After countless hours in the library, late-night study sessions and early mornings revising for exams, it’s only right that a graduate’s success should be celebrated with a well-chosen gift. But after all that hard work, what exactly do you give the high achiever to congratulate them?
While a graduation may feel as special as a birthday it is inherently different. Not only does it mark a pivotal moment in the graduate’s life but it is also a celebration of achievement – all the hard work and determination that has finally paid off. This means a graduation present should have real thought behind it.
A good starting point when shopping for graduation gifts is to think about your recipient’s studies and future career plans. Practicality can play an important role in gift selection. ‘Choosing the perfect gift will depend on what next steps the graduate is to take,’ says Frederika Latif, gifts communications manager at John Lewis, the well-known British department store. A silver business card holder or a slick briefcase would be perfect for someone starting out in business, for example, whereas someone looking to break into the arts or creative world might prefer a leather camera case or a Picasso-inspired printed silk scarf.
If your graduate is not certain which career path they are going to take, then opt for something classic they can keep forever. ‘For those who want to give a keepsake, a watch or piece of jewellery is a perfect gift for both male and female graduates and will be treasured for years to come,’ Latif advises.
Don’t rule out trendier gifts completely, though. ‘Although there is still a demand for traditional gifts, there also appears to be a growing trend towards investment items such as designer handbags and technology products that new graduates may not be in a position to buy for themselves,’ Latif notes. A classic handbag that will become a wardrobe staple or a top-of-the-range laptop will be greatly appreciated and both have long-term value.
Even if you are not a member of the graduate’s family, it’s still more than acceptable to give a special gift. ‘It is often not just parents who want to celebrate the occasion: if the young graduate is setting up a new life it may be worth using a gift list service,’ says Claire Butler, development manager of the John Lewis Gift List. ‘You can register for gift lists absolutely free, and our service even comes with help from expert advisors to help make everything as easy as possible.’ So now there’s no excuse not to give them just what they want!