Whether it’s high school or college, graduation is an exciting moment. It’s a chance to celebrate accomplishments and look forward to the future. And getting the right gift for 2022 grads can help them do just that. The right gift can say, “I’m proud of you,” and, “Here’s to your next adventure.” But, of course, before you can give the perfect gift, you have to find the perfect gift.
So we created a list of nine unique but personal gifts you can give to the 2022 grads in your life, even if you live far away. After all, you can always send love (and presents!). If you can’t be there for the graduation party, add a personal touch to the gift, too. This can include a handwritten note or a customized gift that makes it just a little extra special.
Before settling on a graduation present, consider the grad. For example, what are their interests? Are they going to college? Moving away from home? Be sure to talk with their parents or guardians beforehand, too, especially if your gift is on the expensive side. You always want to respect what the parents or guardians are able to gift. And you want to avoid duplicate gifts, too!
1. Engraved Watch
With clocks on our cellphones, most people don’t wear watches anymore. But a quality watch can make 2022 grads stand out and give them a confidence boost as they start the next chapter of their life. Plus, watches are easily customizable. You can engrave their name or an important message on the case back. For example, if they were really into sports, you could engrave something related to that, like, “Go Bobcats!” And for some watches, they can swap out the bands to match their outfits as often as they want.
2. Laptop Bag
If the grad is going to college, they’ll need something to carry their laptop and books. Or maybe they’re commuting for work and need to carry necessities, like a water bottle or a change of clothes. Yes, the grad may already have a backpack from high school, but it might not have a pocket sleeve for the laptop or enough room for a change of shoes. You can even fill the backpack with notebooks and a special fountain pen for a personal touch.
3. Linen Bedding
Quality bedding improves sleep, which is important for everyone but especially young adults. For 2022 grads who are moving out—either to college or their own—they may not have the money to invest in high-quality bedding. Plus, fresh sheets and blankets can help the grad make their new place feel like home.
4. Espresso Machine or Coffee Maker
On average, generic coffee makers cost $35, which is affordable for a typical college student. But average coffee makers only make average coffee. If the grad loves coffee, consider splurging on an espresso machine or premium coffee maker that will grind the beans fresh for each pot. Of course, you’ll want to know what type of coffee the grad prefers. But once you do, you can help them craft the perfect cut. Don’t forget to throw in a travel mug, too!
5. Gemstone Earrings
Not all gifts have to be practical! Sometimes, something pretty and shiny does the trick. A nice pair of earrings can be worn at special occasions—and the grad will have plenty of those. They may get additional degrees, have weddings to attend—including their own—or important work events. If you give your gift early, they can even wear it to their upcoming celebration. Just pick the grad’s favorite color and find out if they prefer gold or silver.
6. Instant Print Camera
Yes, most young people use their phones for pictures, too. But printing photos is still a popular way to celebrate memories, especially when you’re making new friends or starting a new adventure. Plus, instant print cameras have come a long way! They can connect to your computer, like digital cameras. And some even have Bluetooth so you can send photos to your phone or a friend’s. It’s an instant way to create memories for any 2022 who’s moving away or taking a trip.
Earbuds are convenient for everyday use. Grads can use them to listen to music while they’re commuting or take work calls remotely. Or they can use them to quietly watch movies in their apartment with five other roommates! Any Bluetooth earbuds will work with any Bluetooth-compatible device. In present day, that means any smartphone.
But some Bluetooth earbuds work better with certain phones. For example, Apple and Google have their own buds that are designed to work best with their respective smartphones. Before purchasing, find out what type of phone the grad has.
8. Kitchen Set
Like quality linens or a fancy coffee makers, most grads don’t have kitchen sets either. Even a basic, durable set is a great gift idea for a 2022 grad who’s moving out on their own. You probably already know that new pots and pans aren’t cheap, but they make a big difference in the kitchen. If the grad is moving into a dorm, ask what kitchen items they’re allowed to have in their room. Instead of pots and pans, they may need a mini coffee maker and a hot pot. Either way, you’ll be giving them something to make their favorite snacks and meals with.
9. Charitable Donation
Does the 2022 grad have a cause they’re passionate about? Maybe something they spent time in high school learning about and now support. Perhaps they’re studying it in college or working for a related organization after graduation. A donation in their name is a great way to support them, their passion, and their future. But don’t forget to print out the receipt and let them know that you made the donation!
Graduating is something to celebrate, and 2022 grads may need a little more celebration this year. Life has changed drastically during the pandemic, and keeping up with school and other “regular life” things is hard to do. So choose a gift that will celebrate the grad and all they’ve accomplished—and all the exciting things they can do with their future.
What gift would your 2022 grad love? Is it on this list already?