions. Some plans will not even be career-related, perhaps they are moving out and have important dates to remember, like when they have to pick up the keys. Or, maybe they would like to plan plenty of date nights with their friends, partner and family. Either way, a planner is a thoughtful gift that will be put to good use. You can find a planner in pretty much any store, if they have a specific passion or liking towards something (TV show, game, film) then a quirky shop would be a better place to look. Do not forget, as it has been mentioned many times in the article (and will continue to do so), you can get personalised ones online.
Fancy pen – Everyone wants to be prepared for their first day of work, even if it means making sure you have many working pens hidden in their bag. What is a better way to be prepared than to have a swanky silver pen on the first day of work?
Personalised hip flask – This is a gift that screams ‘you are an adult now’ and it is quite an unusual gift, which will show to them that you have put some thought into it. Some department stores sell them, but it would be much easier to have a look online. If you search the internet, you can find wooden or metal ones that can have initials engraved onto them. There are also ones that have a leather cover and initials can be printed onto the front. Antique shops are a great place to look for them, especially if you are looking for one that is one of a kind.
Pillow – Much like the mug idea, it is something simple and generic present but it can hold a lot of meaning. Similar to some other gifts on this list, you can get an image of graduation day printed onto the cushion. Or, it can be the date, the course and university they graduated from, the occupation that they would like to move on to. What may be a cute idea is to get an image from when they first started university and from graduation day, then have a ‘before and after’ format on the cushion. It will also be a nice gift if they are moving out after graduation.
Engraved bracelet – Jewellery is a very sentimental present as it is something they can keep with them for a lifetime, as well as pass down to their kids and the generations that follow. There are many different styles of bracelets that can be engraved. The engraving could be on a small, gold (or any metal of their choice) circle that is connected to a chain. Alternatively, it could be a metal bar that has engraving on it. It does not have to be a bracelet, you could buy them a necklace or a ring. If you want to get them a ring, you could have something engraved along the inside of the ring or buy them a signet ring and have a special design on top.
Workbag – Like the planner, a workbag is another ‘new job’ essential, no one wants to rock up to their first job with a scruffy bag that is on its last legs from all those hard university years. With both women and men, the trend seems to be smart backpacks, satchels and laptop bags. They are very practical bags and easy to wear, especially if they are taking public transport or cycling to work. They will need a bag that they can fit multiple things in, such as their laptop, a notepad, their laptop charge, phone, phone charger, lunch, many spare stationery pieces, etc. If you are close family or a really close friend, you could consider getting them a cheeky designer something.
Laptop case – Similar to the workbag, if they plan to take their own laptop to work then they’re going to need a laptop case. I’m not thinking of a pathetic piece of plastic that covers the top of the laptop, I am thinking of those cases that are like one big purse/wallet and you can zip the laptop inside. It serves a more important use then just making the laptop look pretty, it will protect the laptop when the person is out and about. Many cases are padded for extra security, some are also waterproof so if they use the laptop as a bag itself then it will protect everything inside. Lets not forget that we are in the middle of a global pandemic, so a case will help stop some germs latching into the laptop’s surfaces.
Keepsake box – This is another present that can be passed down through generations. Keepsake boxes come in a variety of sizes, so if you purchase a small one then they will probably cost less than £40, but if you buy a reasonably sized box then they will cost more. They are a useful gift as they can literally be used for anything, and like many other gifts on this list, it would make a great ‘just moved’ present. To make the gift personal and sweet, you could fill the inside of the box with little things they like, as well as a card or letter to congratulate them on their graduation.