12 Heartfelt Gifts for High School Graduates

12 Heartfelt Gifts for High School Graduates

High school graduation is a big moment for everyone in your family. You’re celebrating the end of a long and stressful journey but also excited to see what’s next for your high school student. Getting them through high school has been a lot of hard work, so why not celebrate with heartfelt gifts they’ll love? Whether your child is heading off to college or starting their career, here are some heartfelt gifts to help them on the journey to adulthood.

1. Memory Candle to Remind Them of Home

A candle is a great gift for any occasion, but it’s especially meaningful if you know the person well and can give them a memory candle to remind them of home. This may be an especially welcome reminder of home if they’re attending school in a new college town or relocating to a new city for work.

Memory Candle to Remind Them of Home

Consider getting them a candle that features fragrances reminiscent of home. There are plenty of city candles and state candles from which to choose. And, of course, there are options to remind them of other things they associate with home. There is something for everyone, from freshly cut grass to forest trees to ocean breezes. Your grad can even enjoy the familiar aromas of Grandma’s Kitchen.

Discover Our State-Inspired Candles

2. Harry Potter Candle for Lovers of the Wizarding World

Our Harry Potter candles are excellent gifts for lovers of the Wizarding World. Whether your grad is a Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff, Gryffindor or Slytherin, there is something for them. Made with soy wax, these candles burn cleaner than paraffin candles and last longer than other types of candles. They also have a clean burn that leaves no soot or smoke behind, making them perfect for dorms. Giving a Harry Potter™ candle will surely put a smile on the recipient’s face.

3. Care Package Filled with Essentials and Surprises

A care package filled with essentials and special surprises is a great gift for any high school graduate. It’s something they will appreciate and use, plus it’s a kind gesture that shows how much you care. To make this gift even more special, add an extra touch, such as writing their name on each item or adding a personalized note inside the box. Also, be sure to tailor the package to suit their needs. Only include items you know they will use and enjoy. Check out these care package ideas:

  • Pre-packaged snacks (granola bars, trail mix, gum, candy, etc.)
  • Bottled beverages or a reusable water bottle
  • First aid kit
  • Flashlight
  • Dental essentials (toothbrush, toothpaste, floss)
  • Personal hygiene items (shampoo, conditioner, body wash, deodorant, lotion, etc.)  
  • A book to enjoy in their downtime 

4. Tech Gadgets

In today’s world, embracing technology is a must. Help the high school grad in your life get ahead by providing them with essential gadgets. 

Tech Gadgets


A laptop is a great gift for a high school graduate because your grad can use it for everything from writing papers to watching movies. Applying for jobs and internships is also easier on a laptop than on a smartphone. A quality laptop will be handy whether the graduate is heading to college or starting their career.

Portable Charger

A portable charger is perfect when your grad wants to take their phone with them but doesn’t want to worry about it dying while they’re away from an outlet. They can use it to power up their tablet and other electronic devices too.


Any student will love receiving a smartwatch as a graduation present. These useful devices have plenty of features like fitness tracking capabilities, GPS tracking, sleep monitoring and more. Your grad can even use it to check texts and calls. Plus, there’s no denying that these smartwatches are super stylish.

Noise-Canceling Headphones or Earbuds

Whether they’re studying for a test or just relaxing at the end of the day, your recent graduate would love having a set of noise-canceling headphones or earbuds to block out background sounds. They’re great for listening to audiobooks and music too. 

young man with backpack in airport

5. A New Travel or Life Experience

A new travel or life experience is a great gift for high school graduates. It can be a trip to a new state or country or something closer to home like skydiving or taking a cooking class together. A gift card for an activity they have always wanted to try but never had a chance to is also an excellent idea. 

6. Cozy Dorm or Apartment Essentials

If your grad is going off to college or living in an apartment for the first time, it’s important to make sure they have all of the essentials they need to feel at home. Comfy blankets, sheets and pillows provide a cozy place to relax at the end of the day. For high school grads heading to college, consider a mattress pad. Dorm beds aren’t always the most comfortable! Other gifts to help your recipient feel at home in their new space include plush rugs, fluffy towels, wall decor, lights and even stuffed animals. No one is ever too old to snuggle up with a stuffy when feeling homesick!

7. Personalized Planner to Help Them Stay on Track

A personalized planner is an excellent gift for high school graduates. It will help them stay on top of their classes and responsibilities, and it’s something that will help them build stronger organization and time-management skills. Look for a planner with daily and monthly layouts. Some planners also feature other helpful tools, such as budget planners, nutrition trackers, etc. To make this gift extra special, include some fun stickers and colorful markers.

