Five Great Gifts for Every Grad
Graduation is just around the corner! Which means it’s time to go grad-gift shopping.
What do you even buy someone who is about to dive head-first into the real world? Coffee? Next month’s rent? Sure, that’s practical. But where’s the fun in that? We’re about to spend the rest of our lives being practical! Give us something fun!
I’ve made you a shopping list (no need to thank me) for every graduate on your list.
I want my diploma framed! Think about it, when you go into someone’s office and see their beautiful college diploma hanging on the wall above their desk, it looks so legit. I am proud of my degree, as every grad should be. I think it would be really cool to see it hanging on my wall.
Here’s the dilemma. Approaching graduation weekend, my little senior mind is swimming with my first real-world responsibilities. I’m focused on moving to a new town, finding a job, finding a place to live, etc. The LAST thing on my mind is going to get my fresh, new diploma framed.
Another thing: If your grad is anything like me, they’ll need that frame. Let’s be real, that diploma is a piece of paper. If it is not promptly framed and hung on the wall, it will be crumpled up and lost for the rest of eternity. You could be the one to properly preserve the proof that your grad DID, in fact, get a university education.
Auburn Art, located right at Toomer’s Corner, is one particularly convenient option for framing your graduate’s diploma. You have the freedom to go into the shop and see the various framing options, and in-store pick up is available. You can also order online from Diploma Frame via the Auburn University Alumni Association webpage. This is a great option for those who are gifting from out of town.
Food Box Subscription
As previously mentioned, graduating means no more “dining dollars.” And learning to cook doesn’t happen overnight. So how will your grad get by in the meantime? Giving a food box subscription is a perfect way to help them out.
Blue Apron is a good, basic option for the graduate who is utterly lost in the kitchen. Each week the recipient gets a recipe and all the ingredients needed to make it. As a gift, it is better given in the form of a Blue Apron gift card. This allows your graduate to choose the meals they want to receive each week of their subscription.
Or feel free to take a more creative route! There are fun, taste-specific options available as well: Treatsie for your graduate with a sweet tooth, Carnivore Club for your meat-loving graduate, and Graze for the graduate who loves snacks, to name a few.
Not only is it helpful, but it’s a gift that keeps on giving! Your graduate will continue to receive fun surprises from you for the duration of the subscription. Different subscriptions deliver in different time increments, so pay close attention when ordering.
College Coordinates Token
Are you the kind of person who likes to give gifts that make a statement? This gift is for you. A token with the coordinates of your graduate’s university are a perfect gift that is both stylish and memorable. It says, “Remember where you came from!” without sounding aggressive the way it does when you say something like that out loud.
There are many style options to choose from when shopping for one of these tokens. For the ladies, gold, silver, rose gold and titanium necklaces, rings and bracelets are popular. For guys there are bracelets, keychains, tie clips, and (my personal favorite) cuff links.
The latitudinal and longitudinal coordinates of your college are etched into the surface of the metal, ensuring that your grad will always be able to find their school on a map AND in their heart. Several of these products also have room for a custom note on the back or inside of the piece. “I love you! –Mom” is always a safe option if you’re not very creative with words of affirmation!
Many college towns have started carrying coordinate tokens in stock: university bookstores, boutiques, spirit shops, etc. This is a great option if you arrive in town for graduation and realized you forgot to pick up a gift! (We’ve all been there, right?)
However, if you’re ahead of the game and would like to customize your gift, online is the way to go. There is a large selection to choose from on Etsy as well as direct websites such as Coordinates Collection and Lat & Lo.
I can’t think of a more sentimental graduation gift than this one. Take your graduate’s college t-shirts and spirit wear and have them made into a memory quilt! This gift will be a great source of warmth and comfort for your young professional on their first nights of adulthood.
If you’re a bold and committed seamstress, making this quilt by hand is a labor of love your graduate will never forget. But if not, never fear! Local seamstresses and quilters love to take on these projects. Just be sure to give yourself plenty of time (several months) to complete this endeavor. Collect the shirts ahead of time and make a plan with your quilter at the beginning of your graduate’s last semester of school to ensure that the project can be completed in time for graduation.
The Joy of Cooking
College is the time when many of us first dipped our toes into the world of cooking. But if college is dipping your toes, the real world is the polar plunge. There’s no more on-campus dining to catch you when you fall. Give your grad a copy of the "Joy of Cooking,” and help them wade through the reality of cooking their own meals.
The Joy of Cooking is a classic cookbook that’s been a household favorite since 1936. It’s been updated and expanded several times over the years, and it is arguably one of the most useful cookbooks of all time. It contains an arsenal of cooking instructions from basic to complex, from baking to grilling, and from fruit salad to fresh game. If you’ve ever wondered how to prepare a meal, the Joy of Cooking can show you how. And it is proof that there is no such thing as a stupid question when it comes to the kitchen. This cookbook provides step-by- step instructions that enable you to prepare a perfect Cornish hen — even if you just read that sentence and wondered, “What IS a Cornish hen?”
The Joy of Cooking is a functional gift, but it’s also really fun. There’s something really exciting about nailing a difficult recipe, especially when you’re a cooking novice like me. Is your grad worried about dying of starvation or perhaps malnourishment from eating an exclusive ramen-and-peanut-butter-sandwich diet? Ease their fears (and their hunger) by giving them a copy of the Joy of Cooking for graduation.
The Joy of Cooking is available online as well as in-stores at Books-A-Million and Barnes & Noble.
I hope these gifts have given you some good ideas for you and your graduate! Happy shopping!
*A note to graduating seniors: casually sharing this article on your family members’ Facebook wall is a great, subtle way to share your wish list!
Be well, Auburn.
Photography: Michelle M.