Best Graduation Gifts for New Alumni Students

Best Graduation Gifts for New Alumni Students

College is a four-year blur. Most students can barely recognize the people they were during freshman year. Things are moving, life is in a different stage, and the world is full of new opportunities. If you’ve got freshly-minted alumni, you can show your support and help them transition to life after college by finding a great graduation gift. Here are our picks for the meaningful gifts that get them started in the right direction.


Alumni Gear

Alumni gear is about more than a t-shirt or hat with the name of the school on it. It means something totally different after you’ve graduated. It’s a reminder of all the hard work you put in for four years, it’s a reminder of how far you’ve come, and it’s a reminder of all the friends you made along the way. 

You can shop gear by school to find an awesome, affordable graduation gift. While you may not be looking to spend $100 on headphones, you probably also don’t want to drop them a succulent and call it a day. Alumni gear is a great, affordable way of giving a gift that has meaning and impact.

Consider where the alumni is headed after college. For example, if they’ve gone to school in a warm area but have landed a job in a cooler location, you can snag them a cool college sweatshirt to help ease the transition. If they’ve been living on the east coast and are heading west or south, giving them a campus t-shirt helps them prepare for less layers and more sweat!

If they’ve gotten their first place after college, help them decorate those bare walls with some spirited accessories

Additionally, if their college had a really bad mascot, you can help them remember that fondly for life by finding some mascot-branded gear. Stuffed animals and pillows are great here.


Adult-Ready Accessories

In college, it was fine to toss on the snapback and pull on the $25 old navy backpack. That may not cut it in the workspace.

  • A nice bag. For them, this might be a stylish designer bag or backpack that can also carry equipment for work. This might be a nice duffle-style bag or backpack that can also carry equipment for work.
  • Watches and jewelry. You may not know all the sizings for your college graduate--and that’s okay, watches and jewelry let you invest in their looks without knowing their sizes.
  • Smart gear, like smart watches, fitbits, and other kinds of fitness trackers.
  • Water bottles or travel coffee mugs. They probably have one from college, but if it isn’t nice or professional, get them the upgrade.


Apartment Jumpstarts

If your college grad is moving into their own non-campus adult apartment, or simply moving somewhere new, it might be time to upgrade some house stuff. 

  • Mattresses or sheets. You may not want to buy the whole set of sheets or the whole mattress, but you can get them well on their way to a great brand with a gift card.
  • Appliances. Skip the wedding cliches, and don’t get them a kitchen-aid mixer. Instead, go for something simple and modern like a smart cooking appliance or a coffee maker.
  • Art. Give them a piece of art that you love and that you think that they could really love.



By the time someone is a senior in college, and then graduates, they start to understand that the older people in their life have some wisdom that they’ve probably never tapped into. Whether you consider yourself a mentor of a student or not, buying books for someone that has made an impact on your life is always a thoughtful, intelligent, and academic gift. Some advice: don’t give a novel. Unless they are an active reader, and have plenty of time and energy on their hands after college, they may not read it. If they enjoy reading novels, buy books they would be interested in. Keep things short, keep it simple, and keep it positive. 

If you need some inspiration, stick to books in the motivational and inspirational space. You can get a book that is meant to inspire, or a book that inspires someone to improve themselves. It’s best to stick to things that you’ve read though! Giving a book that you haven’t read isn’t that interesting.



Sure, most people are streaming music—but if you really want to give an album and make it stick, buy your recent grad a record player and a vinyl of your favorite album of all time. It’s not selfish, it’s inspirational. Since most people know what they like, it’s always encouraging and special to get given something that someone else likes. Sharing a meaningful album, whether it’s your favorite classic or favorite modern classic, can inspire a new level of appreciation in your student.

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11/09/19: Class of 2023 Tree Planting Ceremony Class Board 2023 had the honor of hosting and facilitating the traditional Class Tree Planting ceremony that is held in the fall each year during Homecoming Weekend. Each new class at Penn brings a new tree that is planted on College Green. The tree is a symbolic representation of the class’s growth. The tree will remain there long after the class graduates, just like the legacy and impact of the individual students. The Class of 2023 was able to break 2 distinct records in the process, with the 1st being the most responses to the tree survey (beating C’23) and the 2nd being the highest total student turn-out (beating C’17). I’m proud to be a member of C’23. Special thanks to Penn, the Hohns Family, Elise Betz, & the Morris Arboretum for making everything possible.———————————————————————— #penn #universityofpennsylvania #quakers #quaker #tradition #tree #traditions #homecoming #hoco #alumni #plant #planting

Публикация от Derek Nhieu (@nhieuandimproved)



Transition is difficult. By the time students have hit their fourth year in college, they’ve probably just figured out how to master the systems of college and how to become the best version of themselves. And then the rug gets pulled out from under. New friends, new jobs, new cities, new systems seem to change everything that they thought they knew. In these times, having some wellness practices is really helpful.

  • Journaling tools. This might be a cool bullet journal or one of the many targeted journals that exist out there. It’s both a wellness gift and a meaningful object, showing that you are proud of them and expect growth!
  • If they identify with their star sign, try getting them a book or journal that’s associated with it.
  • Workout stuff, like a yoga mat.
  • Set of fancy tea.



Want more than a one time gift? What about a gift that keeps on giving? Subscription services, whether a monthly delivery or digital access, provide post-college routines that help your students make the transition to adulthood. Whether it’s a fun box subscription that gives them awesome products each month, or it’s a wellness subscription to an app or site that you’ve really loved, it shows you’re thinking about their life. If they love to read, consider getting them a subscription to a publication that they’d really love.



If your student is going to still be in the area, you might consider buying them a college experience. For example, if they went to a school that had one of the rowdiest college football conferences and teams or one of the top 10 most popular college football team stadiums, then they may want to keep attending games. Of course, non-student ticket prices can be quite pricey, especially for someone fresh out of college. They might have gotten used to swiping their ID and lining the front row with face paint, and it will be a disappointing shock to realize that they are now just another alumni in the crowd. But if you can spring to get them season tickets or even tickets to the rivalry game, it will help them stay connected.

On the other hand, your student might now be living in the area and ready to tailgate at the games in a whole new way. Why not invest in some tailgate essentials that they can use to throw a great gameday party. And this gift is even a little bit selfish. Give them a grill or something, and you might even get an invite to your new favorite tailgating tradition.

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