Basic Cooking Supplies

8. Basic Cooking Supplies

Unless the graduate in your life is moving into a dorm without a kitchen or kitchenette, a good set of pots and pans is essential. Cooking supplies, such as spatulas and mixing bowls, are also good gifts. They’ll come in handy as your recipient learns to prepare meals at home.

Dishes and silverware are essential too. You can also get them some kitchen linens like hand towels and oven mitts so they’re ready for their first year out on their own. Be mindful that dorms and small apartments often have limited counter and cabinet space. Only purchase the essentials, and look for compact options like collapsible colanders and nesting measuring cups.

9. Gift Cards for Food and Gas

You can never go wrong with a gift card for food or gas. These are two things everyone needs, and they’re especially useful for high school graduates leaving home for the first time. These gift cards are always safe bets because the graduate can use them to buy necessities like groceries or gas money to return home for visits. Gift cards are also fantastic treats when you don’t know what else to give. If you know where your grad is moving to, consider getting them a gift card for establishments near their new home.

Dollar Shave Club

10. A Subscription Box That Suits Their Interests

Subscription boxes are an excellent gift option for high school graduates for a few reasons. Subscription boxes offer a fun and exciting monthly surprise, which is especially appealing to young adults exploring new interests and hobbies. Additionally, many subscription box services offer a wide range of options, from beauty products to books and snacks, making it easy to find a box that aligns with the graduate’s interests. 

Subscription boxes also provide a sense of continuity and consistency during a time of change as the graduate transitions from high school to college or the workforce. If you’re not sure what kind of subscription box would be best for your grad, here are some suggestions:

Dollar Shave Club 

For a surprisingly low monthly price, you can get razors delivered straight to your grad’s door every month. While inexpensive, these razors provide a quality shave. When you subscribe to Dollar Shave Club, your grad will never have to deal with dull blades again.


A Birchbox subscription is the perfect gift for anyone who loves trying new beauty products. Each month, your graduate will receive several deluxe samples curated just for them based on their preferences. They’ll also get 10% off their full-size purchases, which will help them save money.

Book of the Month Club

This is an awesome subscription box for anyone who loves reading! Every month, your special high school graduate will receive a newly released book they can enjoy in their downtime. Even if they are heading to college and need to do a lot of reading for their classes, a Book of the Month Club subscription will also help them read for pleasure. These suggestions are just a few examples of the countless subscription boxes out there. With some research, you can track down one to appeal to nearly any interest.

11. Supplies for Their Favorite Hobby (or a New Hobby!)

If you know your graduate is already into something, consider getting them the supplies they need to continue their hobby in their new home. For example, if your daughter loves art, get her a compact easel and some new paints. If your son has been learning to play guitar and needs an amp or strings, this is a great way to show him how much you support his passion. No matter what hobby the special graduate in your life enjoys, supplies always make a wonderful gift.

Is there a hobby your graduate has always wanted to try but has yet to have an opportunity to experience? Whatever the case may be, giving them the supplies they need gets them a chance to do something new. Look up what kinds of items will help them achieve their goal, and then get those items as gifts.

Fall in Love with Our Disney Candles

12. Carry-On Bag and Other Luggage

A carry-on bag is a must for any student who wants to travel. It’s also the perfect gift for anyone who will be moving to college or even just taking a vacation. Even if your grad only uses it for trips home, carry-on luggage is a gift that will get plenty of use. Before shopping, check airline restrictions to determine the average maximum size for carry-ons.

carry on bag and other luggage

Duffle bags are also useful for traveling, especially if your grad needs something bigger than what can fit into an overhead compartment on an airplane. A quality backpack is also great for travel. Backpacks are lightweight and easy to carry around, and they can fit everything needed for short trips. Plus, there are so many different styles of backpacks available that you’re sure to find one that fits your grad’s personality! 

If you’re searching for something more professional or business-like, consider giving them a hard-sided rolling luggage set instead. Rolling suitcases make navigating airports much easier. When you give an entire set as a gift, your recipient can choose the size or sizes they need for every trip. Consider adding other travel essentials to make this gift more fun and personal. Personalized luggage tags, RFID-blocking wallets, passport holders and packing cubes are all great options.


As you can see, there are numerous options to consider when giving a gift to a high school graduate. Remembering their interests and personality when shopping for something special is important. With some patience and research, you will surely find a perfect gift for even the pickiest recipient. If you’re running out of time or unsure what present best suits your loved one, you can never go wrong with cash. Any graduate would be thrilled to receive some cold, hard cash to help them as they embark on their next journey in life. 


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