High school graduation is one of life’s significant accomplishments and one that friends and family will want to celebrate with a gift. This list includes our favorite ideas for gifts for guys and consists of both sentimental and practical choices.
Are you shopping for your son’s best buds? Here are some wonderful ideas for grad gifts for your teen’s friends.
If you have girls on your list, here are some of our favorite grad gifts for the young women in your life.
Note: Grown and Flown is reader-supported, and we receive compensation when you order through some of the links in this post.
High school graduation gifts for him
Take that stack, OK… a drawer full of t-shirts from camp, class days, sports teams, and more, and send them off to Project Repat so they can make a unique, highly-personal gift for your son. The t-shirt quilt, a helpful ice-breaker at college, can be hung on the wall or his bed. Available to custom-order in several sizes.
Your new grad will love to receive college gear, and Fanatics is the #1 site to shop for officially licensed logo clothing and accessories from more than 500 colleges and pro-teams. T-shirts, hats, hoodies, sneakers, and more make THIS site your go-to for collegiate gear.
There are dozens of places to shop for twin xl bedding, but one site you should explore is Pottery Barn Teen. The high quality, wide range of price points, and sustainable practices that go into the manufacturing of Pottery Barn items make it an excellent destination to shop for dorm essentials and decor.
Guys can sometimes be less enthusiastic about dorm shopping, so consider gifting this bundle that will cross off many items from his dorm to-do list. It includes 11 pieces for dorm bedding, bath, and laundry in the popular color scheme of navy and grey. Done and dusted!
Your son will likely be at college, where it will rain at least some of the time, and he will need a jacket to help him stay dry on the long walk across campus for classes.
This jacket comes in dozens of sizes and colors, is highly rated, durable, affordable, and super popular. We love this convenient high school graduation gift!
There are hundreds of models to choose from in this iconic brand, but we think this one, the “Expedition,” is a good pick. It has a ten-year battery life, is water-resistant up to 100 meters, and has the Timex-trademarked Indiglo backlit face making it easy to tell the time in the dark — without reaching for a phone.
College students are on the go from their first classes in the morning to dinner, homework, and socializing at night. While it can often be inconvenient to find a plug to re-charge a phone, this lightweight and portable battery charger can come to the rescue to help keep his phone working 24/7.
My son loves this steamer that he borrowed from a roommate for graduation and only wishes he had taken one to school with him as a freshman. Dry clothes can sit in the dryer for hours before they are reclaimed from the laundry room, and the only hope for looking ironed is this steamer. (See below for the steamed side vs. the one with all the wrinkles.)
These headphones are among the most highly-rated wireless over-the-ear headphones. Dorms and roommates are noisy and can be disruptive to sleep and study.
A much less expensive option, and one that is also highly regarded by the reviewers, are these wireless headphones by Anker.
10. Class Tracker
This inexpensive gift is a practical way to keep his AirPod Pros protected from scratching and help him identify them from his friends’ devices that look the same. Look for some in his school colors.
Admiral William H. McRaven (Ret) wrote one of the all-time best commencement speeches he delivered at the University of Texas. His speech was later made into a slender book that quickly became a bestseller. His wise words will provide your son with all the advice he needs to launch into the next phase of his life — college, work, or the military.
The closest thing to a “college instruction manual” is the bestselling book, The Naked Roommate. Author Harlan Cohen has been in the college-advice business since he was a student himself and stays current by visiting college campuses and talking to students and administrators all over the country.
This is a book your son can keep on the shelf and refer to often about ANY questions he has in college, including a “naked roommate.”
We cannot say enough great things about these bags. They are our #1 recommendation for college move-in and move-out for ALL FOUR YEARS. They are durable and inexpensive, especially compared with luggage. Your son can store bulky bedding or off-season clothes in one of these bags during the school year.
If you want to add to the gift, fill it with new towels and laundry detergent to encourage him to remember to get to the laundry room from time to time.
Your son will love having Alexa as his virtual assistant to set the alarm, check scores or the weather for the day, order a pizza or an Uber, help with homework, play his music, or sleep-inducing sounds… the possibilities are endless. We love the one that has the clock display.
16 YETI Tumbler
If your son is a coffee drinker and wants to savor a hot cup of coffee FOR HOURS, the YETI mug is for him. It is stainless steel with double-wall vacuum insulation, which means that cold drinks stay cold for hours.
Teens and young adults will love receiving a YETI mug as a grad gift. Available in the iconic stainless or vibrant hues, look for one that matches your son’s college colors. There are also personalization options with initials or college logos. This is a tremendous and long-lasting gift!
17. Mattress Topper
One of our sons said that having a mattress topper was the single most crucial dorm item he owned, and he would even give up his backpack if he had to choose between it and the topper. Lucid’s gel memory foam topper is one of the most popular among the Grown and Flown community. It will transform a somewhat gross, brick-like dorm mattress into a comfortable place to sleep.
19. Tool Set
This 39-piece tool set comes with all the accessories that your son can use in his dorm this year and in apartments in his future. This is considered one of our must-haves to make move-in day go smoothly, so keep it close at hand when it is time to pack.
This is an upgrade to a more adult style of carrying money and cards. This handsome bi-fold wallet from Leatherology is super-thin and will last him for years to come. Plus, personalization is such a nice touch for ANY gift.
If your son is going to school in a cold climate, don’t wait until he needs them to buy him a good pair of boots, as popular sizes and styles can sell out. These are classics. Look for a 20% student discount while shopping for boots at Timberland. (some exclusions.)
We love these Bluetooth speakers for their audio quality, design, and colors, and we love the durability — they are both waterproof and dustproof.
College campuses have water bottle stations where students can fill their bottles, vastly reducing the use of disposable plastic bottles. Hydro Flask bottles come in many sizes and colors and keep hot beverages hot and cold drinks cold for hours.
Spikeball is very popular on many campuses, and if your son had a set to take to college, he would likely find other Spikeball sports enthusiasts reasonably quickly.
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